Oakland A’s: Claudell Washington passes away at 65

Former Oakland A’s outfielder Claudell Washington passed away on Wednesday. He was 65 years old.

Claudell Washington was a solid major league outfielder, best remembered for his time with the Yankees and Braves. He played for seven different teams over his 17 year career, a solid hitter who had a bit of pop and decent speed. Washington was the type of player that any team would love to have.

Sadly, on Wednesday, Washington passed away. He was only 65 years old.

Washington began his professional career with the Oakland A’s, signing as an undrafted free agent out of high school on July 7, 1972. Amazingly, Washington did not play ball in high school – he was discovered playing in a sandlot game in Berkeley, CA.

Less than two years later, Washington was in the majors, making his debut on July 5, 1974 as a 19 year old. He appeared in 73 games that season, producing a .285/.326/.376 batting line while hitting ten doubles and stealing six bases. Washington won a World Series ring that year, as he had four hits in seven at bats.

An All Star in 1975, Washington appeared to be a star in the making. However, he had a disappointing 1976 campaign, as his power did not materialize and he was successful on just 37 of his 57 stolen base attempts. Washington was traded to the Rangers prior to the 1977 campaign, with the A’s receiving Rodney Scott, Jim Umbarger, and cash considerations in return.

Washington had a solid career overall. In his 7367 plate appearances, he posted a .278/.325/.420 batting line, hitting 334 doubles and 169 homers while stealing 312 bases. He was not exactly great defensively, but Washington was able to produce a solid batting average while contributing decent pop. He also had some notoriety amongst film buffs; it was his foul ball that Ferris Beuller caught in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.

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Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of Claudell Washington.