Watson retires after 45 years in baseball

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

NEW YORK -- After serving more than 45 years in the game as a player, coach and executive, Bob Watson announced on Tuesday that he will retire from baseball at the end of the current year.

"Bob has had a remarkable career, both on and off the field," said Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig. "He has been a valued member of the baseball community for parts of six decades, and he has represented his clubs, his country and the game of baseball with class. I'd like to wish Bob well in his retirement and thank him for his years of leadership and dedication to our game."

Watson, who has served as Major League Baseball's Vice President of Rules and On-Field Operations since 2002, will continue to assist with MLB's Urban Youth Academy program and be available for special projects.

A two-time All-Star, Watson played 19 seasons in the major leagues for the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves. He hit 184 home runs, drove in 989 runs and batted .295 for his career. In addition, Watson was credited with the scoring the one millionth run in baseball history and was the first player to hit for the cycle in both leagues.

After retiring in 1984, Watson worked for the Oakland Athletics as a roving hitting instructor (1985), hitting coach (1986-87) and bench coach (1988) before returning to the Astros as assistant general manager in November 1988. Watson became the first African-American with the title of general manager in Major League history when the Astros promoted him in 1993. He also worked in that capacity for the New York Yankees from 1995-97, helping the club to the 1996 World Series title.


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