George Frazier, who pitched for 10 seasons in the major leagues for five teams and later served as a television analyst for the Colorado Rockies, died Monday. He was 68.
Frazier died in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after battling a recent illness, his former broadcast partner, Drew Goodman, told The Denver Post. Frazier called Rockies games from the team’s inaugural season in 1998 until 2015.
“In a game full of charismatic characters, George had a seat at the head table, Goodman, who worked with Frazier from 2002 to 2015, told the newspaper. “He had more stories than anybody and you’d listen and walk away thinking, ‘No way that ever happened, but it’s funny as hell.’”
The right-handed Frazier, who was born in Oklahoma City, played in the College World Series in 1975 and 1976 with the University of Oklahoma and went 12-4 with eight saves and a 2.62 ERA, The Associated Press reported.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Frazier played for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians (now Guardians), Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins. He appeared in 415 games, going 35-43 with a 4.20 ERA.
Frazier pitched in two World Series with mixed results. In 1981, he became the first pitcher to legitimately lose three games in the Fall Classic as the Yankees fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Claude Williams, who pitched for the Chicago White Sox in the 1919 World Series, also lost three games, but the team was later found to have thrown the postseason series, according to the Society for American Baseball Research. Williams was not one of the eight “Black Sox” players implicated in the scandal.
Frazier helped the Cubs to their first division title in 1984 and won a World Series ring with the Twins in 1987, the Post reported. He pitched two scoreless innings in Game 4 of the ‘87 series against the Cardinals in what was his final major league game.
“We are deeply saddened at the passing of former Rockies color analyst, George Frazier,” the Rockies said in a statement. “A retired MLB pitcher, George was a mainstay and the voice behind many classic calls on Rockies broadcasts from 1998-2015. For a generation of Rockies fans, George Frazier was synonymous with Rockies baseball. Our thoughts are with George’s wife, Kay, and his four kids, Matt, Brian, Parker and Georgia, during this time.”
Rockies manager Bud Black called Frazier “a baseball guy,” the Post reported.
“I loved the conversations I had with George,” Black told the newspaper. “He’d come in and sit down and tell stories. It was an easy conversation and with him being an ex-pitcher like me, we shared a lot in common.”
Frazier returned to his college alma mater in 2015 as a color analyst on television broadcasts through the 2023 season, the AP reported.
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione called Frazier “a beloved alumnus and colleague.”
“George was a proud Sooner, a member of two College World Series teams and an accomplished major league pitcher and World Series champion, who later shared his witty, insightful and uniquely entertaining perspective of the game through his television commentary,” Castiglione said in a statement. “We were fortunate to call him a friend and teammate, and to have him as a member of our baseball broadcasts for nine seasons.”