Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rest in Peace, Buzzie Bavasi

From "Longtime baseball executive Buzzie Bavasi passes away at age 93" at

Emil Joseph "Buzzie" Bavasi has passed away at the age of 93 years old in San Diego, CA, of natural causes after a short illness.

One of the game's most likable and respected figures, he earned a reputation of a hard-working, loyal, effective general manager and owner.

Bavasi spent 44 years in organized baseball including 34 in the Major Leagues. He got his start in 1939 as the traveling secretary and publicity director for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He served various roles in the Dodgers front office, before being promoted to the position of general manager before the 1951 season.

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.