Ex-Major League Baseball player, manager Don Baylor dies

(AP) – Don Baylor, the burly slugger who once held the Major League Baseball record for being hit a pitch and later guided the expansion Colorado Rockies to the playoffs for the first time as manager of the year, died Monday of cancer. He was 68.

The 1979 American League MVP died in his hometown of Austin, Texas, after a 14-year battle with multiple myeloma, Baylor’s family said in a statement released by the Angels, the franchise for which he played more than 800 games.

Baylor played in all 162 games for the California Angels in 1979 and led the majors with career bests of 139 RBIs and 120 runs. He also had career highs in homers (36) and hits (186) for the American League West champs, who lost to Baltimore in the AL Championship Series.

Baylor was the first manager for the Rockies, leading them to his only playoff appearance as a manager in the franchise’s third season in 1995. He spent six years with Colorado and two-plus seasons as manager of the Chicago Cubs, from 2000-02. His career record was 627-689. He was most recently the hitting coach for the Angels and spent nearly 50 years in pro baseball.