Tributes are pouring in for Don Baylor, the 1979 American League MVP with the Angels, who died Monday of cancer. He was 68.“Don passed from this earth with the same fierce dignity with which he played the game and lived his life,” his wife, Rebecca, said in a statement quoted by ESPN.
After playing with seven teams, including in Anaheim (1977–1982), Baylor managed the expansion Colorado Rockies for six years and the Chicago Cubs for three seasons.
He was named NL Manager of the Year in 1995 and inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame.
“He reached the World Series three straight times at the end of his career from 1986 to 1988 and won the title with the Twins in 1987,” noted ESPN.
“Baylor batted .260 with 338 home runs and 1,276 RBIs in his career. He led the majors seven times in being hit by pitches during a season, including taking 35 of them in 1986 with the Red Sox. He drew 267 HBPs in his career.”
ESPN said he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma 14 years ago, according to his family and “partnered with former Yankees pitcher Mel Stottlemyre to increase awareness and promote research of the disease.”
The Angels hired Baylor as hitting coach for the 2014 season, but suffered a fracture to his right femur while catching the ceremonial first pitch of that season. In October 2015, the Angels said he would not return in 2016.
Very sad to hear about the passing of my former teammate and friend Don Baylor. RIP 🙏
— Bert Blyleven (@BertBlyleven28) August 7, 2017
The world lost one of the truly great humans. Don Baylor passed away early this am.m. at age 68 after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma
— Tracy Ringolsby (@TracyRingolsby) August 7, 2017
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 7, 2017
— MLB (@MLB) August 7, 2017
— Dontrelle Willis (@DTrainMLB) August 7, 2017
Oh no. One of the most fabulous and kind gentlemen who has ever graced a uniform. Rest In Peace, Don Baylor https://t.co/lZGzf3it0X
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 7, 2017
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) August 7, 2017
We're deeply saddened by the passing of Don Baylor, a beloved member of the '86 Red Sox. Our thoughts & prayers are with his family. pic.twitter.com/NmWT9qq9Db
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 7, 2017
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