Former Yankees manager passes away

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 10:23 PM ET

Winter Haven, FL (Sports Network) - Ralph Houk, who managed the New York Yankees to consecutive World Series championships in 1961-62, passed away Wednesday at the age of 90.

Houk, who played as a backup catcher for the Yankees from 1947-54, died at his home in Winter Haven, Florida.

During his career, Houk also managed the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox. In 3,157 games, he compiled a 1,619-1,531 record. The 1963 Yankees won the AL pennant before losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

Houk replaced Casey Stengel and managed the Yankees from 1961-73 and then skippered the Tigers from 1974-78 before finishing his career with the Red Sox (1981-84).

"Ralph was a great baseball man who handled his players well and they played hard for him," said Hall of Famer Al Kaline, who played for Detroit from 1953-74. "He was well respected and a fun guy to be around. I enjoyed playing for him during my last year."

As a player, Houk had 92 at-bats during the 1947 season, but then never had more than 29 in a single year. He played in a total of 91 games.

Before becoming manager of the Yankees, he was the team's first-base coach under Stengel from 1958-60. The last year he was a coach, the Yankees lost to Pittsburgh in Game 7 of the World Series on Bill Mazeroski's home run.

After managing the Red Sox, Houk served in the front office of the Minnesota Twins under Andy MacPhail from 1986-89.


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