Ridzik, who pitched for Phillies' 1950 World Series team, dies

Updated: January 17, 2008, 11:28 AM ET
Associated Press

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Former pitcher Steve Ridzik, a member of the "Whiz Kids" Philadelphia Phillies that went to the World Series in 1950, has died. He was 78.

Ridzik died Jan. 8 after battling heart disease for several years, said Nancy Ridzik, his wife of 10 years.

He returned to Philadelphia in 2000 for a celebration of the 1950 Phillies team, which lost in the World Series to the New York Yankees.

"He wouldn't have missed it for the world," Nancy Ridzik said Thursday.

Born in Yonkers, N.Y., on April 29, 1929, Ridzik was signed as a prospect by the Phillies when he was 16. He won 39 games and had a lifetime 3.79 earned run average over 12 major league seasons that included stops with the Washington Senators, the New York Giants and the Cincinnati Reds.

After baseball, Ridzik worked for a military food distributor in the Washington, D.C., area before moving to Florida in the late 1980s. He helped organize charity events featuring former major league players in Florida and helped former Senators teammate Chuck Hinton establish the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, a brother and sister, and four grandchildren.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press