Dodgers hitting coordinator Bill Robinson was found dead in his Las Vegas hotel room Sunday. He was 64.
Robinson was in his second season in the Dodger organization following four years as a member of the Florida Marlins coaching staff, where he was the hitting coach for the 2003 World Championship team. He also served in that role for the New York Mets for five seasons during the 1980s, which included their 1986 World Series title.
â€œBill was a wonderful family man and a great baseball player, coach, manager and friend to everyone he met,â€ Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a release. â€œEven though he never played for the Dodgers, it was an honor that he chose to be a part of the organization. Everyone he came into contact with was better for having known him.
â€œHe had everyoneâ€™s best interest in mind at all times and he cared deeply about the development of our young players.”
The McKeesport, PA native spent 16 years as a player in the majors and compiled 1,127 hits, 166 home runs and 641 RBI as an outfielder for the Braves, Yankees, Phillies and Pirates from 1966-83. He played in a career-high 148 games for the 1979 world champion Pirates and batted .264 with 24 homers, 75 RBI and 13 stolen bases that season.
His best year was in 1977, when he batted .304 and set career highs in hits (154), runs (74) homers (26) and RBI (104), which ranked eighth in the NL. He also finished 11th in National League MVP voting that season. In 1978, Robinson ranked sixth in the NL with 36 doubles and in 1976, his 21 homers were the eighth-most in the National League.
In addition to his major league career as a coach, Robinson served as the hitting coach for Triple-A Columbus in the Yankeesâ€™ organization (1999-2001) and was a minor league coach and manager in the Philliesâ€™ farm system from 1994-98. He managed the Caracas Leones to the Venezuelan League championship and a berth in the Caribbean Series in 1988.
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