Former Kansas coach and big leaguer Marty Pattin passes away
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Former Kansas head baseball coach Marty Pattin passed away in his sleep Wednesday morning in Charleston, Illinois, while visiting friends in his hometown. He was 75.
A 13-year Major League Baseball (MLB) veteran, Pattin held the reins of the Jayhawks’ program for six seasons from 1982-87 and coached in 296 games during his tenure.
“It’s a really tough and emotional day for everybody associated with our baseball program,” current KU skipper Ritch Price said. “I had the unique opportunity to watch Marty pitch for the then-Seattle Pilots in 1969 and I have never forgotten watching him pitch against the Oakland A’s – the same team that had Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Bert Campaneris and Catfish Hunter on it. He had a great baseball career and he loved the University of Kansas.”
Pattin made five stops during his MLB career finishing with the Kansas City Royals (1974-80). He won 114 games during his time; compiled 1,179 strikeouts; and finished with a career 3.62 ERA. He struck out MLB Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt in his final inning of his career and was named a 1971 All-Star.
After retirement from the MLB in 1980, Pattin moved to Lawrence and took over the Kansas baseball program when legendary coach Floyd Temple wrapped up his tenure in 1981. Pattin coached for the next six seasons until stepping down following the 1987 campaign.
“Whenever I saw Marty, he always asked about the team,” Price said. “He always had a smile on his face and an encouraging word – he was one of my favorite Jayhawks and I am going to miss him, I’m going to miss our relationship.”
The bond he shared with players and coaches is something Price wishes he can live up to.
“Marty had this special connection with his players and even with those who followed his tenure,” Price said. “He was proud to be a Jayhawk and he loved his association with the University of Kansas. You couldn’t have a better role model as to how to be a mentor. Hopefully, someday, when my career ends, I’ll have the same opportunity with whoever takes my place down the road.”
Pattin graduated from Charleston High School (CHS) in Illinois in 1961 and he went on to pitch collegiately for Eastern Illinois where his No. 19 is retired. In 2016, CHS honored Pattin by renaming its baseball field, Marty Pattin Field.
This past March, Pattin underwent heart surgery and recovered from it well. Details on services are not yet available.
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