Alvin-Dark-Obituary

Photo courtesy of Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown

Alvin Ralph Dark

1922 - 2014

Obituary

Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown Obituary

Alvin Ralph Dark
Easley

Alvin Ralph Dark, 92, of 103 Cranberry Way, Easley, S.C. husband of Jackie Rockwood Dark, passed away Thursday, November 13, 2014 at his home.

Born January 7, 1922 in Comanche, Oklahoma, Mr. Dark was a son of the late Ralph Jacob and Cordia Stallings Dark. He attended LSU, and he graduated from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and he was a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran of World War II. He was a member of Rock Springs Baptist Church. Throughout his professional baseball career, he was the 1948 rookie of the year, a three time All Star, and two time World Series Champion. He retired from Major League Baseball in 1977.

Surviving in addition to his wife of the home are two sons, Gene Dark of Lake Charles, LA and Rusty Dark of East Chicago, IN; four daughters, Allison Walling, Eve Carpenter, Margaret Robinson, all of Lake Charles, LA and Laura Nail, of Bedford, Texas.; and ten grandchildren.

Private graveside services were held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 in the Veterans Garden of Honor of Robinson Memorial Gardens, Easley, S.C.

Memorial services will be 11:00 AM Saturday, November 22, 2014 at Rock Springs Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Rock Springs Baptist Church, 201 Rock Springs Road, Easley, S.C. 29642.

Condolences may be expressed online at www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Powdersville Road, which is assisting the family.

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I met Mr Dark in the early 80's when I was a 20 yr old assistant golf pro in Southern California. He took a liking to me and we played many rounds of golf. He was one of the kindest man I ever met, and left an impression on me that last to this day. I regret not staying in touch with him. Heaven has another angel. Thank you Alvin for all you did for me.

I met Alvin and his beautiful wife in a Jerry koosman gold tourn. in fort myers fl. we had a great team and the frist thing he said to me was I have never won one of these events, our team was ready to win after watching the tee shots on the frist hole he said We are going to win!! And we did beating larry Birds team by one stroke. He was so excited , like he had won the WS again. just a pure gentlemen . religion was top of his list. Rest in peace Al. and My best to his family. frank Jannette...

John 11:33 says: "When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping and groaning, he groaned within himself and became troubled." Jesus expressed tears when his friend Lazarus died, he knows how it feels to lose a dead loved one and he understands what you and your family are experiencing. May this bring you and your family comfort in this time of need. cjp (fla.)

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\r\n\r\nCepeda told The Associated Press in a phone interview Thursday that he often saw Dark in later years and \"every time he saw me he felt very sorry for what he did to the Latino players.\"

\r\n\r\n\"He didn't know our background or where we came from. I said, 'Alvin, that's in the past now, that's in the past,'\" Cepeda said. \"I don't have grudges against nobody.\"

\r\n\r\nCepeda said that as he got older, he could better appreciate the baseball advice that Dark imparted to his players.

\r\n\r\n\"He was ahead of his time,\" Cepeda said. \"He was a great baseball man. He made me play hard, because he said I had so much talent.\"

\r\n\r\nIn 1951, Dark was team captain when the Giants trailed the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning in the deciding Game 3 of their NL pennant playoff.

\r\n\r\nDark hit a leadoff single against Don Newcombe, and Bobby Thomson capped the comeback at the Polo Grounds with a home run that became known as \"The Shot Heard 'Round the World\" for a 5-4 win.

\r\n\r\nDark was a star runner, passer and punter at LSU and served in the Marines during World War II before becoming a major leaguer.

\r\n\r\nHe played briefly for the Boston Braves in 1946, then hit .322 in 1948 and won the rookie award when there was only one selection from both leagues. The Braves reached the World Series that year for the first time in three decades, but lost to Cleveland.

\r\n\r\nTraded to the Giants, he helped them reach the 1951 Series and hit .417 in their loss to Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and the Yankees.

\r\n\r\nIn the 1954 World Series, highlighted by Mays' famed over-the-head catch, Dark hit .412 as the Giants swept Cleveland.

\r\n\r\nDark played in the celebrated \"Willie, Mickey and the Duke\" era of New York baseball in the 1950s, when the Giants, Yankees and Dodgers ruled. Along with Mays, Mantle and Duke Snider in center field, the city had three quality shortstops — Dark, plus future Hall of Famers Pee Wee Reese of the Dodgers and Phil Rizzuto of the Yankees.

\r\n\r\nDark hit .289 with 126 home runs in 14 seasons with the Braves, Giants, St. Louis, Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia.

\r\n\r\nIn 1961, Dark began a managing career that spanned 13 seasons in which he went 994-954 with the Giants, Kansas City and Oakland A's, Cleveland and San Diego.

\r\n\r\nHe led the Giants to the 1962 pennant but lost the World Series in seven games to the Yankees. Dark took over the Athletics in 1974 and guided them to their third straight Series title that season.

\r\n\r\nHe managed San Diego for the second half of the 1977 season, then was fired during spring training in 1978 after saying he wanted to make several big moves, including putting newcomer Ozzie Smith at shortstop.

\r\n\r\nDark worked with minor leaguers in the Cubs and Chicago White Sox organizations and moved to South Carolina in the early 1980s.

\r\n\r\n\"He was a true baseball man who will always hold a prominent place in our history, both in Kansas City and Oakland,\" the Athletics said in a statement.

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Copyright © 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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