Siberian Baseball

Thursday, May 01, 2008

RIP Buzzie Bavasi

Buzzie Bavasi, one of the key pieces in Branch Rickey's plan to integrate the major leagues is dead tonight at age 93.

For those who spend time reading up on baseball's history, the name is undoubtedly familiar - he plays a minor role in Michael Shapiro's Last Good Season - and his work with the Dodgers, Padres and Angels cemented his reputation as one of the best front office men in the history of the game.

From the release is this story, which seems to capture what I've read about the man pretty effectively:

He alienated much of Southern California in 1979, not so much for his inability to re-sign free agent Nolan Ryan to a new Angels contract but for his parting words about the icon, who that season had gone 16-14: "We'll just have to find a couple of 8-7 pitchers to replace him."

After the durable Ryan notched his sixth no-hitter 11 years later, Bavasi sent him a message: "Nolan, some time ago I made it public that I made a mistake. You don't have to rub it in."

So long to the man who helped bring one sublime world championship to Brooklyn before they lost their beloved Dodgers. Condolences to his family, including Mariners' GM, Bill.

(Image from:



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