WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman reported the news Wednesday. The Phillies confirmed Green’s death.
While the cause of Green’s death was not disclosed, the Phillies said he died peacefully at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon.
He had been in poor health for a while.
Green, who most recently worked as a special adviser with the Phillies, spent parts of eight seasons as a major-league manager, including with the Phillies, whom he led to a World Series championship in 1980. In all he spent 62 years in baseball.
He was hired as the Mets manager in May 1993, taking over for the fired Jeff Torborg. Green managed the Mets until August 1996, going 229-283, but never reaching the postseason.
“Dallas was pure and simple a ‘true baseball man,”‘ the Mets said in a statement.
In 1989, Green was the victim of George Steinbrenner’s infamous quick hook, being fired in August of his only season as the Yankees manager. The Bombers were 56-65 at the time.
Green had an eight-year major league career, from 1960-67, as a pitcher with the Phillies, Washington Senators and Mets, going 20-22 with a 4.26 ERA.
As a big league pitcher, Dallas Green was pretty mediocre.
“I was a 20-game winner,” he would joke, “it just took me five years to do it.”
Instead, it was in another role where the imposing, 6-foot-5 Green really made noise.
“When you think of big, with that deep voice, that booming voice, he could hold a team meeting, boy, he could scare you right out of your seat,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona recalled.
He also worked in Philadelphia’s front office before becoming executive vice president and general manager of the Cubs in 1980s. He was the architect of Chicago’s 1984 team that fell one win short of reaching the World Series and aggressively pushed for lights to be installed at Wrigley Field.
“Dallas Green had an eye for talent. Our fans can credit him for acquiring and drafting several of the most accomplished players to wear a Cubs uniform, including Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Greg Maddux and Ryne Sandberg, as well as All-Stars like Shawon Dunston, Mark Grace and Rick Sutcliffe,” Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement.
Green’s name found its way back into the news in 2011, when his 9-year-old granddaughter, Christina Taylor-Green, was killed in the 2011 Tucson shooting that wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
“I’m supposed to be a tough sucker, but I’m not very tough when it comes to this,” Green said at the time.
Francona witnessed the effect her death had on Green.
“I know when that happened with his granddaughter, the shooting, I know that that just tore him apart,” he said. “I saw him at a golf tournament for that, about a year and a half ago, and you could tell that just ate him alive.”
“I don’t know if he was sick, but maybe he’s happier now,” Francona said.
“He was a big man with a big heart and a bigger-than-life personality,” Phillies chairman David Montgomery said in a news release Wednesday. “Having known Dallas since 1971, he was one of my first phone calls upon becoming Phillies president because of his perspective and advice. All of us at the Phillies had tremendous respect for Dallas as a baseball man and friend.”
In 2006, the Phillies inducted Green into their Hall of Fame. He spent 46 years overall in the Phillies system and was an adviser to their last four managers, always known for his commanding presence and shock of white hair.
Other people connected to baseball reacted on Twitter to news of Green’s death.
Dodgers executive Ned Colletti, who worked under Green with the Cubs, wrote: “One of Dallas’ first moves @Cubs: Ivan DeJesus for Larry Bowa and rookie, Ryne Sandberg. Dallas 4ever ultra passionate, competed to the end.”
“Baseball world lost a giant,” MLB’s all time leader in hits Pete Rose tweeted. “Dallas was a hell of a guy and a real leader.”
ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweeted: “Dallas Green was one of the smartest people I ever met in baseball – & never afraid to say & do what he felt was right. Took on George Steinbrenner, building lights at Wrigley & veteran stars in Philly. RIP a great man.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)