|Batted: Left||Threw: Right|
|August 27, 1969 for the Chicago Cubs|
|August 8, 1985 for the Chicago White Sox|
|Career Highlights and Awards|
Oscar Charles Gamble (December 20 1949 – January 31, 2018) was an outfielder and designated hitter in Major League Baseball. He played for 17 seasons, from 1969 to 1985, on seven different teams: the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees on two separate occasions, as well as the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres, and Texas Rangers.
Nicknamed the Big O by Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto, Gamble was a relatively small man, listed at 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 165 pounds. He still hit 200 career home runs in just over 4500 major league at bats, an impressive ratio for the era he played in. A deadly left-handed pull-hitter against right-handed pitching, Oscar's career peaked in 1977 with the White Sox, when he hit 31 home runs and tallied 83 RBI. After an ill-fated, injury-plagued year in San Diego, he returned to the American League in 1979 to hit a career-best .358 batting average, slamming 19 home runs with the Yankees and Rangers. (His 274 at bats were not enough to qualify him for the American League batting title.)
Unlike some players who failed to cope with the New York media, Oscar thrived on it, and was always a favorite with sportswriters.
Gamble, whose hitting prowess was overshadowed by his famously large Afro hair, has the distinction of logging the last hit and RBI at Philadelphia's Connie Mack Stadium on October 1, 1970. His 10th-inning single gave the Phillies the 2-1 win in the stadium's final game. Coincidentally, that feat was also overshadowed as unruly fans stormed the field during and after the game to claim bases, infield dirt, seats, and other various stadium items.
In 1976, Gamble helped the Yankees return to prominence as the "Bronx Bombers" won their first American League pennant in 12 seasons, hitting 17 home runs and 57 RBI. Arguably, his left-handed power stroke was ideal for the renowned short right field fence at Yankee Stadium. He would later settle into a limited role with the team, as he once again aided the Yankees to an AL East division title in 1980 and a World Series appearance in 1981.
Notably, Gamble also finished with more career walks (610) than strikeouts (546). He played in the 2007 Yankee Old Timers Game with many Yankee players that were honored from the 1977 championship team.
Gamble died on January 31, 2018 at the age of 68.
- Baseball-Reference.com - Major league career statistics