Former major league outfielder Wayne Comer passed away recently, per various reports. He was 79 years old.
Born and raised in Shenandoah, Virginia, Comer was signed as an amateur free agent by the Washington Senators in 1962 but was traded to the Tigers while still in the minor leagues. He made it to the majors as a September call-up in 1967, getting into four games as that season was winding down.
He was back in the minors to start the following year but got called up when Al Kaline broke his forearm in May. Comer got into 48 games that season, hitting just .125 but sticking around largely in a reserve capacity. The 1968 Tigers went 103-59 and cruised to the American League pennant, finishing 12 games ahead of the Orioles. They would go on to win the World Series in seven games over the Cardinals, with Comer getting one plate appearance. He served as a pinch hitter in Game 3, getting a single in what would eventually be his only postseason at-bat, allowing him to finish his career with a batting average of 1.000 in postseason/World Series play.
Prior to the 1969 season, Comer was selected in the expansion draft by the newly-formed Seattle Pilots, who would last just one season before moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers. Comer got his most extensive playing time in that one year with the Pilots, getting into 147 games while hitting 15 home runs and stealing 18 bases.
The following year, he would move to Milwaukee with the team but was traded to the Senators after just 13 games as a Brewer. He played 77 games for the Senators in 1970, one of the final years for that club before they would later become the Texas Rangers. His contract was purchased by the Tigers prior to 1971 but he was stuck in the minors for all of that year and only got into 27 major league games in 1972, his final year in the big leagues.
After his playing career ended, Comer returned to Virginia and coached high school ball. MLBTR sends our condolences to his friends, family and loved ones.