ANAHEIM, CA - The Angels Wednesday announced Don Baylor, a member of the Angels Hall of Fame and the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1979, is returning to the organization as the club's hitting coach in 2014. The announcement was made by club General Manager Jerry Dipoto.
"Don enjoyed a distinguished playing career, highlighted by his tenure with the Angels during their first two division championships," said Dipoto. "As a coach, he brings us tremendous expertise in the areas of hitting, communication and presence. It's nice to have him home," Dipoto added.
Baylor, 64, started his professional career in 1967 after being drafted in the second round with the Baltimore Orioles. He eventually made his Major League debut with the Orioles in 1970 and became a fixture for Baltimore in 1972. His career spanned time with Baltimore, Oakland, California, New York Yankees, Boston and Minnesota. In 2,292 career games, Baylor recorded a .260 average (2135/8198), with 338 home runs, 1,276 RBI, along with 1,236 runs scored, and 285 stolen bases.
His playing career included appearances in seven League Championship Series (1973-74, 1979, 1982, 1986-88) and three consecutive World Series for three different teams (Boston - 1986, Minnesota - 1987 and Oakland - 1988). He was also a member of the 1979 American League All-Star team.
Baylor's most productive Major League campaign came as a member of the Angels in 1979 when he recorded a .296 average (186/628), with 36 home runs and 139 RBI while appearing in each of the club's 162 games. As impressive as the run production was, he totaled more base on balls (71) than strikeouts (51) during his memorable campaign.
He is one of 22 players all-time to collect at least 250 home runs and record 250 stolen bases. Baylor also holds the American League record for being hit by a pitch - 267. In 14 of his seasons, he was struck by a pitch 10-or-more times, including an A.L. record 35 times in 1986.
Baylor will be entering his 22nd season in either a managing or coaching capacity in 2014 which has included stops with the Brewers (1990-91, hitting coach), Cardinals (1992, hitting coach), Rockies (1993-98, manager & 2009-10, hitting coach), Braves (1999, hitting coach), Cubs (2000-02, manager), Mets (2003-04, bench coach), Mariners (2005, hitting coach) and Diamondbacks (2011-13, hitting coach). He compiled a 627-689 managerial record in nine seasons with the Colorado Rockies (1993-98) and Chicago Cubs (2000-02). He was appointed the first Rockies manager on Oct. 27, 1992 and later earned Manager of the Year honors from the BBWAA and The Sporting News after leading the Rockies to their first postseason berth as the N.L. Wild Card participant in 1995. During his 10 seasons as a hitting coach, Baylor has coached 11 different All-Stars and one MVP (Chipper Jones, 1999).
Since 1978, Baylor has helped to raise over $5 million hosting an annual celebrity golf tournament in Southern California to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. In 1985, he was honored as the Roberto Clemente Award winner, presented to "the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball on and off the field."
Baylor and his wife Becky reside in La Quinta, CA.