Milt Pappas (1939 - 2016)

Milt Pappas, a former Chicago Cubs pitcher who almost threw a perfect game in 1972, died Tuesday, according to multiple news sources. He was 76.

Pappas died of natural causes at his home in Beecher, Illinois, said his widow, Judi Pappas.

Pappas' no-hitter on Sept. 2, 1972, was almost a rare perfect game. Pappas took the perfect game into the ninth inning against the Padres. He faced Larry Stahl with two outs and worked the count to 3-2. Pappas threw a pitch that he thought was a strike but umpire Bruce Froemming called the pitch a ball. Pappas got the next batter out for the no-hitter.

Pappas was always skeptical of the call.

"To this day, I just don't understand it," Pappas said in 2009.

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts released the following statement on the death of Pappas: "The Cubs organization is sad to learn of the passing of Milt Pappas, who not only had a special place on the field with the team in the early 1970s, but also maintained a relationship with Cubs fans as a frequent guest at Wrigley Field, the Cubs Convention, and other team events. Milt will forever be remembered for one of the most dramatic pitching performances in team history as he delivered a no-hitter that neared perfection in 1972."

Pappas is the last Cubs pitcher to throw a no-hitter at Wrigley Field. Pappas also pitched for the Orioles, Reds, and Braves during a 17-year career. He won 209 games and was a three-time All-Star.

He is survived by his wife, Judi, and children Michelle and Steve from his first marriage and Alexandria from his second marriage.

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