Don Baylor, the 1979 American League Most Valuable Player and one of the best power hitters of his era, died Monday morning after a long battle with multiple myeloma. He was 68.
“Don passed from this earth with the same fierce dignity with which he played the game and lived his life," his wife, Rebecca, said in a statement. His son, Don, Jr., first confirmed the death to Baylor’s hometown paper, the Austin American Statesman.
Baylor played in the majors for 19 years, mostly with the California Angels, and then with the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland A’s, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox. He won a World Series with the Twins in 1987.
Known for his aggressive base running and fearlessness at the plate, Baylor ranks fourth all-time in hit by pitches with 267 beanings.
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After his playing career, Baylor was the manager of the Colorado Rockies for their inaugural season in 1993. He spent six seasons there and led the Rockies to their first postseason appearance in 1995. He also managed the Chicago Cubs from 2000 to 2002.