Ex-MLB player Claudell Washington, member of Oakland A's 1974 champs, dead at 65

The last two managers Claudell Washington played for remembered the two-time Yankees outfielder the same way on Wednesday, the day he died at 65.

Washington battled illness for several years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“This is bad news. He was a super guy. I really enjoyed having him,’’ Bucky Dent told The Post from Florida. “He was at the end of his career [when he played for the Yankees], an older player. I really enjoyed having him. He always gave all he had.’’


Stump Merrill, who replaced Dent after 49 games in 1990, echoed Dent’s feelings for Washington.

“I got along with him very well. He liked to play, could run, defended pretty well and he had a little pop,’’ Merrill said from Maine. “He was very serviceable and a team guy. I liked him.’’

Washington’s second stop in The Bronx was his final address in a 17-year career that started as a 19-year-old with the 1974 A’s, who had Joe Rudi, Sal Bando and Reggie Jackson and won a third straight World Series title.

“He was a nice player. It looked like he was going to be a real star,’’ Jackson said from California of Washington, an L.A. native, who attended high school in Berkeley, Calif., and was signed by the A’s as an amateur free agent in 1972.

Washington spent three seasons with the A’s and played for the Rangers, White Sox, Mets (1980), Braves, Yankees, Angels and the Yankees again in 1990. He was an All-Star in 1975 at 20 and in 1984 for Atlanta. In 1,912 big league games Washington batted .278 and was a .333 (13-for-39) hitter in 15 postseason games.

Washington appeared in 79 games for the 1980 Mets and hit .275.

Washington’s best season with the Yankees was his last of the first stint. In 126 games in 1988, Washington tied a career-high by hitting .308 with 11 homers, 64 RBIs and posting a .784 OPS.

He also hit the 10,000th home run in Yankees franchise history on April 20, 1988, when he crushed a pinch-hit blast off Twins closer Jeff Reardon.


Following the season, Washington signed with the California Angels as a free agent. Washington returned to the Yankees on April 29, 1990, with pitcher Rich Monteleone in a deal that sent Luis Polonia to the Angels.

The second time with the Yankees didn’t go as well for Washington, who was 35 at the time. In 33 games he batted .163 and retired.