PHOENIX (AP) -- Joe Black, the Brooklyn Dodgers right-hander who became the first black pitcher to win a World Series game, died Friday of prostate cancer. He was 78.
Black, in failing health for months, died at the Life Care Center of Scottsdale.
"He was a great guy, a jolly guy, a real fun guy," said New York Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer, a teammate with the Dodgers. "It's sad to lose him."
Black spent a season in the minors before the Dodgers promoted him to the major leagues in 1952, five years after teammate Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier.
He was dominant out of the bullpen, chosen Rookie of the Year after winning 15 games and saving 15 others for the National League champions. He had a 2.15 ERA but, with 142 innings pitched, fell eight innings short of winning the title.
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