R.I.P. Don Baylor
August 8, 2017 12:04am CST
It seems as though I get all of my breaking news from MyLot these days, and today was no different. I learned in a discussion by @Deepizzaguy that former Major League Baseball player and manager Don Baylor died today after a battle with cancer. Baylor, who was a first baseman/left fielder/designated hitter for six different teams, was a favorite of mine when I was a kid. He held the distinction of being hit by pitch 267 times, and finished his career with 2,135 hits, 338 home runs, and 285 stolen bases. He was an All Star, an MVP, and a World Series Champion. As much as I loved Don Baylor as a player, however, he will always have a place in my heart as the first manager of the Colorado Rockies. Until 1993, we only had minor league baseball here in Colorado. After we were awarded the expansion Rockies, I was thrilled when Baylor was announced as manager. Don Baylor was not a winning manager. Combined with his time spent managing the Chicago Cubs, his overall managerial record was 627 wins and 689 losses, with most of those numbers coming with the Rockies. That first season, ownership gave him some good players such as Andres Galarraga, Dante Bichette, Eric Young, and Charlie Hayes, but also saddled him with nobody's like Alex Cole and Freddy Beneviedes, and a nightmare of a pitching staff. Baylor brought a hard nosed work ethic to the team, and, despite their shortcomings, those early Rockies teams were fun to watch. My favorite Don Baylor moment? A Sunday afternoon game against the San Francisco Giants, with temperatures in the triple digits. When Baylor gave that day's lineup card to the home plate umpire, the ump crumpled it up and threw it on the ground, after which he tossed Baylor out of the game (which wasn't even scheduled to start for at least thirty minutes.) Baylor spent the rest of that entire time screaming in that umpire's ear until game time (the two had had words over a blown call the night before.) We gave Baylor a standing ovation when he finally left the field. R.I.P., Don. Thank you for your time in Colorado. (Info verified by Wikipedia)
http://www.courtsidetweets.com Don Baylor of the Boston Red Sox breaks the all time record for hit by pitches in 1987. It's amazing that the 1979 American Le...
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• Los Angeles, California
8 Aug 17
I didn't know he had been battling cancer for years. A few years ago, Baylor returned to the Angels as hitting coach and he had a long absence followed by his exiting. It was never explained beyond medical issues and now we know why.
11 Aug 17
@teamfreak16 Yes, he was right up there on top of it. Another player who did that and got hit often was Frank Robinson. These guys who crowd the plate are trying to reach that outside strike which was often called but was usually a ball. A common strike zone among umps during the years Baylor played.