BREVARD, N.C. (WJZ) — Former Baltimore Oriole Gilbert “Gil” Coan, who earned the franchise’s first hit as a member of the original 1954 team, died Wednesday in his native North Carolina at age 97.

He was born May 18, 1922, in Monroe, North Carolina.

The Orioles tweeted their condolences Saturday morning.

“We mourn the loss of former Oriole Gil Coan,” the team wrote. “A member of the original 1954 team, Coan collected the club’s first hit on April 13, 1954 against Detroit.”

According to his obituary, a memorial service will be held in Brevard, North Carolina, on February 22. In lieu of flowers, his family is asking people to donate to the First United Methodist Church of Brevard or to the baseball program at Brevard College.

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