Former Atlanta Braves catcher Biff Pocoroba, an All-Star selection in 1978, has died at the age of 66, the team announced Wednesday.
No cause of death has been announced.
Pocoroba joined the Braves in 1975 and played all 10 of his major league seasons with the team, hitting 21 home runs with 172 RBIs and a .257 batting average in his career.
His best season came in 1977, when he batted .290 with eight homers and 44 RBIs in 113 games. He was picked as a reserve for the All-Star Game the following year, getting into the game in the final inning of the NL's 7-3 victory, catching teammate Phil Niekro for the final out.
In addition to handling the pitching staff, Pocoroba was successful at nabbing runners on the basepaths -- catching 34% of attempted base stealers in both 1976 (16-of-47) and 1977 (52-of-155) and 23% in 1978 (25-of-107).
Former teammate Dale Murphy remembered Pocoroba's defensive prowess on Twitter.
Very sad to hear that the @Braves family lost another key member of our early 80s team. Poco once threw out 11 straight base-stealers in spring training. With shoulder problems he became our go-to LH bat off the bench. #rippoco pic.twitter.com/hgJzmTu7Zj— Dale Murphy (@DaleMurphy3) May 27, 2020
Rest In Peace, Biff Pocoroba. pic.twitter.com/dwSP3mB1dp— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 27, 2020
In 1982, after being plagued by shoulder problems, Pocoroba had been relegated to a backup and pinch-hitter role. He played in 56 games, hitting .275 with two homers and 22 RBIs for Atlanta, which opened the season with a record 13 straight wins and went on to capture its first division title since 1969.
The Braves were swept in three straight games by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series. Pocoroba made the only postseason appearance of his career in Game 2, grounding out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning of a 4-3 loss.
Pocoroba was released by the Braves after playing just four games early in the 1984 season. He retired at age 29 and began a second career running a specialty meat business in suburban Atlanta.
"We are saddened to hear of the passing of former Braves catcher Biff Pocoroba,'' the team said in a statement. "We share our deepest condolences to his family and friends.''
Biff Benedict Pocoroba was born in Burbank, California on July 25, 1953. After starring at Canoga Park High School, he was picked by the Braves in the 17th round of the 1971 amateur draft.
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Jody Karin Raymond, four children and 15 grandchildren. A private memorial service is scheduled for Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.