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Clyde King
King with the Hollywood Stars c. 1957
Pitcher / Coach / Manager / General Manager
Born: (1924-05-23)May 23, 1924
Goldsboro, North Carolina, U.S.
Died: November 2, 2010(2010-11-02) (aged 86)
Goldsboro, North Carolina, U.S.
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 67 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).

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As player

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 would ultimately appear in 165 games over all or parts of six seasons for the Dodgers (1944–45, 1947–48, 1951–52), winning 14 games for the 1951 edition.[2] He was a member of the pennant-winning 1947 and 1952 Brooklyn clubs, but failed to appear in either World Series.

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

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)."[3] 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.[4] He remained with the Yankees for the rest of his life.[1]

Managerial record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
SF 1969 162 90 72 .556 2nd in NL West
SF 1970 42 19 23 .452 fired
SF total 204 109 95 .534 0 0
ATL 1974 63 38 25 .603 3rd in NL West
ATL 1975 144 58 76 .433 fired
ATL total 197 96 101 .487 0 0
NYY 1982 62 29 33 .468 5th in AL East
NYY total 62 29 33 .468 0 0
Total 463 234 229 .505 0 0


King died in his native Goldsboro at the age of 86,[5] survived by his wife Norma, their three daughters and sons-in-law, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild (Talley Blackman).[6]

His autobiography, A King's Legacy, The Clyde King Story, was published in 1999. In 2002, he wrote the foreword for Baseball in the Carolinas, 25 Essays on the States' Hardball Heritage, edited by Chris Holaday.

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

Clyde King's brother, Claude,[7] was a minor league pitcher for several seasons.


  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. ^ James Lincoln Ray. "Clyde King". Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  3. ^ Mays, Willie (1988). Say Hey: The Autobiography of Willie Mays. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 239–40. ISBN 0671632922.
  4. ^ "Clyde King - 1982 - Steinbrenner's Skippers - Photos -". Archived from the original on 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  5. ^ "Former Major League Manager Clyde King Dies". The New York Times. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  6. ^ Retrieved 2010-11-03. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Claude King". Retrieved January 31, 2021.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by Atlanta Crackers manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Hollywood Stars manager
Succeeded by
Franchise relocated
Preceded by Columbus Jets manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Cincinnati Reds pitching coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by Rochester Red Wings manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by Phoenix Giants manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Richmond Braves manager
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 10 May 2024, at 08:31
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