Former Oakland A's Infielder Tony Phillips Dead at 56

MESA, Ariz. -- Former A's infielder Tony Phillips died Wednesday in Arizona at age 56, the team announced in a statement Friday.

Phillips is the third member of Oakland's 1989 World Series championship team to pass away in less than two years. Pitcher Bob Welch died in June 2014 after an accidental fall in his bathroom, and outfielder Dave Henderson suffered a fatal heart attack in December. Both were 57.

There was no immediate word on Phillips' cause of death, but the news was a somber note on the eve of the A's beginning spring training in Mesa.

“The Oakland A’s lost another member of our family this week with the unexpected passing of Tony Phillips,” A's president Michael Crowley said in a statement. “We all have fond memories of Tony making the final play in the A’s 1989 World Series. He was a remarkable player. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Phillips made his Major League debut with the A’s in 1982 and spent eight seasons with Oakland through 1989. He followed that with a five-year stay with Detroit from 1990-94 and also played for California (1995), Chicago-AL (1996-97), Anaheim (1997), Toronto (1998) and New York-NL (1998) before concluding his career with the A’s in 1999. Phillips hit .266 with 160 home runs and 819 RBI in 2161 career games.

He was a member of the A’s 1989 World Series Champions as a valuable utility player who played every position except pitcher and catcher in his career. Phillips batted a career-high .313 with Detroit in 1993 and hit a career-high 27 home runs with the Angels in 1995.

Oakland A's media services contributed to this report.

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