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Alvin Dark Died


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Dark played for 13 seasons in the major leagues, including 2 seasons with the Giants in 1951 (National League Champions), and 1954 (World Series Champions.)

Dark was the captain of the 1951 team that overcame a 13-game lead by the Brooklyn Dodgers on August 7th. That Giants team went 37-7 over their final 44 games of the season, forcing the 3-game playoff with the Dodgers, which culminated in Bobby Thomson's "Shot Hear 'Round the World" 3-run home run to win the pennant. In fact, Dark started that bottom of the 9th inning, 4-run Giants rally with a lead-off single off of Don Newcombe.

Dark was also the captain of the 1954 World Champion Giants, who swept the heavily-favored Cleveland Indians in the World Series, 4 games to 0. That Indians team still holds the American League record for winning percentage in the regular season, going 111-43 (.721).

Dark also won the 1948 N.L. Rookie of the Year Award, helping lead the Boston Braves to their first World Series appearance since 1914.

He led the National League in doubles in 1951, made 3 All-Star teams, and amassed over 2,000 career hits.

As a manager, Dark piloted the 1962 Giants to the National League Pennant, before falling to the Yankees in a memorable 7-game series which literally came down to the final plate appearance when Willie McCovey's scorching line drive with the bases loaded was snagged by Yankees 2nd baseman Bobby Richardson. When the play occurred, the bases were loaded with 2 outs, and the Giants were trailing by a score of 2-1.

However ...... Dark was also heavily criticized for his alleged statements regarding Latin players, claiming that they (the Latin players) "Lacked mental alertness as compared to non-Latin players." Dark also insisted that players from Spanish-speaking countries communicate only in English while on the playing field. Willie Mays, a staunch supporter of Dark, came to his aid, and squelched a player revolt that put Dark's job in jeopardy.

After Dick Williams resigned as manager of the Athletics following their 2nd straight World Series championship in 1973, Dark took over, and led the team to their 3rd straight world title in 1974.

Although the Athletics won the A.L. West division again in 1975 with a record of 98-64, they were swept in that year's A.L.C.S. by the Red Sox in 3 games, and Dark was fired by team owner Charlie O. Finley.

Dark was 92 years-old.

Alvin Dark: Giants, Athletics World Series Manager, Dies at 92

(By John Shea)


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Dark was the manager in two games where he pulled Sam McDowell from the mound while Frank Howard was at bat, put McDowell at a field position (2B the first game, 1B the second game), and then reinserted McDowell as the pitcher after Howard had batted. And by pure coincidence, I was at both games, one in Cleveland and one in Washington.

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