February 26, 2020

Barry Latman, Major League Pitcher, 82

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Barry Latman, who pitched in the major leagues from 1957-67 and helped the Chicago White Sox reach their first World Series in 40 years in 1959, died on April 28 in Richmond, Texas. He was 82.

The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the White Sox in six games that fall. Coincidentally, Latman was one of two Fairfax High School alumni on the 1959 World Series rosters: Pitcher Larry Sherry, who was Latman’s high school teammate and was named the Series MVP, played for the Dodgers.

Latman was born in Los Angeles as Arnold Barry Latman on May 21, 1936, to Nathan, a furniture auctioneer, and Elsie (Snitzer) Latman. The family were observant Jews, and Latman declined to pitch during the High Holy Days.

After playing baseball at Fairfax, he attended USC, and while there, he signed a contract with the White Sox in 1955. He moved up through the team’s farm system in Waterloo, Memphis and Indianapolis. He made his major league debut in September 1957.

After his stint with the White Sox, Latman pitched for the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros. In April 1964, Latman, then with the Angels, hurled four innings in an exhibition game at Dodger Stadium and was the winning pitcher in the Angels’ 4-3 victory. Two of his opposing pitchers in that game were future Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.

The right-hander was named to the All-Star Game in 1961 and 1962, and finished his career with a 59-68 overall record and 3.91 earned-run average. He was inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

He is survived by wife Patricia; sons Nathan (Jennifer), Richard, David (Lissette) Engel, Scott (Sharon) Engel, Richard (Heather) Engel; 14 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Carol (Mel) Maller; and brother-in-law Ron (Carole) Klein.