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MLB: Pirates great Bill Virdon dies at 90

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Former Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder and manager Bill Virdon died Tuesday at age 90.

The Pirates confirmed his passing.

“We are also eternally grateful for everything that Bill did representing the Pirates following his playing days not only as a successful manager, but also in helping a countless number of our young players that he so proudly instructed and mentored as a coach and one of our long-time Spring Training guest instructors,” Pirates chairman Bob Nutting said in a news release.

“We send our thoughts and prayers to Bill’s wife of 70 years, Shirley, his children Debbie Virdon Lutes, Linda Virdon Holmes and Lisa Virdon Brown, along with his seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.”

Virdon was the 1955 National League Rookie of the Year with the St. Louis Cardinals and helped the Pirates win the 1960 World Series. He won a Gold Glove in 1962.

He batted .267 with 91 home runs, and 502 RBIs in 1,583 games with the Cardinals (1955-56) and Pirates (1956-65, 1968). He led the National League with 10 triples in 1962.

Virdon compiled a 995-921-2 record as a manager over 13 seasons with the Pirates (1972-73), New York Yankees (1974-75), Houston Astros (1975-82) and Montreal Expos (1983-84).

He guided the Astros to their first-ever postseason appearance in 1980 and remains the winningest skipper in team history (544-522-1).

“Bill Virdon was an extremely vital part of the Astros success, leading the franchise to its first two postseason appearances,” the team said in a statement. “He was respected throughout baseball for his intensity and knowledge of the game and enjoyed a long, successful career both as a player and manager. His impact on the Astros organization will never be forgotten. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Shirley, and to his family and friends.”

–Field Level Media

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