Gene Baker

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Gene Baker
GeneBakerBowman.jpg
Second baseman/Third baseman
Born: (1925-06-15)June 15, 1925
Davenport, Iowa
Died: December 1, 1999(1999-12-01) (aged 74)
Davenport, Iowa
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 20, 1953 for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
June 10, 1961 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
Batting average .265
Home runs 39
Runs batted in 227
Hits 590
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Eugene Walter Baker (June 15, 1925 – December 1, 1999) was an American Major League Baseball player. A native of Davenport, Iowa, he primarily played second base for the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates. He was selected for the National League All Star game in 1955. He played eight seasons from 1953 to 1958 and 1960 to 1961, threw and batted right-handed, and was listed at 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m), 170 pounds (77 kg). Baker was a reserve infielder for the 1960 World Series champion Pirates and made three pinch-hit appearances during the Series.[1]

In 1961, Baker became the first African-American manager in Organized Baseball when the Pirates named him skipper of their Batavia Pirates farm club in the New York-Penn League.[2] In 1962, he became the first black coach in Organized Baseball when the Pirates named him player-coach of their Triple-A International League affiliate Columbus Jets.[3] In 1963, the Pirates promoted him to coach on the Major League team.[4] He was the second black coach in the big leagues, following Buck O'Neil by a half-season. Baker then spent many years as a scout for the Pirates.

He died in Davenport at the age of 74. He is buried in Rock island National Cemetery

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gene Baker Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  2. ^ "Baker Bows in Manager Debut". Chicago Defender. June 21, 1961. 
  3. ^ "Pirates Reward Baker for Batavia Job; Move Him Up as Player-Coach for Jets". Pittsburgh Courier. January 13, 1962. 
  4. ^ "GENE BAKER MADE PIRATE COACH". Pittsburgh Courier. February 2, 1963.