Thursday, May 1, 2008

RIP: Architect of Dem Bums

Buzzie Bavasi, the architect of Dem Bums and a key figure in the integration of MLB with Jackie Robinson, passed away at the age of 93 today.

As the long-time general manager for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1951-68, his clubs won eight NL pennants and four World Championships in his 17 years at the helm. He built the Dodgers' only World Championship team in Brooklyn (1955), building clubs that included Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Don Newcomb, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese and Roy Campanella. He then led the Dodgers to three World Championships following their move to Los Angeles (1959, '63, '65).

Bavasi also played a key role in Jackie Robinson's integration into Major League Baseball, the first African-American player to appear in the Major Leagues. Bavasi spent four years in the military during World War II, serving in the infantry as a machine gunner from 1943-46.

One of his sons, Bill, is the Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President and General Manager of Baseball Operations.

Quite an impressive career. RIP, Buzzie.

For those who want to get a better understanding of his lineage and connection to the game, check here. Worth a quick read.

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