Don Baylor, the first manager in Colorado Rockies history, died Monday morning after a battle with cancer. He was 68.
The 1979 American League MVP and longtime player and coach in Major League Baseball passed away in his hometown of Austin, Texas, the Austin American-Statesman first reported.
“Don passed from this earth with the same fierce dignity with which he played the game and lived his life,” Baylor’s wife, Rebecca, said in a statement posted to ESPN.com.
In a post to Twitter, the Rockies wrote the organization was “deeply saddened” by Baylor’s passing.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of original Colorado Rockies Manager Don Baylor. pic.twitter.com/hYo61JP1sF
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 7, 2017
Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the 1967 MLB Draft out of high school, Baylor’s career spanned 19 years and six teams — the Orioles, Oakland Athletics, California Angels, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Minnesota Twins.
The three-time Silver Slugger earned an All-Star Game nod and the AL MVP in the same season, 1979, as a member of the Angels.
Over his career, Baylor batted .260 with 338 home runs and 1,276 RBIs and reached the World Series in three straight seasons (1986-1988), winning a title with the Twins in 1987.
As a manager, Baylor spent six seasons atop the bench for the Rockies, from 1993 to 1998, earning National League Manager of the Year honors in 1995 after the club’s first postseason berth.
Following his release from the club in 1998, Baylor managed the Chicago Cubs from 2000 to 2002, and he served as a coach for the Atlanta Braves (1999), New York Mets (2003-2004), Seattle Mariners (2005), Rockies (2009-2010), Arizona Diamondbacks (2011-2013), and Los Angeles Angels (2014-2015).
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.
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