Bob Watson, Baseball’s First Black General Manager, Dies at 74

Former major league player and general manager Bob Watson in December 2012.
(Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)

Bob Watson, the first baseman and outfielder who became the first African-American general manager in major league baseball. with the 1994 Houston Astros. He also helped take the 1996 Yankees to the their first world series championship.

He died on Thursday. He was 74.

The Astros announced his death.

Watson had kidney failure and had been undergoing dialysis since 2016. “Both my kids offered to donate kidneys to me,” he told The Daily News early in 2018, “and I told them both the same thing: ‘I’ve had a good life and I don’t want to take a kidney from young people who really need them and still have their whole lives ahead of them.’”

“It’s something the minority population can point to now and say, yes, there is a black man, or a minority person, in a decision-making role for a major league club,” he told The New York Times. “But I don’t want to be categorized as a pioneer. I want to be categorized as a guy who was the right man for the job.”

Rest In Peace Bob Watson.

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