Woodie Held played 14 years in the major leagues, mostly with the Cleveland Indians. (Associated Press)
Woodie Held

Ballplayer was traded for Maris

Woodie Held, 77, who played 14 years in the major leagues and was traded for future home run king Roger Maris, died Thursday in Dubois, Wyo., after a long bout with cancer, the Cleveland Indians announced.

Held played for seven American League teams, including the 1966 World Series champion Baltimore Orioles and the California Angels in 1967 and '68. But he spent most of his career with Cleveland after being acquired June 15, 1958, from the Kansas City Athletics in a multiplayer trade for Maris.

A year later, Maris was sent in another big trade to the New York Yankees -- the team that originally signed Held and brought him to the major leagues in the early 1950s. (Maris went on to hit 61 home runs in 1961, then a record for homers in a season.)

Held primarily played shortstop, but he also filled in at second base, third base and all three outfield positions. His best season was his first full year in Cleveland, 1959, when he set career highs in home runs (29), runs scored (82) and RBIs (71) while batting .251. Overall, he hit .240 with 179 homers and 559 RBIs in 1,390 games from 1954 through 1969.

Woodson George Held was born March 25, 1932, in Sacramento. After retiring from baseball, he moved to Wyoming and ran various businesses.

Sheryl Flowers

Producer for Tavis Smiley

Sheryl Flowers, 42, a producer for Tavis Smiley's programs on Public Radio International and National Public Radio, died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She had breast cancer.

Flowers was also director of communications for the Smiley Group, which announced her death.

From 2004 until last month she was executive producer of "The Tavis Smiley Show" on PRI, and from 2002 to '04 she was senior supervising producer of the show on NPR.

The news and information show hosted by Smiley is produced in Los Angeles and airs on 90 stations around the country, including KPCC-FM (89.3).

"The fact that [the show] was successful across a mainstream audience eager for news and information about the African American experience is a tribute to Sheryl's vision and direction," Smiley, who also has a TV talk show on PBS, said in a statement. "She had great instincts and insights into stories and issues that were appealing to our listeners."

Flowers was born on Aug. 26, 1966, in Chicago and grew up in the Bay Area. She received a bachelor's in journalism from Clark Atlanta University.

She returned to California and became a producer for Pacifica Radio's investigative public affairs program, "Flashpoints," and other shows before becoming co-host of "The Morning Show" on KPFA radio in Berkeley.

In 1999, she moved to Washington, D.C., to help market and produce the NPR program "Justice Talking."

-- times staff and wire reports