Former major leaguer Robinson dead at 64
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Bill Robinson, who played on Pittsburgh's 1979 World Series championship team and was working as the Los Angeles Dodgers' minor league hitting coordinator, died Sunday. He was 64.
Robinson was in Las Vegas to visit the Dodgers' minor league team and was supposed to meet De Jon Watson, Dodger director of player development, to drive to the ballpark together.But Robinson failed to show up at the appointed time and he was found dead in his hotel room, Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said. The official cause of death was pending, he said.
"Bill was a wonderful family man and a great baseball player, coach, manager and friend to everyone he met," Dodger general manager Ned Colletti said. "Even though he never played for the Dodgers, it was an honor that he chose to be a part of the organization. Everyone he came into contact with was better for having known him."
Robinson was in his second season with the Dodgers after spending four years on the Florida Marlins' coaching staff, where he served as hitting coach for the 2003 world champions.
He was hitting coach for the New York Mets from 1984-89, including their 1986 World Series title.
"On behalf of the entire Mets organization, we send our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to Bill's wife, Mary and the Robinson family," Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. "As hitting coach, he played an integral role in the 1986 Mets world championship. More importantly, he was a devoted family man, a consummate professional and one of the classiest men in our sport."
Robinson played in the majors from 1966-83, with 1,127 hits, 166 home runs and 641 RBI as an outfielder for Atlanta, the New York Yankees, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. He batted .264 with 24 homers and 75 RBIs for the Pirates in '79.
Robinson also served as a minor league hitting coach for the Yankees and was a minor league coach and manager in Philadelphia's farm system. He managed in the Venezuelan League and was an analyst for ESPN's "Baseball Tonight" in 1990-91.
Robinson is survived by his wife Mary Alice, a son and a daughter.
Services were pending.