New York Yankees News: Statement Regarding the Passing of LHP Fritz Peterson

By Doc McElroy

Fritz Peterson in 1970. By Unknown author – New York Yankees via, Public Domain, https

April 12, 2024


“The Yankees are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Fritz Peterson, who was a formidable pitcher
and affable presence throughout his nine years in pinstripes. Along with longtime teammate Mel
Stottlemyre, Peterson was part of a devastating one-two combination at the top of the Yankees’ rotation.
A known prankster and well-liked among his teammates and coaches, Peterson had an outgoing
personality and inquisitive nature that brought lightheartedness to the clubhouse on a regular basis and
belied his prowess on the mound — most notably his impeccable control, which was among the best in
the Majors. Peterson will be greatly missed by the Yankees, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his
wife, Susanne, and the entire Peterson family.”


Fred Ingels Peterson (February 8, 1942 – April 11, 2024) was an American professional baseball pitcher who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York YankeesCleveland Indians, and Texas Rangers from 1966 to 1976. Peterson was a southpaw starting pitcher who enjoyed his best success in 1970 with the Yankees when he went 20–11 and pitched in the All-Star game. He was widely known for trading families with teammate Mike Kekich in the early 1970s. He had a career record of 133–131.

Peterson had the lowest ratio of base on balls per innings pitched for any left-handed pitcher to pitch in the major leagues since the 1920s.

Trading families

Peterson and fellow Yankee pitcher Mike Kekich swapped wives and children, an arrangement the pair announced at spring training in March 1973. The Peterson and Kekich families had been friends since 1969. Peterson and the former Susanne Kekich remained married, but the relationship between Kekich and Marilyn Peterson did not last very long. By June, the Yankees traded Kekich.

“It’s a love story. It wasn’t anything dirty,” Peterson told a reporter in 2013. “I could not be happier with anybody in the world. ‘Mama’ and I go out and party every night. We’re still on the honeymoon and it has been a real blessing.”

Born: February 8, 1942
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died: April 11, 2024 (aged 82)
Batted: Switch
Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 15, 1966, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
June 19, 1976, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 133–131
Earned run average 3.30
Strikeouts 1,015
Career highlights and awards



Posted in MLB