Haller played 12 years in the majors

Updated: November 28, 2004, 12:36 AM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tom Haller, a former San Francisco catcher who went on to become the Giants' general manager, has died. He was 67.

Haller died Friday in Los Angeles after being hospitalized because of a viral infection in August, his son, Tom Haller Jr., said Saturday.

"We lost not only a great player, but a great man who gave a lot to the Giants and Baseball," said Peter Magowan, the Giants' president and managing general partner.

Haller had a 12-year career in the major leagues, catching for San Francisco, Los Angeles and Detroit. In a major league first, Haller caught in Detroit in 1972 while his brother, Bill Haller, umpired behind the plate.

The left-handed hitting catcher batted .257 in his 12 seasons with 134 home runs and 504 RBIs. The highlight of his career was in 1962 when he homered and drove in three runs for the Giants in a World Series game against the New York Yankees.

"I didn't fully understand and appreciate it until I was much older," said Tom Haller Jr., 45, of his father's success as an athlete. "I felt like a regular kid and I owe that to him as well. He was probably just the most decent man I've ever known."

Haller was a coach with the Giants in 1978 and 1979 and served as their general manager in 1981 to 1985.

He is survived by his wife, two sons and two siblings. A memorial service was planned for Friday in Palm Desert.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press