What Led to Yankees Great Joe Pepitone’s Death at 82?
Three-time All-Star and longtime major leaguer died in Kansas City, Missouri on March 13, 2023, at the age of 82. Joe Pepitone’s cause of death probably relates to 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 New York Yankees said in a statement on Monday.
“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,” the statement read.
Joseph Anthony Pepitone was born on October 9, 1940, in Brooklyn, New York. In August 1958, he signed with the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent.
Pepitone played in sixteen games for the Auburn Yankees of the Class D New York-Pennsylvania League after signing. After playing four seasons in the minor leagues, Joe broke in with the Yankees in 1962, playing behind Moose Skowron at first base.
In the 1964 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Pepitone hit a grand slam in Game 6, but the Yankees lost the series.
After the 1969 season, the Yankees traded Joe to the Houston Astros for Curt Blefary. Unhappy with how Joe was treated by the Astros, he threatened to retire in July 1970.
The Astros sold Joe to the Chicago Cubs on waivers a week later. In Chicago, he replaced Ernie Banks at first base. Joe retired in May 1972 but returned to the Cubs after a few weeks away from the team.
The Cubs traded him to the Atlanta Braves for Andre Thornton, and cash considerations on May 19, 1973. In Atlanta, Pepitone played only three games, after which he announced his intention to retire.
Following his major-league career, Joe played in a professional softball league and then served as a minor-league coach with the Yankees from 1981-82.
He also briefly served as the team’s MLB hitting coach in 1982. The star had legal troubles later in life, including spending 4 months in prison for two misdemeanor drug convictions in 1988.
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What’s Joe Pepitone’s Cause of Death at 82?
All-Star and Gold Glove first baseman Joe Pepitone’s cause of death has not been announced by his family yet but his son Bill confirmed the death.
Bill said his sister, Cara Pepitone, who had lived with their dad, had found him dead on Monday morning. The cause was unknown, Bill said, but it appeared to have been a sudden event, like a heart attack.
BJ Pepitone and Cara are children from Joe’s third marriage to Stephanie, who passed away in 2021. Pepitone also is survived by daughters Eileen and Lisa and son Joseph Jr. from earlier marriages. BJ said the family had not yet decided on funeral plans.
“We lost a good one today. Rest in Peace Joe Pepitone. Truely was a great friend and teammate. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Pepitone family,” Fergie Jenkins wrote on Twitter.
Matthew Nichol tweeted: “RIP Joe Pepitone he was a legend. I loved baseball but can not watch it anymore because of BLM and when president Biden pressured MLB to move out the All Star Game out of Atlanta over a fair voting bill. MLB caved in moved the All Star game.”
“My dad grew up in Canarsie, Brooklyn and would see Joe Pepitone driving down the street in his Cadillac and would stop to say hello. As a diehard Yankees fan, those memories have remained with my father forever. Sad, sad day. Rest in peace to a truly beloved Yankee,” one fan tweeted.
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