According to a report from the Knoxville New Sentinel former Houston Astros reliever Fred Gladding, who pitched for Houston from 1968 to 1973, died Thursday evening in Columbia, S.C. at the age of 78.

Gladding began his Major League career in Detroit, playing for the Tigers (1961-67) before being traded to the Astros in November of 1967 as part of an earlier deal that sent Eddie Matthews to the Tigers. Gladding was the player-to-be-named-later that the Astros got back for Matthews, and the deal proved to work out well for the Astros.

In his 13 years in the Major Leagues, Gladding appeared in 450 games, racking up 109 saves and posting a record of 48-34 with a lifetime 3.13 ERA. In 1969 for the Houston Astros, Gladding led the National League with 29 saves. He still ranks fourth on the Astros’ all-time saves lists with 78 saves. After his playing days ended, Gladding went on to become a successful pitching coach for many years.

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Ray Mileur

Author and sports writer, Ray Mileur, is a graduate of the World Wide Sports Management, Baseball GM and Scouting course and a member of the IBWAA. In 1998, Ray founded an award winning fan site that attracted over ten million visitors before becoming an affiliate with Scout.com and Fox Sports. In 2008, Ray represented former St. Louis Cardinals manager Billy Southworth and his family at the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cooperstown. Ray is the owner of Astros411.com. His articles and columns have been featured in several Fox Sports publications and on a long list of baseball related websites. He joined Baseball Essentials in April, 2015.

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