September 12, 2017

Rest in Peace - Don Baylor

I've been putting this one off for a couple of weeks, but it's time to recognize and appreciate the greatness of Don Baylor.

He passed away about a month ago from multiple myeloma.

Baylor had a heck of a career in Major League Baseball.  He got his start with my favorite team, the Baltimore Orioles, before going to the Angels where he really excelled.  He won the American League MVP in 1979 for California.

In 1983 he came to the New York Yankees as part of George Steinbrenner's obsession with overloading the team with veteran guys who should be designated hitters.  I've had him batting fifth for most of this Statis Pro season in the DH spot.

The end of Baylor's playing days were quite interesting too.  He played on three straight World Series teams:  The Red Sox (1986), the Twins (1987), and the Athletics (1988).  He would go on to coach in the bigs, including as the first manager for the Colorado Rockies.

I was a kid in the 1980's, and one of my very distinct memories of watching baseball back then was Baylor's enormous biceps and how he would lean into inside fastballs to take the hit by pitch.  When I played little league I was terrified of being plunked and there was Baylor, taking one on the arm all of the time, and making it look like it hurt the ball more than himself.

We went to a lot of games as a kid, and my dad would often bring his nice camera.  Here are a few pics he got of Baylor in his last season at Rangers game in old Arlington.  Rest in Peace Don Baylor - thank you for being such an awesome figure in the history of baseball.

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