Bronx, NY - Former major hurler Ryne Duren, best known for his wildness and thick glasses, passed away at the age of 81 on Thursday at his home in Lake Wales, Florida.
The Cazenovia, Wisconsin native pitched in one game with Baltimore in 1954 and made it back to the big leagues with the Kansas City Athletics in 1957.
He was then traded to the Yankees in the deal that sent Billy Martin to Kansas City prior to the 1958 campaign.
Duren led the American League with 20 saves in his first season with the Bombers and worked in three games in the World Series, picking up a win and loss, as the Yankees defeated Milwaukee in seven games to claim the title.
The hard-throwing right-hander was an All-Star the following season and recorded four strikeouts in three scoreless innings in the Mid-Summer Classic.
Duren also made two appearances in the 1960 World Series for New York.
He went on to throw for the Angels, Phillies, Reds and Senators throughout the remainder of his career. In 10 seasons, he compiled a 27-44 record to go along with a 3.83 earned run average and 57 saves over 311 games -- 32 as a starter.
Duren was most widely known for his Coke-bottle thick glasses with corrective lenses and throwing his first warmup pitch way over the catcher's head to try to intimidate and put fear into opposing hitters.
"Ryne could throw the heck out of the ball," legendary Yankees catcher Yogi Berra said in a statement released by the team. "I remember he had several pair of glasses but it didn't seem like he saw good in any of them. I'm sorry to learn of his passing."
After his playing days, Duren battled alcoholism. He then authored a book chronicling his addiction and willingness to help educate others about it.