Albie Pearson walks away – MLB Trade Rumors

Former Major League outfielder Albie Pearson after death, the Angels announced. A former Rookie of the Year and All-Star, Pearson was 88 years old.

The Angels Organization was saddened to learn of the passing of former Angels All-Star Albie Pearson,” the team said in a statement. “As A key member of the expansion Angels, Albie’s impact on our franchise was immediate. In the Club’s inaugural game in 1961, he would enter the record books by scoring the organization’s first run. … While Albie will always be a valuable member of the Angels’ Organization, perhaps his greatest accomplishments have been away from the diamond. For over 20 years, he and his wife Helen have dedicated their time to impacting vulnerable communities through their amazing work with Father’s Heart Ranch. We would like to extend our deepest condolences to Albie’s wife, Helen, their five daughters and the entire Pearson family..”

A native of Southern California, Pearson began his professional career in 1953. He signed with the Red Sox when he was 19 years old and played four plus seasons in their minor league system. Before the 1958 campaign, Boston traded Pearson for the first baseman Norm Zauchin to the Washington Senators for an infielder Pete Runnels.

Runnels finished tenth in the AL MVP balloting that season and would earn three All-Star selections in five years with Boston. Meanwhile, Pearson hit .275/.354/.358 over his first 146 MLB games to earn the American League Rookie of the Year award that season. Early in his second season, Pearson was on the move again. Washington traded him to the Orioles for an outfielder Lenny Green. Pearson spent a season and a half in Baltimore but struggled offensively, spending time in Triple-A in 1960.

During the 1960-61 season, the Angels released him as an extended option. Pearson played six seasons with the Halos to finish his career. Consistently posting high walk totals, the 5’5″ outfielder would go on to post a .275/.379/.366 line in just under 2700 plate appearances as an Angel. He hit .288/.420/.400 during his first season in Los Angeles and led the American League with 115 runs scored in his second. Pearson’s best year came in 1963, when he posted a .304/.402/.398 line in 684 trips to the plate. He earned his only career All-Star selection and finished 14th in AL MVP voting.

Pearson remained effective through 1965, when he hit .278/.370/.369 in 122 games. Unfortunately, he was limited to two games the following season by back injuries. He retired after 1966, his 31-year-old campaign. As referred to by the organization, Pearson became a minister in his post-playing days. He and his wife co-founded a group home for abused or neglected young boys.

Over parts of nine major league seasons, Pearson hit .270/.369/.355 in just under 1000 games. He only hit 28 home runs but picked up 831 hits and scored 485 times. MLBTR extends our condolences to the Pearson family, former teammates, friends and family.

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