PASSINGS: Pedro Borbon, Mary Perry


Pedro Borbon

Pitcher helped Reds win 2 World Series

Pedro Borbon, 65, a right-hander who pitched 10 years for the Cincinnati Reds and helped the team win back-to-back World Series titles, died of cancer Monday at his home in Pharr, Texas, his family said.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Borbon was a key member of the bullpen on Cincinnati’s 1975 and ’76 championship teams, winning 13 games during those two seasons. He also pitched for the Angels, San Francisco and St. Louis in a 12-year career, finishing with a 69-39 record and 80 saves.

Borbon appeared in more games than any other National League pitcher from 1970-78. He holds the Reds’ record with 531 career appearances. Borbon pitched in 20 playoff games with a 2.55 earned-run average.

Borbon became part of baseball lore in 1995 when, at age 48, he decided to return to the game as a replacement player during Major League Baseball’s labor dispute. He joined the Reds in Florida for spring training and faced two batters. He struck out the only batter he faced in an exhibition against the Pirates in Bradenton. The Reds released him after he faced one batter in another game against the Indians, fell down while trying to field a bunt and threw wildly to first base for an error.

Borbon also got notice for his mention in the 1980 movie “Airplane!” While trying to concentrate, pilot Ted Striker hears a public address announcer’s voice in his head: “Pinch-hitting for Pedro Borbon … Manny Mota.”

One of Borbon’s sons, Pedro Jr., pitched nine seasons in the majors, including a stint with the Dodgers in 1999.

Mary Perry

Olympic volleyball player

Mary Perry, 69, a volleyball player from Burbank who played on 1964 and ’68 U.S. Olympic teams and helped the U.S. national team win a gold medal at the 1967 Pan-Am Games, died Sunday night in Medford, Ore., her family said. A member of the Cal State Northridge athletic hall of fame, Perry had been suffering from multiple systems atrophy, a neurodegenerative disease.

-- Times staff and wire reports