Remembering Bob Watson Following Baseball Figure’s Death

Remembering Bob Watson Following Baseball Figure’s Death

by May 16, 2020 0 comments

Former Major League Baseball player and general manager Bob Watson passed away Thursday night. He was 74 years old.

Watson had been in declining health in recent years. One health problem he had was kidney failure. Watson’s son said that his father died from kidney disease.

“Bob Watson was a highly accomplished figure in our National Pastime and a deeply respected colleague for those of us at Major League Baseball,” said commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement. “He was an All-Star during his 19-year Major League career and a groundbreaking executive in the front office. Bob rose up to become general manager of the Astros in 1993 and made history as the first African American GM of a World Series champion with the 1996 Yankees. He then oversaw all on-field operations for the Commissioner’s Office and played a pivotal role in USA Baseball’s success internationally, including its Olympic Gold Medal in the 2000 Sydney Games.”

Watson, who was nicknamed “The Bull,”  played for the Houston Astros for the first 14 years of his career. He also played for the Boston Red Sox (1979), New York Yankees (1980-82), and Atlanta Braves (1982-84). He was a two-time All-Star and finished his career with a .295 average. He also tallied 184 home runs, 989 RBI, and 802 runs scored.

Watson became a coach after he stopped playing. He helped the 1988 Oakland Athletics win the American League pennant as a hitting coach. In 1993, the Astros hired Watson as their general manager. He became the second black general manager in MLB history.

The Yankees hired Watson as their general manager in 1995. Watson won a World Series title with the Yankees in 1996. He retired from the Yankees after the 1997 season. After being a general manager, Watson served as MLB’s vice president in charge of discipline and vice president of rules on on-field operations. He retired from those roles in 2010.

Watson was inducted into the Astros Hall of Fame this year. He also had a cameo in the 1977 movie, “The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training.”

Rest in peace, Bob Watson.

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