Perranoski, who was born Ronald Peter Perranoski on April 1, 1936, in Paterson, NJ, was instrumental in leading the Dodgers during their string of pennants and World Championship between 1963 and 1966 as the ace of their bullpen.
“Ron Perranoski played a major role in the success of the Dodgers as a great reliever and a mentor to many great young pitchers over his 30-year career in the organization,” said Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten.
“Perry,” as he was called, played in the major leagues from 1961 to 1973, signed with the Chicago Cubs out of Michigan State University on June 9, 1958, coming to the Dodgers on April 8, 1960 in a trade for Don Zimmer. In 13 years in the big leagues, he had a 79-74 career record with 178 saves and a 2.79 ERA.
Perranoski played for the Dodgers (1961-67, 1972), Twins (1968-71), Tigers (1971-72) and Angels (1973).
His greatest year with the Dodgers came in 1963, when he won 16 of 19 relief decisions and helped the Dodgers sweep the New York Yankees in the World Series. He led the league in appearances with 69 and had 21 saves to go with a 1.67 ERA and a 16-3 record.
Perranoski led the league in appearances three times—1962 with 70, 1963 with 69 and 1967 with 70. He also led the American League in saves with Minnesota with 31 in 1969 and 34 in 1970.
Following his career, Perranoski served the Dodgers as their minor league pitching coordinator from 1973 to 1980 and became the Dodgers pitching coach for 14 years from 1981-94. He was instrumental in the success of Dodger pitching greats Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela.
Perranoski is survived by his sister, Pat Zailo of Fairfield, NJ and three sons—“Pope” Perranoski of Orange, CA, Brad Perranoski of Palos Verdes, CA and Michael Perranoski of Thousand Oaks, CA.
Here’s a personal memento of Perry from my 1964 Topps collection:
On Thursday, “Sweet” Lou Johnson, who hit a key home run for the victorious Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series against Minnesota, passed away last at the age of 86.
Johnson, who was born Louis Brown Johnson in Lexington, KY on Sept. 22, 1934, received the nickname Sweet Lou upon joining the Dodgers early in 1965 after outfielder Tommy Davis suffered an injury. Johnson received the nickname because of his infectious smile and because he was always clapping his hands.
“Lou Johnson was such a positive inspiration at Dodger Stadium with our employees and our fans as well as throughout the community in the appearances he made on behalf of the organization,” said Kasten. “Dodger fans will always remember his important home run in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series, when he was clapping his hands running around the bases.”
Johnson played 17 seasons in professional baseball including eight years in the majors with the Chicago Cubs (1960, ‘68), Angels (1961, ‘69), Milwaukee Braves (1962), Dodgers (1965-67) and Cleveland Indians (1968).
Johnson played in 677 games and hit .258 with 48 homers and 232 RBI in his career and helped the Dodgers to two postseason berths in 1965 and 1966. In 1965, he was called up and hit .259 with 24 doubles, 12 homers. 58RBI and 15 stolen bases. Johnson also recorded the lone Dodgers’ hit and scored the lone run in Sandy Koufax’s perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965 against the Chicago Cubs.
Between his time as a player and a front office employee in the Community Relations Department, Johnson worked for the Dodgers for 40 seasons. He lived in Los Angeles and is survived by his wife Sarah and children Lauren, Carlton and Quinton.
(Both Juan Dorado and Ally Savage provided some information furnished in this report)