Ex-Astro coach Parker dies
July 29, 1992
(c) Houston Astros
Former Astros coach Francis James "Salty " Parker, 79, will be buried Friday. He died Monday night after a lengthy illness.
Parker coached with the New York Mets and Astros, the latter from 1968-72 under Harry "The Hat" Walker and Leo Durocher. Parker did not return as an Astros coach in 1973 under Durocher but remained with the club as a scout.
He remained active in Houston-area baseball, coaching in the Karl Young League during the summers. Parker did not coach in the Karl Young League for two years but had returned this year despite ill health.
"It was such an irony when he coached and I was the manager," said former Astro outfielder Norm Miller, who played with Houston while Parker was a coach. "I'd have to laugh sometimes. I'd say, "I shouldn't be asking you anything; you ought to be telling me.' It wasn't so much manager and coach, it was a father-and-son relationship.
"He was great for the Karl Young League. Salty would help anybody who asked him. He was one of the few people in baseball I knew who would never say a bad thing about anybody -- even if they couldn't field or play a lick."
Parker, an infielder, played one season in the major leagues, appearing in 25 games with the 1936 Detroit Tigers. He batted 25 times and had seven hits, driving in four runs.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Bellaire West Baptist Church.
He is survived by two brothers, Charles of Granite City, Ill., and Kenneth of Joliet, Ill.; three daughters, Jean Latterner, Nancy Carter and Frances Collins, all of Houston; eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.