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Sun, 07.14.1935

Baseball’s Earl Francis pitched well for the Pirates

Earl Francis

Earl Francis was born on this date in 1935. He was an African American baseball player and businessman.

Earl Coleman Francis was from Slab Fork, West Virginia. He was the Pittsburgh Pirates’ opening day starter in 1963 and a rookie pitcher on their 1960 World Series championship team. Francis was 16-23 with a 3.77 ERA in 52 games and six major league seasons, all but one with the Pirates. He pitched two games for St. Louis in 1965. The right-hander was 1-0 in seven games in 1960, but did not pitch in the World Series. His best season was 1962, when he was 9-8 with a 3.07 ERA.

After leaving baseball, Francis lived in Shaler Township in suburban Pittsburgh and worked for the Giant Eagle grocery store chain. Francis died in June 2002. He was 66 and died in the intensive care unit of UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where he was being treated for diabetes.

20th Century Baseball Chronicle
Year-By-Year History of major league Baseball
Copyright 1999, Publications International Ltd.
ISBN 0-7853-4074-2

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