It’s a sad day in the City of Brotherly Love as the Philadelphia Phillies are mourning the loss of former Phillies Manager – and the first manager to lead the team to the World Series Title in 1980 – Dallas Green.
Green had been at Hahnemann Hospital for the past month on dialysis as he battled kidney failure. He passed away on Wednesday peacefully around 12:30 due to complications of kidney failure and pneumonia.
“We mourn the passing of Dallas Green,” the Phillies said in a statement. “The Phillies have lost a great man and a wonderful friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Green spent 62 years in baseball and 46 of them with the Phillies, most recently as a special adviser. He pitched for the Phillies, Washington Senators and New York Mets during parts of eight seasons from 1960 to 1967. He had a career record of 20-22 with a 4.26 ERA in 185 games.
“The game lost a great baseball man today,” said Phillies Chairman David Montgomery. “Dallas held many different positions in baseball and his passion and love for the game was evident in every role he played.
“He was a big man with a big heart and a bigger-than-life personality. Having known Dallas since 1971, he was one of my first phone calls upon becoming Phillies president because of his perspective and advice. All of us at the Phillies had tremendous respect for Dallas as a baseball man and friend. We will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Sylvia, and his children, Dana, John, Kim and Doug.”
Green came out of the University of Delaware and was on track to be an outstanding pitcher before he hurt his arm (back when surgeries couldn’t fix arms yet). After his career was over, he moved into the player-development staff and helped develop a great core of players that came to Veteran’s Stadium in the 1970s whom he helped to win the 1980 World Series title.
According to CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury it was then-general manager Paul “The Pope” Owens that thought the Phillies were “too country club to get over the hump.” That’s when the Pope moved Green to the manager role. Green wasn’t initially liked by the players but when Tug McGraw recorded the final out on a strikeout by Willie Wilson the players attitudes sure turned around.
After some time around baseball, Green came back to the Phillies Front Office as an adviser in 1998 and remained the outspoken Dallas we loved. He advised the next five general managers and four managers from that point on. He clashed with Charlie Manuel and Scott Rolen. According to Salisbury, “he spoke his mind, said what he had to say, and the next day it was over.” Green and Manuel clashed about Manuel’s managing style. They talked out their differences and Green even admitted he was wrong and that Manuel’s style had merits. The two became close friends and remain the only two men to lead the Phillies to a World Series title.
The Phillies inducted Dallas Green into the Hall of Fame in 2006. Two years earlier, the local Baseball Writers Association of American established the Dallas Green Special Achievement Award for “meritorious service” by a player or member of the organization.
Green also managed the New York Yankees and Mets while also serving as the general manager and team president of the Chicago Cubs. With the cubs, one of the biggest moves Green made was bringing Former Phillies SS and Manager Larry Bowa and Former Phillies 2B and Manager Ryne Sandberg to Chicago in a trade for Ivan DeJesus. Sandberg is now in the Hall of Fame and was a close friend of Green for over 35 years.
“Dallas was instrumental in really my whole baseball career,” Sandberg told the Chicago media Wednesday. “That was a huge opportunity and a huge break for me. [Green] came in and totally changed the Cubs culture in that first year in 1982.”
Dallas Green is survived by his wife of 59 years, Sylvia, four children and five grandchildren. In 2011, his granddaughter, Christina-Taylor Green died in the shooting in Tucson, AZ that left former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords seriously injured. 6ABC Sports Reporter Jamie Apody said that was the only time she had ever cried during an interview.
Former players took to social media to offer their words of condolences and memory of their former manager and friend.
Greg Luzinski, former outfielder: “You can’t say enough good things about him. I know a lot of people thought he was rough and tough, but he was. That was Dallas’ managerial style and obviously it worked,” Luzinski said. “Off the field he would be the first one to buy you a beer and have dinner with you. His style was very successful for our ballclub and the results were there.”
John Kruk, former Phillies 1st Baseman & current Phillies Broadcaster: “He was a big man and he had a big booming voice,” said Kruk. ” It was intimidating [the first time I met him]. But once you get into the Phillies family, everyone is your family member now. The Dallas Green I got to know over the last 15 years, it was different guy. I had a lot of opportunities to talk to Larry Bowa, Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski, Bob Boone about Dallas Green and what he meant to them. They said the two things they would never forget was he was a tough SOB and the other was he was fair. The guy I met and got to know was a gentle giant. He loved talking baseball and he loved the Phillies. It really stinks that we are near the end of spring training waiting for opening day and this happens.”
Larry Bowa, Former Phillies SS & Former Manager, Current Bench Coach: “He was like a second father to me,” said Bowa. “He was a mentor, he taught me how to play the game the right way. He is what Philadelphia is all about. He was tough. He was honest. We wouldn’t have won the the World Series without him in 1980. That’s what he meant to the team. This is devastating to me and I’m sure a lot of other people too.”
Tom Ricketts, Chicago Cubs Chairman: “Dallas Green had an eye for talent,” said Ricketts. “Our fans can credit him for acquiring and drafting several of the most accomplished players to wear a Cubs uniform, including Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Greg Maddux and Ryne Sandberg, as well as All-Stars like Shawon Dunston, Mark Grace and Rick Sutcliffe. Green was not afraid to make bold moves in pursuit of winning, and in 1984, led the Cubs to their first postseason appearance since the 1945 World Series. He will forever hold a meaningful place in Chicago Cubs history. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family as we mourn his passing.”
It was the Scott Franzke & Larry Andersen parody account that said it best:
From all of us here at PattisonAve.com, we send our condolences to Green’s family and friends during this difficult time. We will always miss DG.