Bill “Moose” Skowron, the popular Yankees first baseman of the 1950s and 1960s, has died at the age of 81 after a long battle with lung cancer.
Skowron had been diagnosed with cancer last spring, and passed away early Friday morning 4/27/12 in Arlington Heights, Illinois, from congestive heart failure.
William Joseph Skowron was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is of Polish descent. His father was a garbage collector. His friends called him “Mussolini” as a joke, after his grandfather gave him a haircut which looked like the dictator’s, but his family shortened the nickname to “Moose.” The name stuck throughout his career. He went to Purdue University on a football scholarship, but found himself better suited to baseball when he hit .500 as a sophomore, a record in the Big Ten Conference that lasted ten years.