Pirates organization mourning loss of former player, manager Bill Virdon

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates today confirmed the passing of former Pirates great Bill Virdon. Virdon was 90 years old.

“Bill Virdon was a man who took such great pride in being a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates family,” said Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting. “Every fan who followed our 1960 team will always remember the instrumental role that he played to bring a third World Series championship to the city of Pittsburgh.”

“We are also eternally grateful for everything that Bill did representing the Pirates following his playing days not only as a successful manager, but also in helping a countless number of our young players that he so proudly instructed and mentored as a coach and one of our long-time Spring Training guest instructors,” added Nutting. “We send our thoughts and prayers to Bill’s wife of 70 years, Shirley, his children Debbie Virdon Lutes, Linda Virdon Holmes and Lisa Virdon Brown, along with his seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.”

Virdon recorded a total of 1,596 hits, 237 doubles, 91 home runs and 502 RBI in 1,583 games in the big leagues as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955-68. He ranks sixth all-time in Pirates history in games played as an outfielder with 1,376. After being acquired by the Pirates from the St. Louis Cardinals, he went on to be recognized for his outstanding play in center field two years later when he took home Gold Glove honors in 1962.

Following his playing days, Virdon made the transition to being one of the most successful managers in the Major Leagues. Virdon won a total of 995 games as a manager, led the Pirates to the 1972 National League Championship Series, was named the American League Manager-of-the-Year in 1974 (New York Yankees) and the National League Manager-of-the-Year in 1980 (Houston Astros).

Virdon also served as a coach for the Pirates at the big league level in four separate stints (1968-71, 1986, 1992- 95 and 2001-02).

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