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ANGELS FYI

Angels hire Don Baylor as hitting coach

The American League most valuable player while with the club in 1979, Baylor, 64, has spent 22 seasons as a manager or coach.

October 16, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • The Angels hired former star outfielder Don Baylor to be the team's hitting coach, replacing Jim Eppard who was fired on Oct. 8. Baylor has spent 22 seasons as a manager or coach.
The Angels hired former star outfielder Don Baylor to be the team's… (Harry How / Getty Images )

The Angels hired Don Baylor as hitting coach Wednesday, reuniting them with a former star outfielder who was the American League most valuable player while leading the Angels to their first AL West title in 1979.

Baylor, 64, has spent 22 seasons as a manager or coach, including the last three as hitting coach at Arizona, where he worked under former Diamondbacks interim general manager and current Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto. Dipoto also played for Baylor in the late 1990s when Baylor managed the Colorado Rockies.

"Don enjoyed a distinguished playing career, highlighted by his tenure with the Angels during their first two division championships," Dipoto said in a release. "As a coach, he brings us tremendous expertise in the areas of hitting, communication and presence. It's nice to have him home."

Baylor, who will replace the fired Jim Eppard, played parts of 19 seasons in the big leagues, hitting .260 with 338 home runs and 1,276 runs batted in for Baltimore, Oakland, the Angels, New York Yankees, Boston and Minnesota.

His best season came in 1979, when he hit .296 with 36 home runs and 139 RBIs for the Angels, accumulating more walks (71) than strikeouts (51). He also holds the AL record for being hit by pitches 267 times.

Baylor has spent 10 years as a hitting coach in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Atlanta, Colorado, Seattle and Arizona and two as a bench coach for the New York Mets.

He spent nine years as a manager at Colorado (1993-98) and for the Chicago Cubs (2000-02), compiling a 627-689 record, and was the National League manager of the year in 1995.

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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