Iconic Dodgers Pitcher Carl Erskine Dies at 97

The renowned Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Carl Erskine died on Tuesday at the age of 97. He passed away at the Community Hospital Anderson in Indiana, his hometown since birth.

In the 1950s, Erskine was a member of the legendary “Boys of Summer” baseball team for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He stayed with the club when they moved to Los Angeles, winning five pennants and that unforgettable World Series in 1955.

Not only was Erskine the last surviving Dodger from the 1955 World Series-winning club, but he was also the final surviving Dodger profiled in the 1972 Roger Kahn book “The Boys of Summer.”

The 20-6 record Erskine had while leading the National League in 1953 was the apex of his career. In Game 3 of the World Series that same year, he set a record that lasted for ten years by striking out fourteen New York Yankees. He was one of the best pitchers of all time, with a record of 122–78 as a starting pitcher and 981 strikeouts.

While living in Anderson, Erskine was active in the community via his work with Star Financial Bank and other local organizations. He was moved to help those with developmental impairments after seeing the influence his son had on the Special Olympics and other such organizations. Following the diagnosis of Down syndrome in his son Jimmy, Erskine’s devotion to the cause intensified. Although Jimmy’s prognosis was bleak, he defied expectations and lived until 2023, passing away at the age of 63.

In 2023, the Baseball Hall of Fame presented Erskine with the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his championing of humanitarian causes.

After retiring from professional baseball in 1960, Erskine coached at the collegiate level for Anderson College and then became a baseball color commentator. In his subsequent career, he assisted ailing and financially strapped ex-baseball players through his work with the Baseball Assistance Team.

While he enjoyed baseball, he aspired to be known for more than just that. An outspoken advocate for equal access to education, Erskine devoted his life to the cause of human rights.