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Former Pirates World Series-Winning Catcher Ed Ott Dies at 72



Ed Ott, Pittsburgh Pirates

Ed Ott, a catcher on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ last World Series-winning team, has died. He was 72.

Ott died Sunday in Danville, Pa. A cause of death was not provided but he had been in ill health in recent years.

Ott was confined to a wheelchair last August when he visited PNC Park for the induction of former teammate Kent Tekulve into the Pirates Hall of Fame.

Ott and Steve Nicosia handled the catching duties in 1979 when the Pirates beat the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. Ott played in three of the seven games in the Fall Classic and went 4 for 12 with a double.

The Pirates selected Ott in the 23rd round of the 1970 amateur draft following his senior year of high school in Muncy, Pa. He made his major-league debut four years later and spent seven seasons with the Pirates from 1974-80 before playing for the California Angels for one final season in 1981.

Ott was a .259/.311/.368 career hitter with 33 home runs in 567 games.

He managed in the minor leagues with the Pirates, Angels and Cincinnati Reds. He was also a big-league coach with the Houston Astros (1989-93) under former Pirates teammate Art Howe and with the Detroit Tigers (2001-02) under Phil Garner, Ott’s teammate in 1979.

Ott is survived by his wife, Sue, and daughter, Michelle.

John Perrotto is a columnist for Pittsburgh Baseball Now and has covered the Pittsburgh Pirates and MLB since 1988.

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