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Dean Chance (1941-2015)

Getty Images / Matt Brown

Dean Chance (1941-2015)

Dean Chance, the Cy Young Award-winning pitcher who palled around with the Hollywood jet set, died Sunday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Associated Press reported. He was 74.

According to the Star Tribune, while no official cause of death has been released, a former teammate, Jim Kaat, attributed the death to a heart attack.

Born in 1941 in Wooster, Ohio, Chance started his baseball career in 1959 with the Baltimore Orioles. During his 11 years in the major leagues, he played for the Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets and Detroit Tigers.

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In 1964 with the Angels, Chance became the youngest pitcher, at the time, to win the Cy Young Award, leading the American League in wins and innings pitched. His ERA that year set a franchise record that remained uneclipsed until 2013.

A right-hander and two-time All-Star with a taste for wildness, Chance was known for his habit of never looking at home plate once he received the sign from his catcher, keeping his back turned until he unleashed his pitch on the unsuspecting hitter. His appetite for excitement led him, with famed teammate Bo Belinsky, into the glittering world of 1960s Hollywood, sharing exploits with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe.

After his retirement, Chance worked as a carnival midway barker until he founded the International Boxing Association during the 1990s, where he managed fighters and served as the organization’s longtime president.

He was inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame in August 2015.

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