The Yankees lost a fan favorite today, as multiple reports have indicated that Oscar Gamble has passed away. The longtime outfielder and designated hitter was 68 years old.
Over parts of seven seasons in pinstripes, Gamble hit .259/.361/.496 with 87 home runs. He notably helped the Yankees secure the American League pennant in 1976, their first since 1964. Gamble was traded to the White Sox for Bucky Dent the following season – a move that had lasting reverberations in Yankees history. He returned though in 1979 thanks to an epic eight-player trade with the Texas Rangers. Despite never winning a ring, he did make a pair of World Series appearances.
In many ways, Gamble captured the spirit of baseball in the seventies. While he never had much playing time, his vibrant personality quickly enamored himself to fans and reporters alike. His incredible hair and animated quotes also helped. When asked about the chaotic nature of the Yankees during that period, he famously noted: “They don’t think it be like it is, but it do.” It was tough not to love what he brought the Bronx.
Following his retirement in 1985, Gamble made appearances at a number of Old-Timers’ Day. He remained a fan favorite and frequently came up in discussions about the Yankees in the seventies and eighties. While he isn’t enshrined in Monument Park, he maintains a fond place in the memory of Yankees fans. Who could ever forget his home run in the 1981 ALDS against the Brewers?
Our thoughts are with the Gamble family today.