Bill “Moose” Skowron played 14 seasons with the Yankees and was a beloved fixture at Old Timers’ Day. The organization remembered Skowron this afternoon after he passed away earlier today of congestive heart failure at 81.
Skowron died Friday morning at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill.
“Moose will always be remembered as being one of the key members of the Yankees’ dynasties in the 50s and early 60s,” Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “He was a winner in every sense of the word, and someone the Yankees family cared deeply for. Baseball lost one of its finest ambassadors, and on behalf of the entire organization, I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife, Cookie, and his entire family.”
Skowron signed with the Yankees in 1950 out of Purdue. He played first base for 14 seasons in the Major Leagues, including 1954-62 with the Yankees. He won four World Series in New York (1956, 1958, 1961-62) and appeared in eight overall. That included a fifth championship in 1963 with the Dodgers.
Skowron hit eight home runs in 39 career World Series games, highlighted by a three-run, eighth-inning homer in Game 7 of the 1958 Series against the Milwaukee Braves. It came on the heels of his game-winning RBI in the 10th inning of Game 6.
Moose was an eight-time All-Star who batted .282 with 211 home runs and 888 career RBI.
“There weren’t many better guys than Moose,” Yogi Berra said. “He was a dear friend and a great team man. A darn good ballplayer, too. I’m going to miss him.”
In his retirement, Skowron was a popular face at Old Timers’ Day for fans and players alike.
“He was always one of the people you looked forward to seeing on Old Timers’ Day,” Derek Jeter said. “I’m going to miss him.”
“He was great to be around,” Joe Girardi said. “Very energetic. I went to some of the fantasy camps that he put on. I’d see him every year. … A real zest for life. He loved the game. He loved to talk about the game. He was really fun to be around.”
The Yankees will hold a moments of silence prior to tonight’s game to honor Skowron. Funeral arrangements are pending, according to the team.