April 2, 1917|
|Died: March 15, 2004
|April 11, 1961, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 7, 1961, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Head coaching record||10–21|
Avitus Bernard "Vedie" Himsl (April 2, 1917 – March 15, 2004) was an American professional baseball, player, manager, coach and scout. He was born in Plevna, Montana, and a member of the class of 1938 of Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota.
A right-handed pitcher in minor league baseball in his playing days (1938–42; 1946; 1950–51), Himsl peaked at the top level of the minors with the St. Paul Saints of the American Association, where he won 51 games over four seasons.
Himsl managed and scouted for the St. Louis Cardinals' organization before joining the Chicago Cubs in the mid-1950s as a scout and minor league skipper. In 1960, he was named to the coaching staff of the MLB Cubs, when the team struggled to a 60–94 record, one game out of last place in the National League. The offseason resulted in a management overhaul and owner Philip K. Wrigley's creation of the College of Coaches, in which (rather than hiring a full-time manager) all of the team's coaches would rotate as "head coach" of the Major League Cubs and its farm teams.
Himsl was named the first head coach in the history of the College of Coaches. He posted a 10–21 win-loss record (.323) over three different terms during the 1961 season (April 11–23; May 12–30; June 5–7). His first term, from Opening Day through the club's first 11 games, produced a 5–6 mark. But in his subsequent turns as the Cubs' pilot, the team lost 15 out of 20 games. Himsl also spent part of the 1961 season managing the Cubs' Wenatchee Chiefs affiliate in the Class B Northwest League. He coached for the Cubs through 1964, although he spent that campaign as the manager of the Triple-A Salt Lake City Bees of the Pacific Coast League.
In 1965, Himsl turned to scouting and front-office administration in the Chicago organization, and when he retired in 1985 he was the Cubs' director of scouting. He continued to live in Chicago until his death in 2004.