Former Yankees 20-game winner Fritz Peterson dies at 82

Former New York Yankees left-hander Fritz Peterson, who famously traded wives with a teammate, has died. He was 82.

Northern Illinois University, where Peterson starred before his major league career, announced his death Friday. No cause was revealed.

In an interview with the New York Post in April 2018, Peterson said he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in September 2017. He previously underwent treatment for prostate cancer.

On Friday, the Yankees remembered Peterson, the durable lefty who tossed 52 complete games in a four-year span from 1969 to 1972.

"The Yankees are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Fritz Peterson, who was a formidable pitcher and affable presence throughout his nine years in pinstripes," the team said. "Along with longtime teammate Mel Stottlemyre, Peterson was part of a devastating one-two combination at the top of the Yankees' rotation.

"A known prankster and well-liked among his teammates and coaches, Peterson had an outgoing personality and inquisitive nature that brought lightheartedness to the clubhouse on a regular basis and belied his prowess on the mound -- most notably his impeccable control, which was among the best in the Majors.

"Peterson will be greatly missed by the Yankees, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Susanne, and the entire Peterson family."

Peterson was a fixture in the Yankees' rotation from 1966 to 1973 as part of an 11-year career. Overall, he went 133-131 with a 3.30 ERA and 90 complete games in 355 career appearances and 330 starts for New York (1966-74), Cleveland (1974-76) and the Texas Rangers (1976).

While the 1970 All-Star and 20-game winner was traded twice during his career, it was a swap he chose to make that overshadowed his baseball career.

In 1973, Peterson and Yankees teammate Mike Kekich traded wives in a stunning announcement made at spring training.

Susanne Kekich later married Peterson in 1974 in a union that lasted until his death. Things didn't work out for Mike Kekich and Marilyn Peterson.

Mike Kekich once said there was an agreement to call the whole thing off if anyone was unhappy. But by that time, his former wife and Peterson "had gone off with each other."

Peterson was inducted into the Northern Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987. His jersey was retired by the school in 2018.