Bob Friend, former Pirates All-Star pitcher, dies at 88

Bob Friend, a four-time All-Star pitcher with the Pirates, died Sunday at age 88, the team confirmed.

It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we confirm the passing of Bob Friend, an exceptional pitcher and even better person.

Bob was a great member of the Pirates organization and will be truly missed. We send our condolences to the Friend family at this time.

Friend pitched 15 of his 16 MLB seasons with the Pirates from 1951 to 1965, before stints with the Yankees and then the Mets in his final season. He led the NL in wins in 1958 (22) and was the ERA leader in 1955 (2.83). Nicknamed “The Warrior,” Friend was also very durable, leading the league in starts three times. He never went on the disabled list during his career.

“Our thoughts, prayers and support go out to Bob’s wife, Pat, son, Bob, and daughter, Missy, as well as the rest of the Friend family members and loved ones,” Pirates president Frank Coonelly said in a statement.

“Bob was truly one of the very best to ever wear the Pirates black and gold. He will be deeply missed.”

Friend ranks fourth in career wins for the Pirates, with 191, is still the franchise leader in starts (477), innings pitched (3480 1/3) and strikeouts (1,682).

Friend finished with a losing career record (197-230), due largely to the fact the Pirates lost 90 or more games in six of his first seven MLB seasons. He had a career 3.58 ERA.

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