CHICAGO - A member of the Cubs' small fraternity of pitchers to throw a no-hitter has passed away.
Former Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas died today at the age of 76 in Beecher, Illinois from natural causes.
Today Cubs owner Tom Ricketts released the following statement on the death of Pappas: “The Cubs organization is sad to learn of the passing of Milt Pappas, who not only had a special place on the field with the team in the early 1970s, but also maintained a relationship with Cubs fans as a frequent guest at Wrigley Field, the Cubs Convention and other team events. Milt will forever be remembered for one of the most dramatic pitching performances in team history as he delivered a no-hitter that neared perfection in 1972.
"Pappas ended his impressive career wearing a Cubs uniform and we will always consider him part of the Chicago Cubs family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends, relatives and fans as we mourn this loss.”He's the last Cubs pitcher to throw a no hitter at Wrigley Field though he's mostly remembered for what happened in the final inning of that game."
In the ninth inning with two outs on September 2, 1972, Milt Pappas was throwing a rare perfect game. against the Padres. With a 2-2 count on Larry Stahl, umpire Bruce Froemming proceeded to call the next two pitches a ball. The walk wrecked the perfect game and Pappas remained skeptical of the call until his death this week.
Pappas got the next hitter out to ensure a no hitter, which remains the last one pitched by a member of the Chicago Cubs.
His time in Chicago was a small part of a 14-year MLB career in which he appeared in three All-Star games. The bulk of his time in the majors was spent with the Orioles with whom he played nine seasons. He then spent time with the Reds and the Braves before coming to the Cubs in the middle of the 1970 season.
He would be with the Cubs till his retirement, posting a 51-41 record in that time with a 3.33 ERA. His best season with the team came in 1972 where his no hitter-and near perfect game-were part of a 17-7 season which he sported a 2.77 ERA.