As we all know by now, Dock Ellis passed away last weekend. But so did another great pitcher that was relatively unnoticed. Dave Smith, the Astros' first great reliever, died on Wednesday, December 17th, at the age of 53. The New York Times contacted his long-time friend, Tim Flannery, the third-base coach for the San Francisco Giants and former Pirate (?), who told them that he apparently died of a heart attack.
Smith had a career 53-53 record, but had a sterling 2.67 ERA and 216 saves over 603 appearances.
In other, less tragic news, Kiplinger magazine had an article from this past summer detailing pitcher Randy Newsom. He tried to sell shares in his future earnings in order to supplement his minor league salary. Unfortunately, he had to withdraw his IPO from his website after the SEC got wind of it and notified him that he failed to register the offer with them.
Newsom is a 26-year-old reliever in the Indians system, and spent last year split between AA Akron and AAA Buffalo. So there is a chance he may start drawing a major league salary, but, alas, only he will be a shareholder in that venture.