Phil Gagliano, a utility infielder for the Cardinals throughout the 1960s, passed away on Thursday. Gagliano was 74 years old and recovering from a heart procedure.
Gagliano attended Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Tennessee, before he signed with the Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1959. In high school, Gagliano was teammates with someone who he'd eventually share a big-league roster with: catcher Tim McCarver, who also signed with the Cardinals in 1959 and remained with the club throughout the 1960s.
Gagliano made his big-league debut in April of 1963 and pieced together the finest campaign of his career a couple years later. In 1965, Gagliano accumulated 411 plate appearances across a personal-high 122 games, during which the club's primary second baseman scored 46 runs and slashed .240/.312/.355 with 24 extra-base hits, including fourteen doubles, two triples, and eight home runs.
As a member of the memorable 1967 squad, one that featured McCarver, Steve Carlton, Mike Shannon, Bob Gibson, Orlando Cepeda, Lou Brock and others, Gagliano served as a solid pinch-hitter with seven doubles and 21 runs batted in during the regular season, but had just one at-bat -- a popout -- during the postseason. Gagliano was also a piece of the 1968 team, one that won the National League pennant to return to the World Series but ultimately fell short of their second title in as many seasons.
The Cardinals traded Gagliano to the Cubs in middle of the 1970 season. From there, Gagliano played with the Red Sox for two years, in 1971 and 1972, before wrapping up his career as a member of the Reds at 32 years old. Of his twelve total seasons in the Majors, Gagliano spent eight of them in St. Louis. Over his 702 career games, Gagliano hit .238 with 50 doubles, seven triples, fourteen long balls, and 159 RBIs.