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Baseball's Beckert, golf's Sanders, F1's Moss all pass away

Three top sports figures recently passed away from natural causes.
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Chicago Cubs infielder Glenn Beckert shown in 1968. (AP Photo)

CHICAGO — Glenn Beckert’s baseball exploits can be overshadowed by his four Hall of Fame teammates, but his contributions were vital to the success of the Chicago Cubs during the late 1960s and early 70s.     

The four-time All-Star second baseman has died of natural causes at age 79, according to his family.     

Beckert won a Gold Glove in 1968 before earning All-Star berths over the next four seasons. He had the best strikeout-to-at-bat ratio in the National League five times and finished third in average when he hit a career-high .342 in 1971.     

Beckert teamed with shortstop Don Kessinger for his entire nine-year Cubs career to form one of the best double-play combinations in baseball.     

Beckert compiled a .283 average in an 11-year career that began with the 1965 Cubs and ended with the 1975 Padres.      

Golf

Doug Sanders brought a flamboyance to golf fashion ahead of his time, a colorful character known as much for the 20 times he won on the PGA Tour as the majors that got away.    

Sanders died Sunday morning in Houston, the PGA Tour confirmed through a text from Sanders' ex-wife, Scotty. He was 86.     

Sanders was still an amateur when he won his first PGA Tour event in 1956 at the Canadian Open in a playoff. His best year was in 1961 when he won five times and finished third on the PGA Tour money list.    

But he is best known for four runner-up finishes in the majors, the most memorable at St. Andrews in the 1970 British Open. Needing to sink a 3-foot par putt on the final hole to beat Jack Nicklaus, Sanders muffed it before losing to Nicklaus in a playoff the following day.

Auto racing     

Motor racing great Stirling Moss has died at the age of 90.     

The daring and speed-loving Englishman was widely regarded as the greatest Formula One driver never to win the world championship.    

Moss' wife said he died peacefully at his London home following a long illness. Susan Moss says “it was one lap too many. He just closed his eyes.”     

Moss was affectionately known as “Mr. Motor Racing" and had a fearless and often reckless attitude. That took a toll on his slight body and his career ended at age 31 after a horrific crash. Moss won 16 of the 66 F1 races he entered.    

He said, “If you’re not trying to win at all costs, what on earth are you doing there?”     

Moss was hospitalized with a chest infection in 2016 that led to him retiring from public life in 2018.

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