Ex-Brown Stiles dies; at 100, was oldest former major leaguer


ST. LOUIS (AP) – Former St. Louis Brown Rollie Stiles, believed to be the oldest former major leaguer, has died. He was 100.

Stiles died in his sleep Sunday morning at Bethesda Southgate nursing home in St. Louis County, a spokesman for the nursing home said Monday. A cause of death was not given.

Born Nov. 17, 1906, in Ratcliff, Ark., Stiles pitched for the Browns in 1930, 1931 and 1933, compiling a 9-14 record with a 5.92 ERA. Babe Ruth was among the hitters he faced.

“I had a great game against him,” Stiles recalled in a 2006 interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I held him to three hits.”

Emmett McAuliffe, a board member of the St. Louis Browns fan club and a friend of Stiles, recalled him as a modest and graceful man grateful for his baseball career.

“Everything about him was class,” McAuliffe said. “He knew he wasn’t the greatest player that ever lived. But he loved the game.”

In fact, Stiles played seven seasons in the minor leagues after his major league career ended.

“Even though the salary was bad, to be paid to play a boy’s game was a great line of work to him,” McAuliffe said.

Bill Borst, co-founder of the Browns fan club, said Stiles was scheduled to be the honored guest at the club’s annual dinner Wednesday.

The Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles after the 1953 season.

Stiles worked for Procter & Gamble after finishing his playing career, retiring in 1969. His wife died in 1997. Survivors include four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, according to the Browns fan club.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

AP-ES-07-23-07 1101EDT