Margot (Graney) Mudd, the daughter of Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and Cleveland Indians baseball legend, Jack Graney, passed away on Friday in Plantation, Fla., at the age of 98.
Her daughter, Perry Smith, shared this morning that her mother had died at her home after battling influenza.
Born in Cleveland in 1921, Margot, who was very proud of her father’s legacy, was a lovely and generous woman. I met her in person in 2014 when she came to St. Thomas, Ont., when her father’s name was added to the city’s Wall of Fame.
A mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she assisted her husband J.O. Mudd in operating a funeral home for more than four decades and also taught languages at Bowling Green High School for 10 years.
Smith shared that her mother also served as a code breaker during the Second World War and worked out of Washington, D.C.
Born in St. Thomas, Ont., her father, Jack Graney, was a scrappy leadoff hitter for the Cleveland Indians. His big league resume boasts a number of firsts. When he walked to the plate in a game against the Boston Red Sox on July 11, 1914, he became the first batter to face Babe Ruth. Almost two years later, on June 26, 1916, he was the first major leaguer to bat wearing a number on his uniform. After hanging up his spikes, Graney became the first ex-player to make the transition to the broadcast booth, performing radio play-by-play for the Indians from 1932 to 1953.
For his efforts, he was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously in 1984. That ceremony was held in Montreal prior to an Expos game and Margot threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Gary Carter.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame now hands out an award named in his honour annually to a member of the media who has made significant contributions to baseball in Canada through their life’s work.
Smith says a memorial service will be held for her mother at a future date when family members are able to travel.
Margot is survived by her daughter, Perry Smith (Ernie Smith) of Plantation, Fla; grandchildren Matthew Smith (Jessica Richman Smith), children Zachary, Alexander, twins Eleanor and Vivienne Margot Smith of Westport, Connecticut; Jessica Smith (Erik Olson), children Jack and Genevieve Olson of Washington D.C.; and Daniel Smith (Nikka Graff Lanzarone) of Brooklyn, New York.
I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Margot’s family. I will never forget meeting her and will cherish the conversations I was able to have with her over the years.