Former major league player and analyst George Frazier has passed away, according to an announcement from the Rockies. He was 68.
After playing at the University of Oklahoma, Frazier entered pro ball as a ninth-round pick of the Brewers in the 1976 draft. While still in the minor leagues, he was traded to the Cardinals in a swap that sent catcher Buck Martinez to Milwaukee. Frazier made his MLB debut with St. Louis in May 1978, eventually appearing in 14 games as a rookie. He bounced on and off the active roster for the next two seasons.
Midway through the ’81 campaign, the Cards dealt Frazier to the Yankees. He pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings to help the Yanks past the A’s in that year’s AL Championship Series. He was charged with a trio of losses in their World Series defeat at the hands of the Dodgers, though, allowing seven runs in 3 2/3 frames over three outings.
Frazier put that rocky World Series showing behind him to establish himself as a key reliever by the following season. He surpassed 100 innings with a sub-3.50 ERA in each of the next two years. Over the 1983-84 offseason, New York dealt him to the Indians alongside outfielder Otis Nixon for All-Star infielder Toby Harrah. Frazier didn’t spend much time in Cleveland. Before the ’84 deadline, the Indians moved him to the Cubs with Rick Sutcliffe (who’d go on to win the NL Cy Young award that year) and Ron Hassey in a blockbuster that netted Cleveland Joe Carter and Mel Hall.
The right-handed Frazier tossed 63 2/3 innings for Chicago down the stretch to help them to the NLCS. He struggled over the next couple seasons but intrigued the Twins enough that they acquired him at the 1986 trade deadline. Frazier spent a season and a half in Minnesota to wrap up his MLB playing career. The ’87 Twins went on to win the World Series; Frazier’s last MLB outing was a two-inning scoreless appearance against the Cardinals in that year’s Fall Classic.
After his playing career came to a close, Frazier embarked on a lengthy run as a broadcaster. He worked as a color analyst for the Twins for a time before joining the Rockies’ booth for the 1998 season. He’d spend nearly two decades in Colorado, calling games there through 2015.
Frazier spent upwards of four decades in the game. As a player, he pitched in 415 big league contests. He posted a career 4.20 ERA through 675 2/3 innings, striking out 449 hitters. He was credited with 35 wins, finished 193 games and picked up 29 saves. He added six playoff games with three different franchises and won a World Series to close his career.
MLBTR joins others around the game in sending condolences to Frazier’s family, friends, former teammates and loved ones.