At the age of 70, former Kansas City Royals infielder UL Washington passes away.

After a purported fight with cancer, former major league middle infielder UL Washington, who was well-known for his time spent in Kansas City and his signature toothpick, passed away over the weekend. He was seventy years old.

Over his 11-year career, Washington played for three teams, most notably the Royals (1977–1984). His two-out single against the New York Yankees in the ninth inning of a July 1983 game set the stage for his teammate George Brett’s memorable pine tar incident.

“So sorry to hear my friend my team mate UL washington has died of cancer he was a great player I will always be thankful of our time together with the royals,” Brett wrote on X on Monday.

Over the course of his 907 career games with the Royals, Montreal Expos (1985), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1986–87), Washington hit.251 with 27 home runs, 255 RBIs, and 132 stolen bases. In 1980, he contributed to Kansas City’s first American League pennant.

However, his most famous play was probably holding a toothpick in his mouth.

In 1988, Washington said to the Oklahoman, “I’d much rather be remembered as a pretty good player, but I realize most people will remember me as the guy with the toothpick.”

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