Bob Watson, former All-Star and GM, dies at 74

Bob Watson, whose career in baseball included stints as a player, coach, general manager and Major League Baseball executive, died Thursday, the Houston Astros announced.

Watson, who was 74, died from kidney disease, according to his son.

The bulk of the first baseman and outfielder’s 19-year playing career came with the Astros, with whom he played from 1966 until he was traded to the Boston Red Sox during the 1979 season. In his 14 seasons with Houston, he hit .297 with 139 homers and 782 RBIs.

Watson also played for the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves at the end of a career in which he hit .295 with 184 homers and 989 RBIs. Watson played in two All-Star Games during his career.

After serving as the Oakland Athletics hitting coach, Watson went on to be the general manager of both the Astros and Yankees, winning a World Series with New York in 1996. He became the first African-American GM to win a World Series.

Watson later worked for Major League Baseball as the vice president overseeing discipline and rules and on-field operations before retiring in 2010.

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