By Daniel Wilkins
Longtime Pirates pitcher Bob Friend passed away on Sunday morning at the age of 88. The president of the Pittsburgh Pirates made the mournful announcement on Sunday, stating that “It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we confirm the passing of a beloved member of the Pirates family, Bob Friend, earlier this morning at the age of 88,”. Friend had 2 children, and multiple grandchildren as well.
Friend played for Purdue University and made his debut in April of 1951 as a Pirate. For 15 more seasons, Friend would be a valuable starter in the Bucs rotation. During his lengthy Pirates tenure (and short Yankees and Mets stints), he had a 197-230 W/L record, a 3.58 ERA, and had 163 complete games.
He was a 4-time All-Star, was a member of the 1960 champion Pirates, and won the ERA title in 1955. In 1963, his ERA was 2.34. In 1960, Bob struck out 183 batters.
After Friend’s retirement in 1966, he was one of the founders of the Pirates Alumni Association. He was an active member until his death.
The cause of death is not yet known.
May he Rest in Peace.