Former major league catcher Chris Cannizzaro has died after a battle with lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 78.
Cannizzaro died on Thursday. The San Diego Padres confirmed his death on Friday.
Cannizzaro was the first All-Star in Padres’ history in 1969 and also was a member of the original New York Mets in 1962. He also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates in a 13-year major league career that ended in 1974.
Cannizzaro batted .235 with 18 homers in 740 career games. He was known for his defensive prowess and having one of the strongest throwing arms of his era.
Cannizzaro batted .220 with four homers and 33 RBIs in 1969, the season in which he was an All-Star. His best season came one year later, when he batted .279 with five homers and 42 RBIs for San Diego.