Ed Ott, World Series-winning catcher for Pirates, dies at 72

PITTSBURGH -- Ed Ott, a former major league catcher and coach who helped the Pittsburgh Pirates win the 1979 World Series, died Sunday. He was 72.

Ott died in the central Pennsylvania town of Danville, according to the Pirates. No further details were provided by the team.

"We are saddened by the loss of such a beloved member of the Pirates family," Pirates president Travis Williams said in a statement. "Ed spent seven of his eight years in the major leagues with the Pirates and was a valued member of our World Series championship team in 1979."

Ott, a Muncy native, was selected by Pittsburgh in the 23rd round of the 1970 amateur draft out of high school. He batted .259 with 33 homers and 195 RBIs in 567 major league games.

He and Steve Nicosia were the main catchers when the Pirates won it all in 1979. Ott hit .273 with seven homers and a career-best 51 RBIs in 117 regular-season games that year. He played in three World Series games against Baltimore, going 4-for-12 and driving in three runs.

Ott appeared in his last major league game with the Angels in 1981. After his playing career was over, he was a minor league coach with the Angels, Pirates and Reds before working on big league staffs with the Astros and Tigers.