Dodgers Relief Great Ron Perranoski Dies at 84

Ron Perranoski
California Historical Society/USC Digital Library

Former Dodgers relief pitcher and pitching coach Ron Perranoski has died at the age of 84, the team announced Saturday.

The left-hander from Paterson, N.J., died Friday night at his home in Vero Beach, Florida, the Dodgers said.

Perranoski pitched for the Dodgers from 1961-67, and again in 1972. He also played for the Angels in 1973 and had stints with the Minnesota Twins (1968-71), and Detroit Tigers (1971-72) during his 12-year major league career.

He pitched for the Dodgers' 1963 and 1965 World Series-winning teams, serving as their ace reliever.

Perranoski followed up his career as one of the most effective relief pitchers in baseball with a second career as an equally distinguished pitching coach, serving in that capacity for the Dodgers from 1981-94. The team won two more World Series during that time, in 1981 and 1988, and Perranoski helped guide the careers of Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser, among others.

“Ron Perranoski played a major role in the success of the Dodgers as a great reliever and a mentor to many great young pitchers over his 30-year career in the organization,” Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten said.

Perranoski had a 79-74 career record with 178 saves and a 2.79 ERA. He led the league in appearances in 1963 with 69 and had 21 saves to go with a 1.67 ERA and a 16-3 record.

Perranoski led the National League in appearances three times -- 1962 with 70, 1963 with 69 and 1967 with 70. He also led the American League in saves with Minnesota with 31 in 1969 and 34 in 1970.


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He is the third former Los Angeles Dodger to pass away recently. Former Dodgers outfielder Jay Johnstone -- also a member of the 1981 championship team -- died of COVID-19 complications last week at the age of 74.

And former outfielder “Sweet” Lou Johnson, who played on the Dodgers' 1965 championship team and worked for the Dodgers organization for 40 seasons, died Thursday night at the age of 86.

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