American baseball playerDied when: 52 years 108 days (627 months)
Star Sign: Scorpio
Cecil Lee Upshaw Jr. (October 22, 1942 – February 7, 1995) was an American professional baseball right-handed relief pitcher, who had a nine- year career in Major League Baseball (MLB) (1966–1969, 1971–1975), for the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros of the National League (NL), and the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox of the American League (AL).
Born in Spearsville, Louisiana, Upshaw attended Bossier High School (Louisiana) and played college baseball at Centenary College of Louisiana, in Shreveport.
He is a member of the Centenary Athletics Hall of Fame.While at Centenary, Upshaw was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
Upshaw was among the top ten in saves four times in the National League between 1968 and 1972.He was primarily a sidearm pitcher.
In the Braves’ division-winning 1969 campaign, Upshaw had a 6–4 win–loss record, with a 2.91 earned run average (ERA), and a career-high 27 saves (to finish second in the league).
Upshaw‘s career was cut short due to an unfortunate incident in 1970.He and two other Braves players were walking down a San Diego sidewalk and one of the other players bet him he could not jump up and touch an overhead awning.
Upshaw did reach the awning, but a ring on his pitching hand ring finger got caught on a projection off of the awning and tore ligaments in his hand.
He never fully recovered, but he was considered one of the better relief pitchers in major league baseball up to that time.
He was traded along with Chris Chambliss and Dick Tidrow from the Indians to the Yankees for Fritz Peterson, Steve Kline, Fred Beene and Tom Buskey on April 26, 1974.
The Yankees were criticized for giving away four pitchers as opposed to the two it got in return and a failure to land a starting second baseman.
Upshaw finished his career with 87 saves.He had a career ERA of 3.13.Upshaw pitched 563 career innings, in 348 games.On February 7, 1995, Upshaw died at age 52 of a heart attack in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Upshaw is survived by his children, Carole Upshaw Romero, Cecil Lee Upshaw III, Amelia Upshaw Manchester, and four grandchildren (Ross McDaniel, MacKenzie Lee Cundey, Hamilton McDaniel, and Savannah Upshaw).