Jose Pagan, a native of Puerto Rico who played 15 seasons with three major league clubs, passed away Wednesday at age 76. No cause of death was initially announced.
Pagan debuted with the San Francisco Giants in 1959 and finished 11th in the NL MVP balloting after hitting .259/.312/.359 with seven homers and 57 RBI as the team’s shortstop in 1962.
In 1965, he was traded to the Pirates for Dick Schofield and he went on to play eight seasons with his new team. A superior hitter in his Pirates days, he had his best offensive season in 1969, hitting .285/.325/.453 with a career-high nine homers and 42 RBI in 274 at-bats. He was a utilityman by then, but a very good one. In 1971, he played a key role in the Pirates’ World Series victory, doubling twice and driving in two runs in his four appearances.
Pagan finished up his Pirates career in 1972 and had 80 at-bats for the Phillies the next year before calling it quits at age 38. He ended his career with a .250/.298/.344 line, 52 homers and 372 RBI in 4,032 at-bats. He went back to coach for the Pirates from 1974-78.