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Former big league player, skipper King dies

Former big league player, skipper King dies

Clyde King, who spent more than 60 years in baseball as a player, manager and front-office executive, died Tuesday in Goldsboro, N.C. He was 86.

Wayne Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Amy Cain confirmed the death to The Associated Press. King was hospitalized two weeks ago with several problems, including heart trouble.

King, a right-hander, pitched for seven seasons in the Major Leagues, compiling a 32-25 record and a 4.14 ERA with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds. His best season was in 1951, when he went 14-7 with the Dodgers, but his big league career ended after his one season with the Reds in '53.

King, who founded the Baseball Chapel fellowship of Christian players, was also a close friend of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier in 1947.

After his playing days, King coached with Cincinnati, St. Louis and Pittsburgh before becoming manager of the San Francisco Giants in 1969, leading the club to a 90-72 record and a second-place finish in the National League.

King managed the Giants again for the start of the 1970 season and skippered the Atlanta Braves for parts of the '74 and '75 campaigns. He later served as the last of three managers to lead the New York Yankees in 1982, guiding them to a 29-33 finish. In five years as a manager, King led his clubs to a 234-229 record.

His career with the Yankees spanned nearly 30 years, as he first joined the team's front office in 1976 and served in various roles as a scout, pitching coach, general manager, special advisor and manager of the club. He was the Yankees' GM from '85-86 and was a member of the coaching staff again in '88. From 1998-2005, he was a special assistant to the general manager.

"Clyde was a loyal and dedicated friend and advisor to my father, our family and the Yankees organization," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. "Although his baseball achievements were impressive and deserving, he also lived a rich and fulfilling life away from the game.

"Clyde was a man of great faith who cared deeply about his friends and family, and he served as a role model to so many of us who had the great opportunity to spend time with him. We mourn Clyde's passing with his wonderful wife, Norma, and the entire King family."

King is survived by his wife of 64 years, Norma, their three daughters and sons-in-law, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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