Beecher, Illinois, police confirmed Tuesday former MLB pitcher Milt Pappas died at the age of 76, per the Chicago Tribune.

The Cubs released an official statement on Pappas’ death, via

“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.”

Pappas played 17 years in the league, finishing with a 209-164 overall record and a 3.40 ERA. He split those 17 years with four different teams, his most successful stretch coming with the Baltimore Orioles from 1957 to 1965. He reached the All-Star Game twice as an Oriole in 1962 and 1965, and his 110 wins are the ninth-highest in franchise history, per

Pappas’ most famous moment on the diamond arguably came during his time with the Chicago Cubs. On Sept. 2, 1972, he was one strike away from a perfect game against the San Diego Padres. On a 3-2 count with two outs in the ninth, he walked Padres pinch hitter Larry Stahl:

“The pitch was outside,” said home plate umpire Bruce Froemming in a 2010 interview with the New York TimesTyler Kepner. “I didn’t miss the pitch; Pappas missed the pitch. You can look at the tape. Pappas, the next day, said, ‘I know the pitch was outside, but you could have given it to me.’ That pitch has gotten better over the years. That pitch is right down the middle now.”

“I have to admire the guy for lasting as long as he did, but I still feel in my own heart that he robbed me of a perfect game,” Pappas said in 2007 of Froemming, who retired that year after working in MLB since 1971, per’s William Weinbaum. “I wish him nothing but the best. I just wish he had retired 37 years ago.”

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