Don Baylor, the 1979 American League MVP, died Monday due to multiple myeloma, according to the Chicago Sun Times. Baylor was diagnosed 14 years ago, according to his family. Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer formed by malignant plasma cells. Baylor was 68.
According to the Austin American-Stateman, Baylor died at 4:25 Monday morning, his son confirmed to his hometown newspaper.
“Don passed from this earth with the same fierce dignity with which he played the game and lived his life,” said his wife, Rebecca, in a statement.
Baylor was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the 1967 amateur draft. Baylor played for the Orioles, Athletics, Angels, Yankees, Red Sox and Twins over a 19-year playing career. He was named 1979 American League MVP with the Angeles in 1979. Baylor led the majors in RBIs and runs that year.
In 1985, Baylor won both the Roberto Clemente Award and the Edgar Martinez Award. Baylor won the Edgar Martinez Award again in 1986. Baylor won the Silver Slugger Award as a DH in 1983, 1985 and 1986.
Baylor reached the World Series three straight times at the end of his career from 1986 to 1988 and won the title with the Twins in 1987, according to ESPN.
Baylor finished his career with 338 home runs, 1276 RBIs and 285 stolen bases. In his career, Baylor was hit by pitch 267 times, fourth most all-time.
After his playing career, Baylor was the first manager for the Colorado Rockies in their inaugural season in 1993. He managed them for six years and led them to their first postseason in 1995. Baylor won N.L. Manager of the Year that season.
Baylor managed the Chicago Cubs from 2000-2002. Baylor finished his managing career with a 627-689 record.
Baylor served as bench coach for the New York Mets in 2003 and 2004 and was hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners in 2005.
In 2009 and 2010, Baylor returned to the Rockies as hitting coach. Baylor spent the next two seasons as hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks, before finishing his coaching career with the Los Angeles Angels at the end of the 2015 season.
Baylor is survived by his wife, son Don Jr. and two grandsons.