Former MLB outfielder Ted Savage has passed away, the Cardinals announced. He was 85 years old.
Savage was born in Venice, Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. He attended school in nearby East St. Louis, Illinois where he was a three-sport star in baseball, football, and basketball. Savage would go on to play baseball for Lincoln University before joining the US Army. He would continue his baseball career with the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
After three years, Savage was discharged and signed a contract with the Phillies. He would make his major league debut with the club during the 1962 season, playing 127 games and slashing .266/.345/.373. Surprisingly, only one month after concluding his rookie campaign, he was traded to the Pirates. In Pittsburgh, injuries and a prominent outfield limited Savage to only 85 games during the 1963 season, and he wouldn’t make an appearance at the major league level during the 1964 season.
Savage returned to the majors in 1965 with the Cardinals and would have minor roles with the club in the 1965 and 1966 seasons before being sold to the Cubs midway through the 1967 season to the Cubs. He would spend the end of the 1967 season and part of the 1968 season with Chicago before joining the Dodgers. After another platoon role year with the Reds in 1969, Savage latched on with the Brewers ahead of his age-33 campaign and arguably put up his best numbers, hitting a strong .279/.402/.482 in 114 games with more walks (57) than strikeouts (44). It was only the second time in his career that he had earned more than 300 plate appearances in a season, the first being his rookie year. However, Savage was unable to recapture his strong 1970 season the next year, and, after a hand injury in July 1971, he would never return to the major league field. After two years playing in the Mexican league, Savage retired following the conclusion of the 1973 season.
Following his playing career, Savage would earn his Ph.D. in urban studies from St. Louis University, going on to spend nine years as Harris-Stowe State University’s athletic director. He returned to the Cardinals organization in 1987 as assistant director of community relations and minor league instruction, staying with the franchise for 25 years before retiring as director of target marketing in the Cardinals Care and community relations department.
MLBTR sends our condolences to Savage’s family, friends, loved ones, former teammates, and people with whom he crossed paths during his career.