Larry “Bo” Osborne’s primary position was first base, but he also played third base, catcher, left field and right field in six seasons with the Detroit Tigers and Washington Senators.
The former Atlanta Cracker, and later a scout for the San Francisco Giants, once joked he was a jack of all trades and a master of none.
“He was a power hitter who liked to pull the ball, but he could hit it the other way, too,” said Tim Osborne, a son from Woodstock. “He was a big fella, but he could move and he could run. He was a consummate baseball player who could play anywhere and do a lot of things well.”
On Friday, Mr. Osborne died from complications of diabetes and related illnesses at his home in Woodstock. He was 75. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the chapel of Carmichael Funeral Home in Smyrna, which is handling arrangements.
In 1953, he accepted a football scholarship from Auburn University, but bypassed it in favor of a baseball contract with the Detroit Tigers. The West Fulton High School graduate hit 190 home runs in the minor leagues, with Montgomery, Augusta, Birmingham and Durham, N.C., among his stops.
In 1960, Mr. Osborne enjoyed what might have been the highlight of his baseball career. Playing for Denver, the Detroit Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate, he battled Carl Yastrzemski, a Red Sox prospect with Minneapolis at the time, for the American Association batting title. It was decided over the last two games of the season, with Mr. Osborne winning with a .342 batting average to Yastrzemski’s .339. With 34 home runs and 119 RBIs, Mr. Osborne also was the league triple crown winner that season.
He managed a rookie league team for a season, before becoming a scout for the San Francisco Giants. An advance scout the past 16 years, his primary job was to report on the Giants’ opponents, who included the Braves. He let his daughter Kim Todd of Marietta tag along for day games when she was in high school.
“That was better than anything I could have learned in a classroom that day,” she said. “He was wonderful.”
Sid Osborne, a son from Mableton, said his father occasionally received letters from autograph seekers from around the world.
“Dad was all about the game,” he said. “Just recently he got his World Series ring. It’s been really amazing.”
In 2003, Mr. Osborne sized up a baseball career that spanned nearly 60 years to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“I just thank the good Lord every day for giving me the ability to play. ... I couldn’t have asked for a better life.”
Additional survivors include Sandra Osborne, his wife of 55 years, and five grandchildren.
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