Jimmy Piersall, Former Red Sox Center Fielder, Dies At Age 87

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Former Boston Red Sox center fielder Jimmy Piersall died Saturday at age 87. The Red Sox announced Piersall’s death in a statement Sunday morning.

Piersall, who began his career in Boston, played eight of his 17 major league seasons with the Red Sox and was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2010. He also spent time with the Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels before retiring in 1967.

After his playing career was over, Piersall worked as a broadcaster for the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox.

A native of Waterbury, Conn., Piersall earned two Gold Glove Awards and twice was selected to the All-Star Game. Known as a premier defensive player, his .990 career fielding percentage led all outfielders who played in at least 1,000 games between 1920 and 1970, according to the Red Sox.

Piersall battled mental illness during his career, suffering a nervous breakdown during the 1952 season. He chronicled his struggles in his autobiography, “Fear Strikes Out,” which was made into a feature film in 1957.

Before his death, Piersall had been dealing with what the Red Sox called “a months-long illness.”

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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