Former MLB pitcher Fischer dies at 88

Bill Fischer made his name as a Kansas City Athletics player. (AFP pic)

COUNCIL BLUFFS: Former major league pitcher and pitching coach Bill Fischer died on Tuesday night in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was 88.

The Kansas City Royals announced Fischer’s death. Fischer spent the past eight years as senior pitching advisor for the team after serving as the team’s pitching coordinator from 2007-10.

“His contributions were immense,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement. “He was as impactful as any staff member that we’ve ever had. His mind was so sharp. I was with him Monday, and he was still talking about the players and the team and how we’re going to be good again in a couple of years. Everyone loved his input.”

Fischer, who was involved in baseball for 71 years, holds the major league record for most consecutive innings without a walk. He set the mark in 1962 when he went 84 and a third innings without issuing a free pass while he was a member of the Kansas City Athletics.

Overall, Fischer went 45-58 with a 4.34 ERA in 281 career appearances (78 starts) over nine seasons with the Chicago White Sox (1956-58), Detroit Tigers (1958, 1960-61), Washington Senators (1958-60), the Athletics (1961-63), and Minnesota Twins (1964).

He served as a major league pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds (1979-83), Boston Red Sox (1985-91), and Tampa Bay Rays (2000-01).

Longtime Royals outfielder Alex Gordon said he will miss Fischer.

“What a great mentor for the Royals and the game of baseball he was,” Gordon said through the Royals. “He was always a joy to be around every day and he is going to be missed by all of us with the Royals. Every day he would come up to me with a smile on his face and a handshake and ask me something about Nebraska athletics. He was a wonderful man.”