Former Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas dies at 76

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Former Chicago Cub pitcher Milt Pappas makes his way into the visitation for the late Chicago Cub player and announcer Ron Santo at Holy Name Cathedral. (Phil Velasquez / Chicago Tribune)

Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas was found dead in his home this afternoon, the Beecher Police Department confirms. His death appears due to natural causes. He was 76.

Pappas was a Major League pitcher from 1957-1973, pitching his final three and a half seasons for the Cubs. The highlight of his career was a no-hitter on September 2, 1972. The game ended in controversy, as Pappas was one batter away from throwing a perfect game and many, including Pappas, felt that the he did strike out the 27th batter despite the fact that umpire Bruce Froemming called it a walk. It would be the last Cubs no-hitter until Carlos Zambrano’s in 2008. Pappas was also a three-time All-Star.

UPDATE: The Chicago Cubs released the following statement from Executive Chairman Tom Ricketts: “The Cubs organization is sad to learn of the passing of Milt Pappas, who not only had a special place on the field with the team in the early 1970s, but also maintained a relationship with Cubs fans as a frequent guest at Wrigley Field, the Cubs Convention and other team events. Milt will forever be remembered for one of the most dramatic pitching performances in team history as he delivered a no-hitter that neared perfection in 1972. Pappas ended his impressive career wearing a Cubs uniform and we will always consider him part of the Chicago Cubs family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends, relatives and fans as we mourn this loss.”

Cubs' pitcher Milt Pappas in a Tribune archive file photo dated Sept. 19, 1973. Pappas pitched a no-hitter against the Padres as the start of the 1972 season. He had a perfect game until he walked the 27th batter. (Chicago Tribune archive photo)

Cubs’ pitcher Milt Pappas in a Tribune archive file photo dated Sept. 19, 1973. Pappas pitched a no-hitter against the Padres as the start of the 1972 season. He had a perfect game until he walked the 27th batter. (Chicago Tribune archive photo)

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