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Former Tribe skipper Doc Edwards dies at 81

MLB.com

Doc Edwards -- a baseball lifer who managed, coached and played in the big leagues, in addition to managing in the Minor Leagues for numerous organizations and independent teams -- died on Monday at age 81. His death was confirmed by the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League.

Edwards spent 57 years in professional baseball, beginning in 1958 when he was signed by the Indians, a team he would later manage for parts of three seasons from 1987-89. A backup catcher, he played for the Indians, the Kansas City A's, the Yankees, and then briefly for the Phillies in 1970 after being out of the Majors for four seasons. Edwards' final job was manager of the independent-league San Angelo Colts from 2006-14.

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Doc Edwards -- a baseball lifer who managed, coached and played in the big leagues, in addition to managing in the Minor Leagues for numerous organizations and independent teams -- died on Monday at age 81. His death was confirmed by the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League.

Edwards spent 57 years in professional baseball, beginning in 1958 when he was signed by the Indians, a team he would later manage for parts of three seasons from 1987-89. A backup catcher, he played for the Indians, the Kansas City A's, the Yankees, and then briefly for the Phillies in 1970 after being out of the Majors for four seasons. Edwards' final job was manager of the independent-league San Angelo Colts from 2006-14.

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Nicknamed "Doc" while serving as a medic in the Navy, Edwards hit .273 as a rookie for Cleveland in 1962. The most games he played in a season was 97, for the A's in '64. Edwards was traded to the Yankees in '65 and appeared in 45 games, batting .190. He finished with .238 career batting average, with 15 homers and 87 RBIs in 317 games.

Tweet from @Indians: We are saddened to hear of the passing of former MLB player and manager, Doc Edwards.Doc played with us in 1962 and 1963, and later managed the ball club from 1987-1989.Doc was a "baseball lifer," and will be dearly missed. pic.twitter.com/kurq48xJHT

Edwards went on to coach in the Phillies and Indians organizations, and he was the manager of the Rochester Red Wings, the Orioles' Triple-A team, when they played a 33-inning game -- the longest game in professional baseball history -- against the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1981. He was named manager of the Indians, succeeding Pat Corrales, during the '87 season, went 78-84 for a sixth-place finish the following year, and was dismissed late in the '89 season with the team holding a 65-78 record. Edwards was replaced by scout John Hart, the future general manager of the Indians and Braves.

Overall, Edwards' managerial record in the big leagues was 173-207. He coached for the Mets, also managed in the Minor Leagues for the Yankees, Cubs, Expos and Phillies and was a Major League expansion scout for the D-backs, helping put together the Arizona team that entered the National League in 1998.

Bob Dittmeier is an editor for MLB.com.

Cleveland Indians