Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont
  Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont

Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont

Friend, Robert B.

Robert B. Friend, 88 of O’Hara Township passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, February 3, 2019. Beloved Husband for 61 years of Patricia (Koval) Friend. Loving Father of Missy (Kent) Alexander and Robert C. (Bob) Friend. Grandfather of Michael (Valerie) Alexander, Brynn Alexander, and Charlie, Libby, and Andrew Friend. Great-Grandfather of Karris Hope Alexander. Brother of the late Charlotte, Lloyd, Mary, Josie, Robert, Ray, and Paul. Mr. Friend, who had the nickname “Warrior,” played for the Pirates from 1951 to 1965 and closed his baseball career in 1966 suiting up for the New York Yankees and, later, the Mets. As the kid pitcher grew, so did the ballclub. In 1955, Mr. Friend became the first pitcher to have the league’s lowest earned run average, at 2.83, while playing for a last-place team. In 1958, he led the league with a career-best 22 wins. In 1960, the four-time All-Star became a World Series champion. He then turned to Pittsburgh-area politics, serving eight years as Allegheny County controller, from 1968 until 1976. “Our father was a Renaissance man.” Bob and Missy said, “He sang in a barbershop quartet in high school and college and was recruited by the Pirates right out of high school, but went back to Purdue for seven off seasons and earned a degree in economics.” During his baseball career, he sold mutual funds for Federated Investors of Pittsburgh and spent the 26 years, prior to retirement in 2001, with Babb Inc., a Pittsburgh insurance broker. “Our father had a very long career in Major League Baseball, but you could be in a conversation with dad for hours and not know he was in the majors,” Bob and Missy said. “It never came up. He was the most humble guy you’d ever meet.” Robert Bartmess Friend was born on Nov. 24, 1930, in Lafayette, Ind., and grew up in nearby West Lafayette. His father was a lover of all music and encouraged young Bob and his siblings to take an interest in music. He was a virtuoso pianist before giving it up at age 16 after his father died. An all-star halfback and pitcher, he enrolled at Purdue University, like his father and several siblings had previously, and planned to play on the football team. Mr. Friend finished third in Cy Young Award voting in 1958, yet he didn’t consider that his finest season. That distinction rested with the championship season in 1960, when he went 18-12 with a 3.00 ERA. Bob was a 33rd Degree Mason and a Jester with the Franklin St. John’s Trinity Lodge 221. He was a strong man of faith and a longtime member of the Oakmont Country Club. Friends and relatives will be received on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 from 6-8 p.m. and on Thursday, February 7, 2019 from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. at the BURKET-TRUBY FUNERAL HOME CREMATION & ALTERNATIVE SERVICES INC. 421 Allegheny Ave. Oakmont. Services and interment will be private for the family. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Pittsburgh Pirate Alumni Association, PNC Park North Shore-115 Federal Street Pittsburgh , PA 15212