Former Yankee Charlie Keller, 73, Dies

From Associated Press

Charlie (King Kong) Keller, who played 13 years in the major leagues, mainly with the New York Yankees, and later became a successful horse breeder, died Wednesday. He was 73.

Keller died of cancer at his Yankee Land Farm, said Don Thompson, funeral director.

Keller, a left-handed hitting outfielder, hit .334 in 1939, his rookie season with the Yankees. He played 10 years with the Yankees before being released after the 1949 season.

Keller went to Detroit for two seasons, returned briefly to the Yankees in 1952 and retired with a .286 average and 189 homers in 1,170 games.

Keller also hit .306 in four World Series with the Yankees and was a member of New York's world championship teams in 1939, 1941 and 1943.

After Keller retired from baseball, he became a successful breeder of trotters at his farm in western Maryland.

His brother, Hal, a catcher, also played parts of three seasons in the major leagues with the Washington Senators.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

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