Royals and Cardinals pitcher Mark Littell, who spent nine major league seasons, died earlier in the week at age 69 following heart surgery.
Littell is best remembered for giving up a home run to Chris Chambliss to end Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS, which gave the Yankees their first American League pennant in 12 years.
But it was Littell’s throw that helped the Royals edge past the A’s for the AL West title in the first place, going 8-4 with a 2.08 ERA out of the bullpen and even winning MVP votes.
The Royals observed a minute’s silence for Littell ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Guardians.
The right-hander pitched with the Royals in 1973 and from 1975 to 1977 and with the Cardinals from 1978 to 1982. He appeared in 16 games for the 1982 Cardinals team that won the world title and returned to St. Louis in August for the team’s 40th anniversary celebration.
Littell was 32-31 with 56 saves and a 3.32 ERA in a career cut short by bone spurs.
He appeared in another game, with the Stockton Ports, a minor league affiliate of the Brewers in 1994.
Littell, the team’s pitching coach, was forced into the ER and pitched a blank inning, even earning the win when the team rallied in the bottom of the ninth.
Littell, who has written three books, also invented the NuttyBuddy protective athletic fit, even doing demonstrations.
Littell is survived by his wife, Sanna.
New York Post