MLB's Wayne Comer dies at 79

 October 6, 2023

Former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Wayne Comer has died at the age of 79. 

Page Valley News reports, "Harry 'Wayne' Comer, 79, of Shenandoah, Virginia, passed away Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at home surrounded by his family."

No further information has been provided about the cause of Comer's passing.

Page Valley, in some ways, is both where Comer's story begins and ends.

Who was Wayne Comer?

Born in Shenandoah, Virginia, Comer would go on to attend and to graduate from Page County High School. From there, he went straight to the MLB.

In 1962, Comer would sign with the Washington Senators. He would go on to play for the Seattle Pilots, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Detroit Tigers.

Comer was particularly known for his time with the Pilots and with the Tigers. In Detroit, he was a member of the team's 1968 World Series Championship team.

In total, Comer spent 13 seasons in the MLB, where he played the position of outfielder. But, this was not the end of his baseball career.

After professional baseball, Comer would go on to coaching, particularly at the high school level. He would spend 16-years as the coach of Page County High School - the same high school that he graduated from as a teenager. 2023 was his final season as the team's coach.

Remembering Comer

Comer's impact on the baseball community is made clear by the touching tributes that he has received since the news of his passing.

Page County High School has put out a statement, writing:

[Page County] Athletics is mourning the loss of our baseball coach, Mr. Wayne Comer. A graduate of the inaugural class of [Page County], Wayne served our community faithfully as a major league ballplayer, official, and lastly as a coach since 2009. He is an inaugural member of our Legacy Hall of Fame, and his impact on our baseball program was profound.

Comer showed how much Page County and baseball meant to him, in a statement that he made ahead of his retirement.

Comer is reported to have fought back tears as he said:

I’ve had a good run. I get emotional. I’ve been doing it for so long. I love all these guys and love the game of baseball. I’ve had it in my blood since I was a youngster.

Comer is survived by his wife, Joyce Ann Nauman, three sons, two sisters, 10 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, 25 nieces and nephews, six brothers-in-law, and four sisters-in-law.

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