07baylor-obit-5-superJumbo.jpg

Don Baylor, Slugging M.V.P. in the American League, Dies at 68

By the time he retired in 1988, he had been hit 267 times, a modern-day record at the time. (It was surpassed by Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros.)

Baylor’s major league career began in 1970 with the Orioles, who had won the World Series in 1966 and would win it again in 1970. His mentor was the future Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, an aggressive, intimidating player who later managed Baylor on the Santurce team in the winter league in Puerto Rico after the 1970 season.

“Mostly, he taught me to think while hitting,” Baylor was quoted as saying in the book about the 1986 Red Sox. “He would say, ‘A guy pitches inside, hit that ball right down the line.’ Frank also wanted me to start using my strength more. Frank knew there was a pull hitter buried somewhere inside me.”

Photo

Willie Randolph, of the Yankees, tumbled over Baylor after throwing to first base to complete a double play in 1977.

Credit
Ray Stubblebine/Associated Press

But just as Baylor was starting to demonstrate the full scope of his talents, the Orioles sent him to the Oakland Athletics in a six-player…

Read Story

Translate »