Ex-MLB outfielder, two-time Manager of the Year Bill Virdon dies at 90

Ex-MLB outfielder, two-time Manager of the Year Bill Virdon dies at 90
Former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Bill Virdon (L), shown July 8, 2014, won the AL Manager of the Year award with the New York Yankees in 1974 and the NL award with the Houston Astros in 1980. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 23 (UPI) — Bill Virdon, the 1955 National League Rookie of the Year winner who later captured Manager of the Year awards in both leagues, has died at the age of 90, it was announced Tuesday.

Virdon died at the Lester E. Cox Medical Center in Springfield, Mo., according to his wife. No cause of death was provided.

Virdon had a career .267 batting average across 12 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (1955-56) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1956-65, 1968). He won a World Series title in 1960 with the Pirates and a Gold Glove Award in 1962.

After his playing career, the Pirates gave Virdon his first opportunity to be a manager in 1972. He guided Pittsburgh to the National League Championship Series that year.

“Bill Virdon was a man who took such great pride in being a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates family,” Pirates chairman Bob Nutting said in a statement. “Every fan who followed our 1960 team will always remember the instrumental role that he played to bring a third World Series championship to the city of Pittsburgh.

“We are also eternally grateful for everything that Bill did representing the Pirates following his playing days not only as a successful manager, but also in helping a countless number of our young players that he so proudly instructed and mentored as a coach and one of our long-time Spring Training guest instructors.”

Virdon won the AL Manager of the Year award with the New York Yankees in 1974, and he earned the same award in the NL with the Houston Astros in 1980. He remains the Astros’ career wins leader as a manager (544).

Overall, Virdon finished with a 995-921 career record in 13 seasons, ending in 1984 with the then-Montreal Expos.

In 12 MLB seasons, Virdon recorded 1,596 hits, 91 home runs and 502 RBIs.


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