Donald Edward Baylor (June 28, 1949 – August 7, 2017) was a Major League Baseball coach player and manager. During his 19-year playing career, he was a power hitter who played as a first baseman, outfielder, and designated hitter. He played for six different American League teams, primarily the Baltimore Orioles and California Angels. He later managed the expansion Colorado Rockies for six years and the Chicago Cubs for three.
Born in Austin, Texas, Baylor graduated from Austin High School. He starred in both baseball and football at Austin High, and was offered a scholarship to play football at Texas by legendary Longhorns coach Darrell Royal, which would have made him the first African American to play football at Texas. He opted to pursue a baseball career, enrolling at Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas. He was drafted in the second round of the 1967 amateur draft by Baltimore. He played for the Orioles (1970-75), Oakland Athletics (1976, 1988), Angels (1977-82), New York Yankees (1983-85), Boston Red Sox (1986-87), and Minnesota Twins (1987).
In 1979, he led the American League with 139 RBIs and 120 runs and was an AL All-Star. He won the AL's MVP award and led the Angels to their first AL Western Division title ever. He reached the World Series three times in his career, in consecutive years with three different teams (the only MLB player to accomplish this feat)—the Red Sox in 1986, the Twins in 1987, and the A's in 1988—and was on the winning side in 1987. Baylor was a power hitter known for crowding the plate. He set the Yankees' and Red Sox' team record for most Hit by Pitches in a season (24 in 1985, and 35 in 1986 respectively). Baylor retired with 285 stolen bases, 2135 hits, and 338 home runs.
After retiring as a player, Baylor served as a hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals until he was named the manager of the expansion Colorado Rockies. He led the team for six years from 1993-98. The Rockies posted their first winning record (77-67) in 1995 and made the postseason as the wildcard team, and as a result, Baylor won the National League Manager of the Year Award. By 1997, the Rockies under Baylor's leadership had the best five-year record (363-384) of any expansion club in MLB history.
After a subpar 1998 season, Baylor was released. He became the hitting coach for the Atlanta Braves in 1999 and was hired to manage the Chicago Cubs in 2000 and managed through 2002. From 2003 to 2004, he served as the bench coach for the New York Mets. He spent the 2005 season with the Seattle Mariners as hitting coach for manager Mike Hargrove, and is currently working as a fill-in analyst for MASN. He is currently the hitting coach for the Rockies.
Baylor has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He died on August 7, 2017 at the age of 68.
- Top 500 home run hitters of all time
- List of major league players with 2,000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- List of Major League Baseball RBI champions
- List of Major League Baseball runs scored champions
- Major League Baseball hitters with three home runs in one game
Notes and referencesEdit
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|Awards and achievements|
|American League RBI Champion|
|American League Most Valuable Player|
|National League Manager of the Year|
|Colorado Rockies Manager|
|Chicago Cubs Manager|