Baseball: Former All-Star and World Series-winning GM Watson dies aged 74

FILE PHOTO: Former New York Yankees general manager Bob Watson listens to new general manager Brian Cashman speak at a news conference at Yankee Stadium February 3. (SPORTS BASEBALL YANKEES)

Two-time Major League Baseball All-Star Bob Watson, who served as a general manager and league executive, died Thursday in his home at age 74.

After breaking in as a general manager of the Houston Astros in 1993, Watson became the first African-American GM to win a World Series with the New York Yankees in 1996 and was twice a member of the All-Star team during his 19-year baseball career.

Watson managed on-field operations for Major League Baseball from 2002-10. He had battled kidney disease in recent years.

Commissioner Rob Manfred noted Watson also scored the one-millionth run in MLB history. He was also the first player to hit for the cycle in both the American and National leagues.

“Bob was known for some of the unique moments of his generation, including scoring the millionth run in Baseball history and a memorable role in ‘The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training,'” Manfred said. “But I will always remember the outstanding example that Bob set for others, his years of model service to the Baseball Assistance Team and the courage with which he met his health challenges in recent years. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to his wife Carol, their children and his many friends and admirers across our game.”

Watson played first base and left field for the Astros, Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves from 1966-84. Nicknamed “The Bull,” he hit .295 with 1,826 hits and 184 home runs in 1,832 games.

“This is a very sad day for the Astros and all of baseball,” the Astros said in a statement.

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