Monsieur Baseball Ron Piché loses battle with cancer

By on February 4, 2011

courtesy of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Montreal – It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of 1988 inductee Ron Piché earlier this afternoon.  The Quebec baseball legend lost a lengthy battle with complications from cancer.  Following his outstanding career the hard throwing right-hander became a scouting director with the Montreal Expos and became such an ambassador that he earned the nickname “Monsieur Baseball.”

Ron Piche (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame)

Piché, 75, is survived by Helené, his partner of 20 years, his daughter Christine, his son Luc, and his grandson Jonathan.

 “Ron was and will remain a true baseball icon in Canada, because he was a gentleman who represented everything that is great about the game and the industry,” said Ball Hall president & CEO Tom Valcke.

    “His passion and pride for Canadiana were second to none.   Everybody loved Ron Piché!  As far as being a supporter of what we do here, it was never more evident than when he suffered a terrible automobile accident on his way to St. Marys two years ago to attend the induction ceremony, and when he was being removed from his vehicle by the emergency crew using the jaws of life, he asked them to please not damage the Hall of Fame blazer that he was wearing.  He will be dearly missed but will always serve as an inspiration to all of us.”

    The young French Canadian, following an extended minor league career where he compiled 130 wins and a 2.96 ERA, made his major league debut on May 30, 1960 with the Milwaukee Braves, suiting up alongside Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn and Eddie Mathews.  The Verdun, Quebec native notched nine saves that season and continued to be an effective option out of the Braves’ bullpen for the next three seasons.  In 1963, he appeared in 37 games and recorded a career-best 3.40 ERA.  He also pitched for the California Angels in 1965 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1966.

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