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Angels hire Don Baylor as hitting coach

October 16, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Don Baylor was the hitting coach for Arizona last season.
Don Baylor was the hitting coach for Arizona last season. (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )

The Angels hired Don Baylor as hitting coach on Wednesday, reuniting them with a former star outfielder who won the American League most valuable player award 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 GM 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 team-issued 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 homers 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, a member of the Angels Hall of Fame, has spent 10 years as a hitting coach with stops in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Atlanta, Colorado, Seattle, 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 (2000-2002), compiling a 627-689 record and earned manager of the year honors after leading the Rockies to their first playoff berth in 1995.


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