Former All-Star player John Stearns dies at 71

Denver (AFP) – John Stearns, a four-time All-Star catcher with the New York Mets, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 71 years old.

Stearns, who played football and baseball at the University of Colorado, died Thursday night in Denver, according to the Mets.

He passed away less than three weeks after attending the “Old Timers Day” at Citi Field in New York that coincided with the Mets’ 60th anniversary. He was noticeably skinny in his Mets jersey on August 27 and waved to the crowd when he was introduced on the field.

“No one has played the game with more spirit or determination than John Stearns,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said Friday in a statement. He himself wanted to attend Old Timers Day last month so he could visit his old friends and teammates. He got sick, and even managed to get into a batting cage. To take a few twists. His nickname, “Bad Dude” couldn’t be more appropriate.

Stearns was a complete catcher. He could hit, run, and knock off the attackers, nailing nearly 38% of those who attempted the robbery.