Bill Virdon, Astros’ franchise leader in wins, dies at 90

Astros

FILE – Former Pittsburgh Pirates player and manager Bill Virdon is seen before a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Bradenton, Fla., Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Virdon, the steady centerfielder who won the 1955 National League Rookie of the Year for St. Louis as a player and then guided the Houston Astros to three straight playoff appearances as a manager, has died. He was 90. Both the Cardinals and Pirates confirmed Virdon’s passing on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

HOUSTON, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Former Astros manager Bill Virdon died at the age of 90, the team announced on Tuesday.

Virdon is the Astros franchise leader in career wins. He took over as manager of the team in 1975 and remained with the team until 1982.

He would finish with a 544-522 win-loss record in that span.

Virdon was named the National League Manager of the Year in 1980, after leading the Astros to their first postseason and securing the National League West title.

“Bill Virdon was an extremely vital part of the Astros success, leading the franchise to its first two postseason appearances. He was respected throughout baseball for his intensity and knowledge of the game and enjoyed a long, successful career both as a player and manager. His impact on the Astros organization will never ben forgotten. We send our heart-felt condolences to his wife, Shirley and to his family and friends,” the Astros said in a statement.

FILE – Astros pinch runner Rafael Landestoy is greeted by teammates after he scored the winning run during the 11th inning in Game 3 of the National League playoffs against the Philadelphia Phillies in Houston. Houston won 1-0. Manager Bill Virdon is at left of Landestoy. Virdon, the steady centerfielder who won the 1955 National League Rookie of the Year for St. Louis as a player and then guided the Houston Astros to three straight playoff appearances as a manager, has died. He was 90. Both the Cardinals and Pirates confirmed Virdon’s passing on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. AP Photo/Brian Horton, File)

Virdon was also a manager with Pittsburgh, New York and Montreal. Before becoming a manager, he was a centerfielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and a member of their 1960 World Series championship team.

In 1955, Virdon was named the NL Rookie of the Year, and in 1962 he won the Glove Glove Award.

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