Ron Perranoski (1936-2020), an early pioneer of relief pitching who went on to coach in the Dodgers and SF Giants organization, passed away last Friday in Vero Beach, Florida.
Former MLB relief pitcher and coach with the Dodgers, Twins, Tigers, Angels, and SF Giants, Ron Perranoski, passed away last Friday at his home in Vero Beach, Florida. Perranoski’s playing career spanned 13 seasons from 1961-1973. Immediately following his retirement, Perranoski began a coaching career that spanned into the 21st century.
The Giants hired Perranoski as the organization’s minor-league pitching coordinator in 1995. In 1997, he was promoted to bench coach beside Dusty Baker. After the Giants decided to move on from pitching coach Dick Pole, Perranoski served as the team’s pitching coach for the next two seasons. Afterward, he became a special assistant to Brian Sabean.
Perranoski made a name for himself on the other end of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry though, spending the majority of his coaching and playing career in Los Angeles.
Baseball fans who know Perranoski probably remember him best as the Dodgers pitching coach from 1981-1994 alongside manager Tommy Lasorda. He coached two world series championship teams. Prior to that, there was a notable career on the field a s well.
There is no strategic evolution over the past 70 years in baseball history greater than the shift in relief pitchers’ usage. While the changes have pushed him from the top of the history books, Perranoski was one of the best relievers in MLB history at the conclusion of his 13-year career in 1973.
Perrranoski amassed 1174.2 innings pitched across 737 appearances and held opponents to a 2.79 ERA over his career. He led the league in appearances three times, games finished twice, and saves twice. He received Cy Young votes in 1970 and finished fourth in the 1963 MVP voting. He received MVP votes in 1969 and 1970 as well.
Upon his retirement, Perranoski ranked third in MLB history in career saves (178) and fifth all-time in career games finished (458). He was the top-ranked southpaw in both categories. Today, he ranks tied for 66th in career saves with Jim Johnson and 48th in games finished.
Perranoski lived in Vero Beach for over 30 years and is survived by his sister, three sons, and four grandchildren.
On behalf of the Around the Foghorn team, we send our condolences to the friends and family of Ron Perranoski.