Former Kansas City A’s All-Star Norm Siebern, who was part of one of the most famous trades in baseball history, died Friday. He was 82.
Siebern, among the best players the A’s had in their time in Kansas City, began his career with the New York Yankees.
He was a rookie in 1956 when he was part of the World Series champion Yankees team. Siebern had one at-bat against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the Series and spent the following season in the minor leagues.
In 1958, Siebern played in 134 games with the Yankees and won a Gold Glove as a left fielder, while helping New York win another World Series title. Siebern batted .300 that season with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs, then hit .125 as the Yankees beat the Milwaukee Braves in seven games.
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At that time, the Yankees had made so many trades for Kansas City’s better players that the Athletics were referred to as the Yankees’ farm team. After the 1959 season, New York traded Siebern, Hank Bauer, Don Larsen and first baseman Marv Throneberry to the Kansas City A’s for Roger Maris, Kent Hadley and Joe DeMaestri.
Maris, who had been an All-Star at the age of 24 with the A’s in 1959, went on to set the major-league record for home runs in a season (61) in 1961 (it’s since been surpassed). He won MVP awards in 1960 and 61 with the Yankees.
However, Siebern was no slouch with the A’s. He played four seasons with Kansas City, primarily at first base, batting .289 with 117 doubles, 78 home runs and 367 RBIs. Twice an All-Star, Siebern finished seventh in MVP voting in 1962, the year Mickey Mantle won the award. That year, Siebern had possibly the best season a Kansas City A’s player ever had. He hit .308 with 25 homers, 117 RBIs, 114 runs scored and an on-base percentage of .412.
After leaving the A’s following the 1963 season, Siebern played for the Baltimore Orioles, California Angels, San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox. He appeared in the 1967 World Series with Boston. He retired after the 1968 season.
He played with the Southwest Missouri State basketball team that won the NAIA national championships in 1952-’53.
Memorial services will be at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at North Naples United Methodist Church, 6000 Goodlette Road in Naples, Fla., and at 1 p.m. on Nov. 21 at Schrader Funeral Home, 14960 Manchester Road in, Ballwin, Mo.