BOSTON — Mike Ryan, the backup catcher on the Boston Red Sox‘s 1967 “Impossible Dream” team during a 35-year career in professional baseball, has died. He was 78.
The Red Sox said Ryan died in his sleep on Tuesday in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
A native of Haverhill, Massachusetts, Ryan appeared in 636 games with the Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1964 to 1974. He was Boston’s backup catcher for the American League championship team in 1967, going hitless in his only two World Series at-bats when the Red Sox lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
In his career, he had a .991 fielding percentage and threw out 43.6% of runners attempting to steal a base.
Ryan went on to manage the Pirates’ Class A affiliate and work for the Phillies as a minor league catching instructor and Triple-A manager. He also was the bullpen coach in Philadelphia for 16 years, including with the 1980 World Series championship team.