Former Angels outfielder Ed Kirkpatrick dies at 66
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Former Angels outfielder Ed Kirkpatrick, who played parts of 16 major league seasons with five clubs from 1962-77, died Monday after a long struggle with throat cancer. He was 66.
A graduate of Glendora High School, Kirkpatrick, nicknamed “Spanky,” signed with the Angels at the age of 17 and spent the first seven years (1962-68) of his career with them as a part-time player.
Kirkpatrick also played for the Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers before retiring after 1977, finishing with a career average of .238, 85 home runs and 424 runs batted in.
Four years after his playing career, in 1981, Kirkpatrick was involved in a horrific automobile accident that left him in a coma for 5 ½ months and in a wheelchair, partially paralyzed, for the rest of his life.
“At parties and other functions, Kirkpatrick never lost his sense of humor and uplifting personality,” former Times national baseball writer Ross Newhan wrote in his blog Monday.
“He was always willing to send a bet to the track or challenge friends to a football wager, a glint in his eye, and he never lost the love and support of his wife, Judy, who was beside him through all the often difficult years.”
The city of Glendora presents the annual Ed Kirkpatrick Award to an outstanding member of the community who has provided exemplary and extraordinary service to youth sports in the city.