NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bob Watson is in desperate need of a kidney transplant, but he has turned down a few offers.
The former Yankees general manager told the Daily News he has a good reason.
“Both my kids offered to donate kidneys to me,” said Watson, “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.’ That would be very selfish on my part.”
The 71-year-old former player and executive has kidney disease and undergoes dialysis often.
“I’m ready for whatever happens now,” he told the newspaper.
Watson played 19 seasons in the majors as a first baseman and outfielder, suiting up for the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Yankees and the Atlanta Braves. In 1993 he became the first black GM in Major League Baseball and then with the Yankees in 1996 became the first black GM to win a World Series title. Later he worked for Major League Baseball, serving as vice president of on-field operations for eight years.
“My one regret is that, because of the dialysis, I haven’t been able to travel anymore and I had to miss a lot of baseball events, like the Yankees’ 20th anniversary of the ’96 championship,” Watson said. “Ten months ago, the doctors told me I could have two years or 12. Well now I’ve gotten to the point where every day I’m still here is a blessing.”
He said he will continue to fight.
“I had a reputation for never giving up an at-bat, so I’m still fouling ’em off as long as I can,” Watson said.