Bill Campbell

Bill Campbell, who had a 15-year MLB career as a relief pitcher in the 1970s and 1980s, passed away on Friday.

Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe was one of many to report on Campbell’s passing.

“Bill Campbell, whose 15-year MLB career included making the All-Star team as a member of the 1977 Red Sox died today. He was 74.”

Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune added that Campell passed away from cancer and “had been in hospice care in the Chicago area.”

Many in the baseball world paid tribute to Campbell after his passing.

Longtime baseball writer Peter Gammons tweeted “Bill Campbell, best of the best, died today. Our hearts are with Linda and the kids. Not only was he the first player signed after the 1st Free agent draft in Nov., 1976, but a great man.”

Danny Gallagher, another longtime writer, said “Sad to hear today about the passing of former #expos pitcher Bill Campbell, who died in hospice care of cancer. He had some great years as a reliever with the @redsox and @twins.”

Mike Schmidt, a sports memorabilia collector (not to be confused with the Hall of Fame third baseman) said “RIP to former Phillies Reliever Bill Campbell – he was great to the Cardmunity – hope his family finds some peace on this sad day!”

Baseball historian John Thorn also paid tribute, saying “Hail and farewell, Bill Campbell.”

Campbell pitched from 1973-1987. He appeared in 700 games over that stretch, with all but nine coming as a reliever. The majority of his career was spent with the Minnesota Twins (1973-1976) and Boston Red Sox (1977-1981). His peak seasons were his final year in Minnesota and his first in Boston.

In 1976, Campbell appeared in 78 games, going 17-5 with 20 saves, while posting a 3.01 ERA, 1.235 WHIP and striking out 115 hitters in 167.2 innings. Campbell finished seventh in American League Cy Young voting and eighth in MVP voting. The year after, he was even better. In 69 outings, Campbell went 13-9 with 31 saves, posted a 2.96 ERA, 1.229 WHIP and struck out 114 in 140 innings. He also finished fifth in Cy Young Voting, 10th in the MVP race and made his only All-Star team.

After the Red Sox, Campbell pitched for the Chicago Cubs (1982-1983), then finished his career with one-year stints pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies (1984), St. Louis Cardinals (1985), Detroit Tigers (1986) and Montreal Expos (1987).

[Pete Abraham on Twitter, Star Tribune, Photo Courtesy, YouTube, 1977 MLB All-Star Game]

About Michael Dixon

Michael is a writer and editor for The Comeback Media. Fan of most sports, nerd when it comes to sports history. Bay Area based for now. Likely leaving sometime early in 2023.

Other loves include good tacos, pizza and obscure Seinfeld quotes.

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Twitter: @mfdixon1985