Jay Jaffe, Starting Centerfielder on USC's 1968 National Championship Baseball Team, Dies
LOS ANGELES— Jay Jaffe, the starting centerfielder on USC's 1968 National Championship-winning baseball team, died earlier this week in Palm Desert of Parkinson's disease at the age of 74.
Jaffe played two varsity seasons for the Trojans (1968-69), earning the starting centerfielder role on the title-winning squad in 1968 after joining the team as an unrecruited walk-on.
Jaffe helped USC to its fifth College World Series Championship in 1968, finishing third on the team with a .281 batting average while hitting three homers and driving in 11 runs. He also helped the Trojans to a 39-12-1 record the following season before graduating in 1969.
Following his time at USC, Jaffe had a tryout with the San Diego Padres and earned an invitation to join the club's single-A farm team, but opted instead to attend Southwestern Law School. He would go on to have a long and successful career as a prominent defense attorney in the Los Angeles area.
Even after his playing days were over, Jaffe was a regular fixture around the USC program, remaining heavily involved in the Trojan Baseball Alumni and Boosters (TBAB) organization and attending every alumni game from 1970 on. He was given the inaugural Spirit of Troy Award by the TBAB in 2016, with the organization renaming the award in his honor (the Jay Jaffe Spirit of Troy Award) the following year.
Jaffe was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2009 after having already battled and beaten lymphoma three times.
Jaffe grew up in Baldwin Hills and attended Fairfax High School before coming to USC. He is survived by his wife, Denise. No memorial information is currently available.