GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Clyde King, whose baseball career as a player, coach, manager and front-office man spanned six decades, has died in North Carolina. He was 86.

Wayne Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Amy Cain said King died Tuesday in Goldsboro, N.C. He was hospitalized two weeks ago with several problems, including heart trouble.

King pitched with the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds during a seven-year big-league career, compiling a 32-25 record and an ERA of 4.14. His best season was in 1951, when he went 14-7. He was 3-6 in his only season at Cincinnati.

King, who was the founder of the Baseball Chapel fellowship of Christian players, was a close friend of Dodgers great Jackie Robinson, the first black player in the major leagues.

After coaching for Cincinnati, St. Louis and Pittsburgh, King managed the 1969 San Francisco Giants to a 90-72 record and second place in the National League. King took over the Atlanta Braves in the midst of the 1974 season and managed the team for part of 1975.

King was the last of three managers to lead the New York Yankees in 1982. He then served as general manager of the Yankees from 1984-86 and was a member of the coaching staff again in 1988. From 1998 to 2005, he was a special assistant to the general manager.

He’s survived by his wife of 64 years, Norma, their three daughters and sons-in-law, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

From the Yankees:


The New York Yankees mourn the passing of Clyde King, who died at age 86 on Tuesday at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro, N.C.

King was a member of the Yankees organization for the last 34 years, serving in a multitude of capacities, including pitching coach, manager, general manager and advisor since joining the organization as a scout in 1976.

“Clyde was a loyal and dedicated friend and advisor to my father, our family and the Yankees organization,” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. “Although his baseball achievements were impressive and deserving, he also lived a rich and fulfilling life away from the game. Clyde was a man of great faith who cared deeply about his friends and family, and he served as a role model to so many of us who had the great opportunity to spend time with him. We mourn Clyde’s passing with his wonderful wife, Norma, and the entire King family.”

In 1978, ‘81, ‘82 and ‘88, King was a member of the Yankees coaching staff, including a stint as manager in 1982, when he went 29-33 (.468) while piloting the club over the final 62 games of the season. He also served as general manager from 1984-86, with the Yankees going 274-211 (.565) over the stretch. From 1989-2010, King served in a variety of scouting and advisory roles for the Yankees, often reporting directly to Principal Owner George M. Steinbrenner.

King, a North Carolina native and University of North Carolina alum, had a seven-year Major League career as a right-handed pitcher with Brooklyn (1944-45, ‘47-48 and ‘51-52) and Cincinnati (1953), going 32-25 with a 4.14 ERA in 496.0 innings pitched over 200 games, including 21 starts. His best season was in 1951, when he went 14-7 with a 4.15 ERA in 48 appearances (three starts), ranking fifth in the National League with a .667 winning percentage. King also managed parts of two seasons for San Francisco (1969-70) and Atlanta (1974-75), respectively.

King is survived by his wife of 64 years, Norma, their three daughters, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Visitation will take place on Thursday, November 4 at 6:30 p.m., at Seymour Funeral Home, located at 1300 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro, N.C. 27534. Funeral services will be held on Friday, November 5 at 2:00 p.m. at Madison Avenue Baptist Church at 300 S. Madison Avenue, Goldsboro, N.C. 27530. Burial will follow at Willow Dale Cemetery in Goldsboro.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following entities: Fellowship of Christian Athletes of Wayne County (c/o Will Collins, 109 Ellington Way, LaGrange, N.C. 28551); Madison Avenue Baptist Church (300 S. Madison Ave., Goldsboro, N.C. 27530-6152); Clyde and Norma King Baseball Scholarship of UNC-Chapel Hill (Attn: UNC Athletic Department, P.O. Box 2126, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514).

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