Former MLB All-Star Biff Pocoroba Dies at 66; Played 10 Seasons for Braves

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 27, 2020

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Gene Tenace throws a wild pitch to plate as umpire Harry Wendelstadt looks at the throw at West Palm Beach, Fla., Apr. 4, 1981, during exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves. Biff Pocoroba, with bat in hand, reacts.  (AP Photo/Ray Howard)
Ray Howard/Associated Press

Biff Pocoroba, who played catcher for the Atlanta Braves from 1975-1984, has died, the club confirmed Wednesday. 

"We are saddened to hear of the passing for former Braves catcher Biff Pocoroba," the Braves said in a statement. "Biff spent his entire 10-year major league career with the Braves, was an All-Star in 1978 and a member of the 1982 division-winning club. We share our deepest condolences to his family and friends." 

A native of Burbank, California, Pocoroba was selected by Atlanta in the 17th round of the 1971 amateur draft, breaking into the big leagues four years later in 1975. 

In 596 career games, Pocoroba slashed .257.339/.351 with 21 home runs and 172 RBI, though he batted .290 in 1977 with eight home runs and a career-high 44 RBI and earned an All-Star nod the following year. 

Pocoroba saw just one plate appearance during his lone trip to the postseason in 1982, grounding out as a pinch-hitter for Phil Niekro in the top of the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. 

"Very sad to hear that the Braves family lost another key member of our early 80s team," former Atlanta star Dale Murphy tweeted on Tuesday. "Poco once threw out 11 straight base-stealers in spring training. With shoulder problems he became our go-to LH bat off the bench."

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Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted shoulder issues plagued the second half of Pocoroba's career, but he remained a fan-favorite "in part because of the sound of his name."

Pocoroba was 66.