Former Rockies manager Don Baylor dies at 68

Baylor managed the Rockies for their first six years. He steered Colorado to its first playoff appearance in 1995 and was named the MLB Manager of the Year for his efforts.

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Don Baylor, pictured here as the Rockies hitting coach in 2010, died Monday at the age of 68. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Don Baylor, pictured here as the Rockies hitting coach in 2010, died Monday at the age of 68. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Don Baylor, the Colorado Rockies’ first-ever manager, has died at 68, multiple reports indicated Monday morning, finally succumbing to multiple myeloma.

Baylor managed the Rockies for their first six years of existence from 1993-98. He steered Colorado to its first playoff appearance in 1995 and was named the MLB Manager of the Year for his efforts. In 24 seasons, the Rockies have only qualified for the postseason three times.

Before he got into coaching, Baylor had a 19-year career in the big leagues. He slugged 338 career home runs and 1,276 RBI. He earned the American League MVP in 1979 during a 36-home-run, 139-RBI season.

As a player, Baylor was known for his power and aggressive style. Baylor was hit by a pitch a then-record 267 times, as Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman pointed out, a testament to Baylor’s aggressiveness.

Baylor, an Austin, Texas, native, was the first African-American to play both varsity baseball and football at his high school, the Statesman reported.

Baylor finished with a 440-469 record as manager of the Rockies. He returned as Colorado’s hitting coach for two seasons in 2009 and 2010.

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