Metro-east native and former World Series hero "Bullet" Bob Turley passed away March 30 at the age of 82.
Born on Sept. 30, 1930 in Troy, Turley was a 1948 graduate of East St. Louis Senior High School. The St. Louis Browns signed Turley in 1948 and assigned him to their Class D minor league affiliate, the Belleville Stags. The Stags played their home games at the corner of Illinois 159 and Illinois 13.
Turley made his major league debut with the Browns on Sept. 29, 1951 against the Chicago White Sox, in what St. Louis Browns fan club member Emmett McAuliffe called "a disastrous start."
Turley surrendered six earned runs over 7 1/3 innings in his only appearance of the year. The White Sox won 8-3.
Turley missed the 1952 season while he served in the Korean War. He went 2-6 for the Browns in 1953 upon his return from the Army. The Browns moved the Baltimore before the 1954 season.
In the early 1980s, Turley told the News-Democrat that he regretted not having more success in his Browns' career.
"One of the biggest thrills of my career was getting the chance to play in St. Louis before the hometown crowd," Turley said. "I just wish I could have had one good season while in St. Louis."
Don Larsen and Turley were traded to the Yankees in 1955 in a 17-player trade that Baseball Reference calls the largest trade in baseball history. He went on to win four World Series titles with the Yankees.
Turley's best season was 1958. He went 21-7, won the Cy Young award, won The Sporting News Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year awards and was the starting pitcher for the American League in the 1958 All-Star game. He also won the World Series Most Valuable Player award after helping the Yankees climb back from a 3-1 deficit against the Milwaukee Braves.
Turley retired after the 1963 season and went on to a successful business career. He made his home in Georgia, but returned to St. Louis for the 2011 St. Louis Browns reunion, where he served as the keynote speaker.
Funeral services are Friday in Duluth, Ga.