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Elephant Rumblings: Former Oakland A’s pitcher Matt Keough dies at age 64

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Oakland Athletics
Matt Keough
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

Unfortunately, the weekend featured some sad news for the A’s community, with the passing of former pitcher Matt Keough at age 64. Keough, a California native, spent most of his nine-year MLB career playing for Oakland and later worked in the A’s front office.

“Matt was a great baseball man and a proud Oakland A,” said A’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Billy Beane. “He had an incredible passion for the game and we were lucky to have him and his wealth of knowledge alongside us for the years he worked as a Special Assistant. He left an unforgettable impression on everyone he touched in baseball. Our sincere condolences are with the entire Keough family tonight.”

Keough was drafted by the A’s in 1973, out of high school in Newport Beach. He debuted in the majors in 1977, and served as a full-time starter for five seasons from 1978-82. He was traded to the Yankees in ‘83, and briefly pitched for the Cardinals, Cubs, and Astros before finishing his MLB career in ‘86. He went to Japan and played another four years, then launched a front office career with the A’s, Rays, and Angels.

Among his career highlights, Keough made the All-Star team in 1978, and then after struggling in ‘79 he rebounded and was named Comeback Player of the Year in ‘80. In 1981 he helped the A’s reach the playoffs.

The Keough family has strong baseball roots. Matt’s father Marty Keough and uncle Joe Keough played in the majors, and Joe was briefly on the A’s in the ‘60s. Matt’s son Shane Keough was an outfielder in the A’s minor league system for several years, getting as far as High-A Stockton in 2010.

Athletics Nation wishes the best to the Keough family!

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