RIP: Moose Stubing, the Bronx Cowboy
Born in the Bronx, Moose Stubing fell in love with El Paso, where he finished his baseball playing career with the Angels Double-A affiliate, the Sun Kings. He never lost his Bronx accent, but adapted quickly to the western lifestyle, complete with an array of cowboy boots he loved to wear.
Stubing, whose career in professional baseball ranged from 14 seasons in the minor leagues to an eight-game stint as manager of the Angels, passed away on Friday night. Details are unavailable.
Stubing would have turned 80 on March 31.
He was known for his dry sense of humor, like the day an airplane flew over Anaheim Stadium promoting a Jimmy Buffet concert.
“Jimmy’s Buffet?” he said. “Wondering what they are serving.”
It was in the 1978 season, when he was managing the Angels Triple-A affiliate at Salt Lake City, that Stubbing walked into the clubhouse on a Sunday morning and spotted first baseman Willie Aikens reading the newspaper.
“Better read the want ads,” said Stubbing. “If you don’t get your head in the game you’re going to be looking for a job.”
Aikens heeded the advice, and in 1979 was a key factor in the Angels winning their first division title.
Stubbing originally signed by the Pirates in 1956, and over a 14-year period that included time with the Pirates, Giants, Cardinals and Angels he appeared in 1,410 minor-league games, compiling a .283 average and hitting 192 home runs.
His big-league career consisted of five pinch-hit at-bats with the Angels in 1967.
Stubing spent six years as the Angels third base coach (1985-90), managing the final eight games of the 1988 season following the firing of Cookie Rojas. After his coaching career he spent 18 seasons as a scout for the Angeles before finishing his baseball career as a scout with the Nationals.
He was the PCL manager of the year in 1982 and two years later managed an Edmonton team that won the PCL title.
Stubing also was a long-time college basketball officials, who worked in what were then known as the Southwest Conference, Pac-8 and the original Western Athletic Conference.