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June 8, 2011 - John Mehno
Jose Pagan died on Tuesday in Florida at 76, a victim of Alzheimer's disease.
Pagan was an important part of the Pirates from 1965-72, playing a utility role. He drove in the winning run in Game 7 of the 1971 World Series at Baltimore.
GM Joe L. Brown often made smart trades that were perfect fits for the Pirates. He acquired Pagan from the San Francisco Giants on May 22, 1965 for shortstop Dick Schofield. Schofield was expendable because Gene Alley had come along to take the regular shortstop job. Pagan played all over the field, and was a righthanded complement at third base to Richie Hebner.
I got acquainted with Pagan when he became a Pirates coach in 1974. He was a good baseball man who was also a gentleman.
The Pirates will stage a reunion of their 1971 team in a few weeks, and his teammates will hold warm memories of a great guy who helped them win that season.