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Don Baylor

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Don Baylor

Don Baylor
Baylor as Colorado Rockies hitting coach in 2010
Designated hitter / Left fielder
Born: (1949-06-28) June 28, 1949
Austin, Texas
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 18, 1970, for the Baltimore Orioles
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1988, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
Batting average .260
Home runs 338
Runs batted in 1,276

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Donald Edward Baylor (born June 28, 1949) is a Major League Baseball (MLB) coach and a former MLB player and manager. During his 19 seasons in the major leagues, Baylor was a power hitter known for crowding the plate, and was a first baseman, left fielder, and designated hitter. He played for six different American League teams, primarily the Baltimore Orioles and California Angels, but also played for the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, and Boston Red Sox. He later managed the expansion Colorado Rockies for six years and the Chicago Cubs for three seasons.


  • Early life 1
  • Playing career 2
  • Coaching and managerial career 3
  • Managerial record 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Born in Austin, Texas, Baylor graduated from Austin High School. He starred in baseball and football at Austin High and was offered a scholarship to play football at The University of Texas by Longhorns coach Darrell Royal, which would have made him the first African American to play football at Texas.[1] He opted to pursue a baseball career, enrolling at Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas.

Playing career

He was drafted in the second round of the 1967 amateur draft by Baltimore. In 1970, he led the league with 34 doubles, 15 triples, 127 runs, and 140 games-played while playing for Rochester. The following year, he again led the league in doubles with 31 again for Rochester.[2] Baylor played for the Orioles from 1970 to 1975. Before the 1976 season, the Orioles traded him with Paul Mitchell and Mike Torrez to the Oakland Athletics for Reggie Jackson, Ken Holtzman, and Bill VanBommell. He signed with the California Angels as a free agent in 1977, and with the New York Yankees in 1983. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Mike Easler in 1986. In 1987, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named later. He signed with the Athletics for 1988, his final season as a player.

Baylor with the New York Yankees

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 (one of two players in history to accomplish this feat, Eric Hinske is the other)—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 Red Sox' team record for most hit by pitches in a season (35 in 1986); in his career, he was hit by pitches 267 times, fourth most all time.[3] Baylor retired with 285 stolen bases, 2,135 hits, and 338 home runs. He is the only player in MLB history with 300+ HRs, 250+ SBs, an RBI title, an MVP award, three (or more) World Series appearances, at least one World Championship and a World Series HR.

In his book Planet of the Umps, umpire Ken Kaiser said the hardest ball he ever saw hit was by Don Baylor. Kaiser said the ball glanced off the third baseman's glove and then sailed over the left field wall for a home run.[4]

Coaching and managerial career

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 finished his Rockies managerial career with a regular season record of 440–469 and a post–season record of 1–3.[5] 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. He had a record of 187–220 with the Cubs.[5] 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 was as a fill-in analyst for MASN in 2007 on Nationals broadcasts.

Baylor served as hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.[6] Baylor was replaced by Carney Lansford after the Rockies hit a franchise-low .226 on the road during the 2010 season. Baylor was offered a special assistant position to remain with Colorado but turned it down.

On October 25, 2010, Baylor agreed on a two-year contract to become hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.[7]

On October 16, 2013 Baylor was hired by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as their hitting coach.[8]

On March 31, 2014, Baylor suffered a fracture to his right femur while catching the ceremonial first pitch of the 2014 season, thrown by Vladimir Guerrero.[9] On April 1, 2014, he had surgery to have a plate and screws inserted into his leg.[10]

On October 13, 2015, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim announced that Baylor would not be coming back as the team hitting coach in 2016.

Managerial record

Team From To Regular season record Post–season record Ref.
W L Win % W L Win %
Colorado Rockies 1993 1998 440 469 .484 1 3 .250 [5]
Chicago Cubs 2000 2002 187 220 .459 [5]
Total 627 689 .476 1 3 .250

See also


  1. ^ Reid, Scott M. (2005-12-23). "Millions watched the Texas-Arkansas game in 1969".  
  2. ^ Norman MacLean, ed. (1988). 1988 Who's Who in Baseball. New York: Who's Who in Baseball Magazine Company, Inc. 
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Kaiser, Ken. "Planet of the Umps". 
  5. ^ a b c d "Don Baylor". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Renck, Troy E. (October 15, 2010). "Lansford takes over as Rockies' new hitting coach". Denver Post. 
  7. ^ Renck, Troy E. (October 25, 2010). "D-Backs to hire Baylor as new hitting coach". Denver Post. 
  8. ^ "Don Baylor leaving Arizona Diamondbacks for Los Angeles Angels". AZ. October 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ Perry, Dayn (March 31, 2014). "Don Baylor fractures femur while receiving first pitch, set for surgery". CBS Sports. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  10. ^ The Star Ledger April 2, 2014. section 5 pg. 53

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • Don Baylor managerial career statistics at
  • Retrosheet
Awards and achievements
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tony Muser
Milwaukee Brewers Hitting Coach
Succeeded by
Mike Easler
Preceded by
St. Louis Cardinals Hitting Coach
Succeeded by
Chris Chambliss
Preceded by
Clarence Jones
Atlanta Braves Hitting Coach
Succeeded by
Merv Rettenmund
Preceded by
Paul Molitor
Seattle Mariners Hitting Coach
Succeeded by
Jeff Pentland
Preceded by
Alan Cockrell
Colorado Rockies Hitting Coach
Succeeded by
Carney Lansford
Preceded by
Jack Howell
Arizona Diamondbacks Hitting Coach
Succeeded by
Turner Ward
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