- Adam Rubin, ESPN Staff Writer
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John Alderson, a veteran of three wars and the father of New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson, died as the result of injuries suffered when he was struck as a pedestrian, according to St. Petersburg Police.
"Our entire family is devastated by his loss. He was a beloved father and grandfather who will be deeply missed by all of us," Sandy Alderson said in a statement. "He and I shared many baseball experiences over the years and he was excited about spring training and Opening Day at Citi Field. I am terribly saddened that we will not be able to share those new experiences together."
Alderson, 87, was crossing in the middle of the 3600 block of 4th St. North in St. Petersburg, Fla., at 11:54 p.m. Saturday when he was struck by a 21-year-old driver, according to the authorities. Alderson was transported to Bayfront Medical Center and was pronounced dead 45 minutes later.
Police said an investigation is continuing and no charges have yet been filed.
"We've asked Sandy to take whatever time he needs as it relates to this terrible personal loss," Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with the Aldersons at this difficult time."
The final first-round managerial interview, with Jose Oquendo, will proceed Monday in Orlando despite the Alderson family tragedy. VP Paul DePodesta and assistant GM John Ricco will lead the session if Alderson is unable. Second-round interviews, which were expected to begin during the MLB general managers' meetings at Disney World, now may be pushed back to a later date in New York.
Alderson served in the Air Force during three wars -- World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The elder Alderson recently told the Daily News he conducted 32 bombing missions in Germany from 1944 to 1945 in a B-24 "Liberator" and flew 150 missions during two tours in Vietnam.
1dJesse Rogers and Jerry Crasnick