Two-time MLB All-Star Claudell Washington died on Wednesday after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 65 years old.
Washington played 17 seasons in MLB from 1974-1990. The outfielder made the All-Star game and drew MVP votes during his second year as a pro with the Oakland A’s in 1975. He was an All-Star selection again in 1984 as a member of the Atlanta Braves.
He spoke about his mortality in 2018 in an interview with The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson as he battled cancer.
“Once my momma passed, s---, I coulda went with her,” Washington said. “I have lived a full life. I don’t fear this. The tears I have are tears of joy.
“The people I’m seeing, celebrating my life, it’s like I’m having a memorial. I’m being memorialized right now. I never cried so much in my life. We having a party now. We’re going down memory lane.”
Washington was a tremendous athlete
According to Thompson, the A’s discovered the Berkeley, California native as a teenager when a scout watched him in a pick-up game. He didn’t play for the Berkeley High School team, opting for basketball and track instead after being turned off from organized baseball in junior high school.
He played 73 games as a rookie in 1974 as the A’s won the World Series. The A’s traded him to the Texas Rangers in 1977, and Washington went on to play for the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Braves, New York Yankees and California Angels.
For his career, Washington slashed .278/.325/.420 while tallying 164 home runs, 824 RBI and 312 stolen bases.
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