2018-01-31 15:40:14 UTC
9:58 AM ET
Oscar Gamble, a lefty-swinging hitter popularly known for the large Afro hairstyle he wore in the 1970s, died Wednesday at age 68.
His death was confirmed by Andrew Levy, Gamble's agent. The cause of death was not reported.
Gamble played seven of his 17 Major League seasons with the Yankees, who employed him as a pull hitter who could come off the bench and take aim at the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium, in 1976 and again from 1979-84. He hit a career-high 31 home runs for the White Sox in 1977 and also spent time with the Cubs, Phillies, Indians, Rangers and Padres.
But he was most famous for his hair, the mass of which could barely be contained by a batting helmet, which would invariably come off his head when he ran the bases. Images of him and his large hair are still shown on highlights from the era on television and in ballparks. He had to cut his hair shorter when the Yankees acquired him from the Indians in a trade prior to the 1976 season.
Gamble, drafted in 1968 by the Cubs, for whom he debuted in '69, appeared in 1,584 big league games from 1969-85, batting .265/.356/.454 with 200 homers and 666 RBIs in 5,197 plate appearances. He twice ranked in the top 10 in slugging in the American League: in 1974 for the Indians and '77 for the White Sox.
Bob Dittmeier is an editor for MLB.com.