Former Cubs Pitcher Milt Pappas passed away this morning peacefully in his sleep according to a Facebook post by his widow, Judi Pappas.
“With a heavy heart I am deeply saddened to share some sad news. My husband, Milt Pappas, passed away this morning. He passed peacefully in his sleep.
Milt wished to be cremated.
We will be having a memorial service this Saturday, April 23, at Hack Funeral Home in Beecher, from 12-7.
We will miss you big guy…. Drink a pepsi up there and enjoy every sip……We love you♥”
Pappas pitched from 1957 – 1973, and was a member of the Cubs from 1970-1973. He became most famous to Cubs fans after throwing a no-hitter on September 2, 1972, which he claimed should have been a perfect game. He never got over that game, and told everyone he met that the no-hitter should have been a perfect game. He was one strike away with a 2-2 count on Larry Stahl of the San Diego Padres, from that perfect game when a young Bruce Froemming, that day’s umpire behind the plate called two balls. He retired the next batter. Pappas was the last Cubs pitcher to throw a no-hitter until Carlos Zambrano in 2008.
Off the field, Pappas was also involved in controversy when his wife, Carole, disappeared on September 11, 1982. No trace of the body or her car were found for five years. There was much speculation about what happened to her, including a possible murder in a satanic ritual, but when the car and body were found in a pond near the Pappas house five years later police ruled the death an accidental drowning. Some questions remained whether Carole, a recovering alcoholic, may have been drinking at the time, but officially the police said she probably mistook a path to the pond for the street to her subdivision in Wheaton. Carole and Milt were childhood sweethearts. He later married Judi Bloome.
Over the past few years, Pappas could be seen around Wrigley Field sometimes singing the Seventh Inning Stretch, sometimes participating in special Wrigley tours. In 2013 he was involved in a serious one-car accident, but recovered.
Aside from his no-hitter, he is known for giving up Roger Maris’ 59th home run in in 1961. Pappas played for the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves before being “sold” to the Cubs in 1970. He was a native of Detroit and most recently lived in Beecher, IL. Pappas had two children with his first wife, Carole, and one with second wife, Judi. He was 76.