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PASSINGS: Chris Limahelu, Jim Pagliaroni

Chris Limahelu, the kicker on USC's No. 1-ranked 1974 football team, dies at 59; Jim Pagliaroni, a former major league catcher, dies at 72

April 07, 2010

Chris Limahelu

Kicker set records at USC in '70s

Chris Limahelu, 59, the kicker on USC's 1974 football team that won a share of the national championship, died of prostate cancer Wednesday in Los Angeles, the university announced.

Only 5 feet 5 and 135 pounds during his playing days, Limahelu kicked for USC in 1973 and 1974 when John McKay was coach.

In the 1973 season, he set two Trojan records -- he kicked 14 field goals, six more than any previous Trojan kicker in a season, and his 47-yard field goal against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl was the team's longest ever. Both records have since been broken. He also is remembered for a 34-yard field goal with 3 seconds left against Stanford that gave USC a 27-26 victory.

In 1974, Limahelu kicked a personal-best 50-yard field goal against UCLA, earned all-Pac-8 Conference honors and USC went 10-1-1. The Trojans were voted No. 1 in the UPI poll; Oklahoma at 11-0 finished first in the Associated Press voting.

Limahelu was born Oct. 16, 1950, in Indonesia, the second of nine children. When he was an infant, he moved with his family to the Netherlands, where he learned to play soccer and developed his kicking technique. The family moved to the United States when he was 10, and he was on the football, tennis and wrestling teams at South Hills High School in West Covina.

After USC, he became an accountant and for the last 15 years had volunteered with the Tournament of Roses.

Jim Pagliaroni

Former major league catcher

Jim Pagliaroni, 72, a former major league catcher who was behind home plate for Jim "Catfish" Hunter's perfect game with the Oakland A's in 1968, died Saturday at his home in Grass Valley, Calif. He had cancer and heart problems.

Pagliaroni played for the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland A's and the expansion Seattle Pilots in 11 seasons. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Pagliaroni finished with a .252 batting average and had only 41 errors overall and a .991 fielding average.

In 1962, he came close to catching a perfect game with the Red Sox when pitcher Bill Monbouquette gave up no hits and allowed only a walk against the Chicago White Sox.

Born Dec. 8, 1937, in Dearborn, Mich., Pagliaroni grew up in Long Beach, where he attended Wilson High School.

In 1955, he was drafted by the Red Sox, who gave him a bonus contract of $50,000. But he was called to serve in the Army from 1956 to 1958, then played his first full season in the majors in 1960.

He finished his baseball career with the Pilots in 1969, a season that teammate Jim Bouton immortalized in his brazen, nonfiction account, "Ball Four."

Pagliaroni later became an executive with a food distribution company in the Western United States. He also raised funds for the ALS Foundation to help honor Hunter, who died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, in 1999.

-- times staff and wire reports

news.obits@latimes.com

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