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‘Rest In Peace”: Fans Mourn As MLB World Loses A True Icon At 97

Published 04/17/2024, 8:30 AM EDT

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The last surviving member of “The Boys of Summer” is no more. Brooklyn Dodgers/Los Angeles Dodgers’ legendary pitcher and World Series winner Carl Erskine passed away at 97. A Dodger at heart, Erskine remained with the team throughout his major league career from 1948 to 1959. Lovingly called “Oisk” by the fans, Erskine’s position in the upper echelon of the Dodgers’ history hasn’t ever been challenged. 

Though now the Boys of Summer remain only in pages, the collective memories they’ve given haven’t been forgotten. From the two non-hitters in the 1950s to the perennial domination of the National League, Erskine was one of the central cogs of that winning machinery. As a result, his demise has sent the entire Dodgers fanbase on a mourning cycle. 

Carl Erskine – the ace who personified consistency 

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Carl Erskine died at Community Hospital Anderson in Anderson, Indiana (per ESPN).  With a career record of 122-78, Erskine was one of the leading pitchers of his time. Though Erskine started as a relief pitcher, his consistency quickly saw him rising through the ranks and becoming a regular starter for the team. However, it was in the 50s when he reached his peak form.

In 1953, Erskine went 20-6 and won game 3 of the World Series by striking out 14 batters. Those 14 strikeouts were a World Series record until the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax got 15 in 1963. Though the Blue Crew lost the Fall Classic in 1953, Erskine got to lift that elusive trophy in 1955. Before being scouted by the Dodgers, Erskine had served in the Navy while World War 2 was underway.

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The league only saw 7 non-hitters in the entire 1950s. Out of those 7, 2 were thrown by Carl Erskine. However, his love for his family far exceeded his love for baseball. That was one of the reasons why Erskine retired at just 32 after the Brooklyn Dodgers shifted to Los Angeles – he didn’t enjoy spending time away from his family. However, he has given fans so many great moments that they couldn’t help but remember Erskine’s huge impact on their fandom.

Los Angeles Dodgers fans remember Oisk 

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The Dodgers fans poured their love out for the legend on social media. Remembering Roger Kahn’s “The Boys of Summer” book, fans knew just how integral Erskine was to that National League dynasty of the 1950s. “I met Carl in 2004 and it was one of the highlights of my life. I got to hold his 1955 World Series ring. He was a true gentleman,” A fan remembered. 

“RIP Carl Erskine and thank you for demonstrating inclusion in the clubhouse and acting with empathy to the well-being of others. Thoughts and prayers to your friends and family,” another post read. It referred to the support Erskine showed to Jackie Robinson during his Dodgers days

“Sad to hear but what an incredible life to live. His legacy will live on,” a fan felt. These thoughts were echoing throughout the social media. “Forever a Dodger! RIP Oisk!” fans have always appreciated Erskine’s lifelong love for the Dodgers. “The last great Brooklyn Dodger. RIP,” fans said.

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These reactions explain the kind of love that Erskine enjoyed from the Dodgers fans. The baseball world will forever miss you Oisk! Rest in Peace!

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Written by:

Sanskar Dubey

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Sanskar Dubey is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. From writing various aspects of baseball like MLB Rule Modifications to diving deep into the world of minor and major leagues, Sanskar covers it all. He loves to write for the sport when there is a hot tussle between the National League and American League throughout the season.
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