Clyde King

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Clyde King
Pitcher / Coach / Manager / General Manager
Born: (1924-05-23)May 23, 1924
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Died: November 2, 2010(2010-11-02) (aged 86)
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 21, 1944, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1953, for the Cincinnati Redlegs
MLB statistics
Win–loss record32–25
Earned run average4.14
Managerial record234–229
Winning %.505
As player

As manager

As coach

As general manager

Clyde Edward King (May 23, 1924 – November 2, 2010) was an American pitcher, coach, manager, general manager and front office executive in Major League Baseball.

King's career in baseball spanned over 65 years, including 35 full years with the New York Yankees, whether in uniform as a manager or coach or in the front office in multiple roles, including general manager (1985–86) and special advisor to longtime owner George Steinbrenner.[1] He managed the San Francisco Giants (1969–70) and Atlanta Braves (1974–75), as well as the Yankees (part of 1982), finishing with a career record of 234 wins and 229 defeats (.505).


As player[edit]

Born in Goldsboro, North Carolina, King attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m), 175 lb (79 kg) right-handed pitcher, he made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers at age 20 in 1944, his first professional season, during the manpower shortage caused by World War II. Although King would be sent to the minor leagues for seasoning after the war, he was a member of the Brooklyn pitching staff (1944–45, 1947–48, 1951–52), winning 14 games for the 1951 Dodgers.

When he finished his Major League career with the Cincinnati Redlegs in 1953, King had appeared in an even 200 games, winning 32 and losing 25 with an earned run average of 4.14. He allowed 524 hits and 189 bases on balls in 496 innings pitched. He registered 150 strikeouts and four complete games (in 21 career games started) with 11 saves.

As coach, manager and executive[edit]

Before becoming a Major League manager, he led several higher-level minor league clubs, including the Atlanta Crackers, Hollywood Stars, Phoenix Giants, Columbus Jets and Rochester Red Wings. He also served as the MLB pitching coach for the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, and roving minor league pitching instructor for the St. Louis Cardinals.

King succeeded Herman Franks as San Francisco's manager in 1969 after Franks' Giants had finished in second place in the ten-team National League for four successive seasons. In King's first year as their skipper, the Giants won 90 games, a two-game improvement over 1968. But again they were runners-up, this time in the new, six-team National League West Division, three games behind the Braves. King clashed with Giants star Willie Mays during the year, over a misunderstanding on whether Mays was supposed to play or not in a game against the Astros. According to Mays, King threatened a fine—Horace Stoneham would not permit it, but Chub Feeney, the general manager, made Mays apologize to King, not wanting to create a rift on the ballclub. "I lost any respect I ever had for King," Mays wrote in his autobiography. "I thought of him as a back stabber, and we didn't talk for the rest of the year (1969)."[2] When the 1970 Giants got off to only a 19–23 start, King was fired on May 23; San Francisco was trailing Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine" in the NL West by 12 games at the time.

King then returned to the high minors to manage the Richmond Braves of the Triple-A International League for two seasons, followed by a stint as a special assistant to Braves' general manager Eddie Robinson from 1973 through July 23, 1974. That day, with Atlanta one game above .500, Robinson fired skipper Eddie Mathews and named King interim manager. King's Braves responded by posting a 38–25 record and won 88 games—their best performance since 1969. But King's 1975 team collapsed; it was 58–76 and 3112 games behind the Reds on August 29, 1975, when King was replaced as manager by Connie Ryan.

He then joined the Yankees' front office in 1976 and played a number of key roles—super scout, pitching coach, general manager and special advisor, in addition to managing them for the final 62 games of 1982. Replacing Gene Michael, he won 29 games and lost 33 as the defending American League champions fell to fifth place in the AL East Division.[3] He remained with the Yankees for the rest of his life.[1]


King died in his native Goldsboro at the age of 86,[4] survived by his wife Norma, their three daughters and sons-in-law, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.[5]

He was inducted in the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.


  1. ^ a b Weber, Bruce (3 November 2010), "Clyde King, Who Found Niche as Steinbrenner's Troubleshooter, Dies at 86." The New York Times
  2. ^ Mays, Willie (1988). Say Hey: The Autobiography of Willie Mays. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 239–40. ISBN 0671632922.
  3. ^ sportsillustrated
  4. ^ "Former Major League Manager Clyde King Dies". The New York Times. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Marv Rackley
Atlanta Crackers manager
Succeeded by
Bud Bates
Preceded by
Clay Hopper
Hollywood Stars manager
Succeeded by
Franchise relocated
Preceded by
Frank Oceak
Columbus Jets manager
Succeeded by
Cal Ermer
Preceded by
Tom Ferrick
Cincinnati Reds pitching coach
Succeeded by
Cot Deal
Preceded by
Cot Deal
Rochester Red Wings manager
Succeeded by
Darrell Johnson
Preceded by
Don Osborn
Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach
Succeeded by
Vern Law
Preceded by
Bill Werle
Phoenix Giants manager
Succeeded by
Charlie Fox
Preceded by
Mickey Vernon
Richmond Braves manager
Succeeded by
Bobby Hofman