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Former Expos manager/GM Fanning dies at 87

Former Expos general manager and manager Jim Fanning died Saturday at age 87.

Fanning was a fixture in Canadian baseball for decades, beginning as the first general manager of the Expos when the expansion team began play in 1969 and remaining in the position until '76.

He also served as a vice president, scouting director and broadcaster for the Expos, and he even had a brief stint as manager, assuming the role midway through the 1981 season and guiding the club to its only playoff appearance in franchise history.

Fanning left the dugout and returned to the Montreal front office after the 1984 season, and he later joined the Rockies as a scout and then the Blue Jays as assistant general manager and ambassador.

The former catcher also played in parts of four seasons with the Chicago Cubs from 1954-57, appearing in 64 games and batting .170/.209/.184.

Fanning was elected into Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for