Former Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star and World Series Champion dies at 97 – NBC Los Angeles

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The Los Angeles Dodgers community was deeply saddened by the passing of the legendary pitcher, Carl Erskine, who left an indelible mark on the world of baseball and beyond.

His journey, filled with triumphs and compassion, reflects a life well-lived and a legacy that will endure for generations to come.

The team announced Erskine’s death in a social media post.

Erskine, a cornerstone of the Dodgers’ golden era, etched his name in baseball history with some remarkable accomplishments. As a 1954 All-Star and a vital part of the 1955 World Series-winning Brooklyn Dodgers, his prowess on the mound was unmatched.

Dodgers celebrate in the clubhouse after defeating the Phila

Dodgers celebrate in the clubhouse after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in 14 innings to tie the NY Giants for first place in the National League. The Dodgers and Giants will play a two-out-of-three games playoff for the National League flag. (left to right). ..Preacher Roe, Wayne Terwilliger, Jackie Robinson, Peewee Reese, Duke Snider, Chuck Dressen, Carl Erskine. (Photo by Charles Payne/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

His career record of 122-78 (.610) over 12 years with Brooklyn and Los Angeles attests to his exceptional talent and dedication to the game.

Among his many accomplishments, Erskine’s no-hitters in 1952 and 1956 stand as a testament to his mastery of the art of pitching. His record-setting 14 strikeouts in a World Series game remained unbroken for a decade until teammate Sandy Koufax surpassed him, a testament to his dominance on baseball’s biggest stage.

Carl Erskine W/Arm Around Sandy Koufax

Pitcher Sandy Koufax (L) of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by former record holder Carl Erskine in the locker room after Koufax set a new World Series record during the Series opener at Yankee Stadium. Koufax, the 28-year-old southpaw, fanned 15 Yankee batters to lead his team to a 5-2 victory. Erskine held the previous record of 14 strikeouts, made October 2, 1953.

Notably, he also started the first home game in Los Angeles Dodgers history in 1958, a momentous occasion that marked the beginning of a new era for the franchise.

Yet, Carl Erskine’s legacy extends far beyond the baseball diamond. His alliance with Jackie Robinson during the tumultuous era of civil rights showcased his courage and commitment to equality. His advocacy for individuals with special needs, inspired by his son Jimmy, who was born with Down syndrome, exemplifies his compassionate heart and unwavering dedication to making a difference.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Carl Erskine was honored with the prestigious John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023, a fitting tribute to a life dedicated to excellence, integrity, and service.

Gil Hodges and Carl Erskine

Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman Gil Hodges, (right) and pitcher Carl Erskine are shown here for their impressive batting performance in the August 31st night game with the Boston Braves at Ebbets field. Hodges made history with four different pitchers. Erskine got four hits in five official trips to the plate. The Dodgers rapped out a 19-3 victory over the Braves.

Stan Kasten, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers, aptly captured the essence of Carl Erskine’s legacy,

“Carl Erskine was an exemplary Dodger,” said Kasten in a statement released by the team on Tuesday. “He was as much a hero off the field as he was on the field – which given the brilliance of his pitching is saying quite a lot. His support of the Special Olympics and related causes, inspired by his son Jimmy – who led a life beyond all expectations when he was born with Down syndrome, cemented his legacy. We celebrate the life of ‘Oisk’ as we extend our sympathies to his wife, Betty, and their family.”

As we bid farewell to a true legend, we join together to celebrate the life of Carl Erskine, offering our heartfelt sympathies to his beloved wife Betty, their family, and all who were fortunate enough to know and admire him. His legacy will forever inspire us to strive for greatness and make a difference in the lives of others, just as he did. Rest in peace, ‘Oisk.’

Read original source here.

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