Joe Pepitone, Former New York Yankees Star and World Series Champion, Dead at 82

Joe Pepitone, a former MLB player who spent the majority of his career with the New York Yankees, has died, the team announced. He was 82. According to the New York Times, Pepitone died at his home in Kansas City, Missouri. Pepitone's son Bill told the outlet that he and his sister found their father dead on Monday morning. The cause of death has not been announced, but Bill said it appeared to be a sudden event like a heart attack. 

"The Yankees are deeply saddened by the passing of former Yankee Joe Pepitone, whose playful and charismatic personality and on-field contributions made him a favorite of generations of Yankees fans even beyond his years with the team in the 1960s," the Yankees said in a statement.

"As a native New Yorker, he embraced everything about being a Yankee during both his playing career -- which included three All-Star appearances and three Gold Gloves and in the decades thereafter. You always knew when Joe walked into a room — his immense pride in being a Yankee was always on display. He will be missed by our entire organization, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him." 

Pepitone began his MLB career in 1962 with the Yankees. He spent eight seasons with the team, and during that time, Pepitone was named to the All-Star team three times, won three Gold Gloves and led the Yankees to a World Series title in 1962. Pepitone was traded to the Houston Astros after the 1969 season. He then joined the Chicago Cubs during the 1970 season and was with the team until early in the 1973 season when he was traded to the Atlanta Braves. Pepitone would only play three games in Atlanta before playing the rest of the 1973 season with the Yakult Atons of the Nippon Professional Baseball's Central League. He then served as a Minor League coach for the Yankees in 1980 and also was a Major League coach for the team in 1982. 

In 1988, Pepitone was hired by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to serve in the development of Minor League Players after he was released from prison for two misdemeanor drug convictions. He received a World Series ring when the Yankees won it all in 1999.