Born: March 28, 1936|
Holly Hill, South Carolina
Died: October 29, 1991 (aged 55)|
|September 11, 1958 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
Last MLB appearance
|September 12, 1967 for the Cincinnati Reds|
The native of Holly Hill, South Carolina was the son of David and Leola Coker. He played football and basketball for Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina before signing as an amateur free agent in February 1955 with the Phillies. He spent all or parts of nine years in the National League.
He made his Major League debut at age 22 on September 11, 1958, starting as catcher and batting eighth for the Phillies in a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. In his second at-bat of the game, in the fifth inning, he tallied his first career hit, a single off Johnny Podres.
During most of the 1962 season he served in the U.S. Military. After playing four seasons with the Phillies, his contract was purchased by the Baltimore Orioles, who a month later traded him to the Giants. He played one season with the Giants. In August 1964 his contract was purchased from the Milwaukee Braves by the Reds, where he played parts of his last four seasons. He made his last Major League start on August 26, 1967; two days later Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench made his Reds' debut.
After baseball, he was a rancher in Texas, where he was on the board of directors of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. He died at age 55 on October 29, 1991 in Throckmorton, Texas.