Brad Choat (@choatsnews)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) – Former St. Louis Cardinals catcher Joe Garagiola has died at the age of 90 after a lengthy illness.

Like his boyhood friend, Yogi Berra, Garagiola also grew up on “The Hill” in St. Louis, then went on to a career in Major League Baseball and broadcasting.

Garagiola was a member of the 1946 Cardinals World Series championship team.

After nine Major League Baseball seasons, he switched to broadcasting and was a panelist on the Today Show in the mid-1960s through the early ’70s. Garagiola also filled in for Johnny Carson from time to time as host of the Tonight Show.

Garagiola was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 as the recipient of baseball broadcasting’s Ford C. Frick Award.

He was also politically active, campaigning for President Ford in 1976, and in later years, warning against the dangers of chewing tobacco.

Garagiola is survived by his wife of 66 years, Audrey, sons Joe Jr. and Steve, daughter Gina and eight grandchildren.

The funeral will be held at an unspecified date in his hometown of St. Louis. A memorial service also will be held in Phoenix.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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