First Blue Jays manager dies

DAN ILIKA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

The first manager in Blue Jays history, Roy Hartsfield, passed away at his daughter’s Atlanta-area home. He was 85.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hartsfield died as a result of complications from liver cancer.

Hartsfield was named manager of the then-expansion Blue Jays before the start of the 1977 season. In his three years as manager, Hartsfield put together a 166-318 record with the struggling ball club, before being replaced by Bobby Mattick before the 1980 season.

Born in Chattahoochee, Ga., Hartsfield was signed out of high school by the minor league Atlanta Crackers of the double-A Southern Association for the 1943 season before spending two years in the U.S. navy.

He was drafted in 1948 as a second baseman by the Boston Braves where he played three seasons in the major leagues, batting .273 with 13 home runs and 59 RBIs.

After his playing days ended, Hartsfield transitioned to coaching, where he worked in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization for 19 seasons followed by the Atlanta Braves and triple-A minor-league club, the Hawaii Islanders, before being named manager of the Jays.


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