"To put it quite simply, he was one of the classiest guys that I ever ran across in the game," said Blass, who pitched the Pirates to a Game 7 victory over Baltimore in the 1971 World Series. "Straight up, straight-on honest with you, a very good judge of talent. ... I was not a big bonus baby, I was not a big prospect. But he cared about me from day one, and that never ended."