Forgotten Players Who Died Before Their Time

Topps

Topps

Steve Macko (27)

November 15, 1981

Surrounded by baseball his whole life (his father Joe Macko played and coached in pro ball), Steve Macko was a prospect for the Cubs. He was a fifth-round draft pick following a great career at Baylor University, where he was an All-American and critical to the Bears’ appearance in the 1977 College World Series.

The versatile infielder, who played second, third, and shortstop, was injured in an August 5, 1980, game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bill Madlock collided into Macko’s knee, giving him what appeared to be a bone bruise. While being checked out by his doctor, it was soon discovered that Macko had testicular cancer. He battled the disease for the remainder of the 1980 and 1981 seasons (where he was on the emergency 60-day disabled list). Macko died in November 1981.

Macko’s career was brief, starting in only 15 of his 20 Major League games, but he hit a decent .250 average. Macko was cheated of any chance to prove himself as an everyday player.

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