Dallas Green was larger than life.
He was a legend in Philadelphia, a baseball lifer. He was also the man whose combustible energy and ferocious managerial style helped transform a Phillies franchise that could never quite clear the hump in those ill-fated playoff runs from 1976-78, into a world champion in 1980.
Media reports Wednesday brought everyone the sad news that Green had passed away. He was 82.
Dallas Green has passed away. Great baseball man. RIP.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 22, 2017
Anyone who was around during that great Phils run of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s remembers Green as the Phils manager who finally got Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, Greg Luzinski, and Steve Carlton past the failures of three straight NLCS ousters.
They also remember a manager who had himself a temper.
A passage from Dallas Green's autobiography, about the 1981 split-season format: pic.twitter.com/jYeX8nmWsR— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) March 22, 2017
Quite a temper.
Green spent six decades in baseball, many of them in the Phillies organization.
In 1979, he replaced the popular Danny Ozark as manager as the team stumbled to a fourth-place finish. He clashed with many of the stars on the team, including Schmidt, Bowa, Luzinski and catcher Bob Boone. But Green had the ear of the team’s big free agent signee, Pete Rose, and in the end, became the man at the helm of the team’s 1980 World Series championship.
He is still one of just two skippers to win a title for the Philadelphia Phillies (Charlie Manuel).
Shortly after his final season as skipper of the ballclub in 1981, Green joined the Chicago Cubs as their executive vice president and general manager. It wasn’t long thereafter that he engineered the theft of Ryne Sandberg and Bowa from the Phils in a trade for Ivan DeJesus, one of the most lopsided deals in baseball history.
Green stayed with Chicago as the GM through the 1987 season, where he led them to an NL East title in 1984. He helped rebuild a farm system that eventually produced players like Shawon Dunston, Greg Maddux, Rafael Palmeiro, and Mark Grace.
Green led the Phillies to a 169-130 record in two and a half seasons, good for a .565 winning percentage. He also briefly managed the Yankees in 1989, going 56-65, and then spent four seasons as skipper of the New York Mets, for whom he went 229-283 (.447 winning percentage).
He also suffered a serious personal loss late in his life, losing his granddaughter, 9-year-old Christina Taylor, in the 2011 Tucson shooting that almost killed U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. He spent his later years as a scout in the Phillies system, and remained an icon in Philadelphia thereafter.
We mourn the passing of Dallas Green. The Phillies have lost a great man and wonderful friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. pic.twitter.com/tzPWoGPtB9— Phillies (@Phillies) March 22, 2017
Rest in peace, Dallas.