Former Colorado Rockies manager Don Baylor in 2009, as a coach for the team. - Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The first manager in the history of the Colorado Rockies has died. Don Baylor passed away from cancer early Monday morning in Austin, Texas. His son confirmed the news to the Austin American-Statesman.
Under Baylor's guidance, the Rockies made the playoffs for the first time in 1995. In his six years at the helm, Baylor's teams went 440-469. He later returned to the team as a coach. He also managed the Cubs from 2000-2002.
Baylor's managerial experience came after an impressive 19 year playing career. He was the American League Most Valuable Player while with the Angels in 1979. That year, Baylor hit .296 with 36 home runs and 139 RBIs.
KOA NewsRadio Rockies Insider and Hall of Fame baseball writer Tracy Ringolsby joined April Zesbaugh and Mike Rice on Colorado's Morning News. That interview is below.
COLORADO ROCKIES STATEMENT REGARDING THE PASSING
OF ORIGINAL MANAGER DON BAYLOR
On behalf of the organization, Owner/Chairman & CEO Dick Monfort made the following statement:
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Becky and the entire Baylor family. Don was instrumental in the creation of the Rockies and in his two stints with the club, he left an impact on each and every one of us. He was a big man with an even bigger heart, a friend of so many. His persona will be a part of our club heritage forever. This is a sad day in Colorado and for all of baseball."
Beginning tomorrow for their game in Cleveland, the Rockies will honor their original manager by hanging a jersey with his name on the back in their dugout.
The club is planning a tribute to Don Baylor when the team returns home on Monday, August 14.