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Former Red Outfielder Vada Pinson Dies at 57 : Baseball: Two-time all-star, one of only six players with 250 homers and 300 stolen bases, succumbs after stroke earlier in month.

October 23, 1995|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — Vada Pinson, the star center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1960s who twice led the National League in hits, died Saturday night after a stroke earlier this month. He was 57.

Pinson died at Summit Medical Center in Oakland, where he was admitted Oct. 5, hospital spokeswoman Nancy Happel said Sunday.

Once one of baseball's fastest players, Pinson excelled at covering the tricky outfield incline in Cincinnati's old Crosley Field.

He was a two-time all-star during a career in which he played 11 of his 18 seasons with the Reds. He also was with Seattle, Cleveland, the Angels and Kansas City.

Pinson is one of six players to hit 250 home runs and steal 300 bases. The others are Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds, Joe Morgan, Andre Dawson and Barry Bonds.

Pinson won the Gold Glove in 1961 when he batted .343 with 16 home runs for the Reds. That year he led the league with 208 hits, helping the Reds to a spot in the World Series, where they lost to the New York Yankees. He also led the league with 204 hits in 1963.

He finished his career with a .286 average, 256 homers and 1,170 runs batted in. He had 2,757 hits, the 35th highest total in baseball history.

Pinson, who broke in with the Reds in 1958 and retired with Kansas City in 1975, served as first base and outfielders coach for the Florida Marlins in 1993 and 1994. He also was a hitting coach for the New York Mets, Seattle, the Chicago White Sox and Detroit.

Pinson was scheduled to be inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 14, 1996.

Pinson was born in Memphis, Tenn., and lived in Oakland.

The hospital said his family planned to release a statement today.

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