Jump to content

Oscar Gamble, 68, Tribe player from the 1970s

Recommended Posts

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Ex-Indians hitter Oscar Gamble, whose offensive prowess was overshadowed only by his unique batting stance and noteworthy 1970s Afro hairstyle, has died at age 68.

Gamble's cause of death has not been released. He played for the Indians from 1972-75 before being traded to the New York Yankees for pitcher Pat Dobson prior to the 1976 season.

The Ramer, Alabama native hit .274 with Cleveland, belting 54 home runs. In 17 seasons with the Cubs, Phillies, Indians, Yankees, White Sox, Padres and Rangers, Gamble hit .265 with a career .811 OPS.

Considered a below-average fielder, Gamble played more than a third of his career games at designated hitter. He retired with more career walks (610) than strikeouts (546).

Gamble's prominent Afro hairstyle is the stuff of legends among fans and baseball card collectors. He was often referred to as the man with "baseball's best hair." Gamble's 1976 "traded" card, featuring his Afro sticking out from under a Yankees cap, is highly-sought after by collectors.

Gamble was also noteworthy for his unusual left-handed batting stance, which saw him bent deep at the waist with his back almost parallel to the ground and his bat held vertically behind his left ear. Gamble clubbed 200 career home runs despite getting just over 4,500 career at-bats.

Gamble went on to make two World Series appearances with the Yankees (1976, 1981), batting .286 in the postseason with an .880 OPS and two home runs.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

RIP Oscar.. Him and Rico Carte were My favorite players as a kid...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a follow up on Oscar Gamble :

Personal life and death

After retirement from baseball, Gamble returned to Alabama and lived in Montgomery where he was a player agent for several years. He was involved in youth baseball. He was married to Lovell Woods Gamble and his son, Sean, was a player in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, while another son, Shane,  played in junior college. He also had one daughter, Sheena Maureen.

He opened up a discotheque known as "Oscar Gamble's Players Club'" in Montgomery; baseball writer Dan Epstein called it a "hip" place.

Gamble died of ameloblastic carcinoma on January 31, 2018, at the age of 68.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now