Former Cardinals Catcher/Coach Dave Ricketts Dies at 73

(PITTSBURGH) - Dave Ricketts, a former catcher and coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals who earlier teamed with his older brother, All-American Dick Ricketts, to play basketball for Duquesne University, died Sunday in St. Louis.

Dave Ricketts, a native of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, turned 73 on Saturday. He died of renal cancer, according to the Cardinals.

Dick Ricketts, Duquesne's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, was the first overall pick in the 1955 NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks. He played three years in the NBA and one in the big leagues, as a pitcher for the Cardinals in 1959, going 1-6 with a 5.82 ERA in 12 appearances. He died in 1988.

Dave Ricketts, a catcher, began a big-league career with the Cardinals in 1963. He played in 228 major league games, mainly as Tim McCarver's back-up, over the course of six seasons, concluding his playing career in 1970 with the Pirates. He finished with a .249 average.

Ricketts earned World Series rings with the Cardinals in 1967 and the Pirates in '71, and was prized for his teaching ability.

Courtesy Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and The Topps Company, Inc.