BALTIMORE -- The baseball world lost a great one on Friday night, with news trickling out Saturday morning of the passing of former Major Leaguer and longtime Orioles scout Bruce Kison on Friday night.Baltimore held a moment of silence to honor Kison, who was 68, prior to its Saturday afternoon
BALTIMORE -- The baseball world lost a great one on Friday night, with news trickling out Saturday morning of the passing of former Major Leaguer and longtime Orioles scout Bruce Kison on Friday night.
Baltimore held a moment of silence to honor Kison, who was 68, prior to its Saturday afternoon game against the Yankees.
Kison, who bravely battled cancer, retired before the 2018 season and was a vital part of the Orioles' organization in a career that spanned 50 years around profesional baseball.
Kison won two World Series with the Pirates -- the organization that drafted him -- in 1971 and '79. Throughout his 15-year playing career, he spent time with the Pirates, California Angels and Boston Red Sox. He then served in various player development and scouting roles with the Pirates, Royals, and, finally, the Orioles. Kison finished his career 115-88 with a 3.66 ERA. Perhaps his best season came during that '79 championship run, when he went 13-7 with a 3.19 ERA over 33 games (25 starts).
"I know that I never would have had the type of career I had without Bruce Kison," said Royals Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery, who spoke to Kison just a couple weeks ago over the phone.
"Bruce could teach you the mechanics and all the finer points of pitching. But where he excelled was in teaching you the mental toughness it takes. He brought out the bulldog in anyone he coached. I know he was known for hitting batters, but that wasn't about toughness or sticking up for his teammates, it was about letting the hitter always know that the inside of the plate was his. I'll miss him tremendously."
Kison served as the Orioles' pitching coach in 1999 and then as a scout until his retirement in December. In January, he was honored as a "Legend in Scouting" by the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.
"Our entire Orioles family is deeply saddened to learn of Bruce Kison's passing. For nearly two decades, Bruce played an integral role in all aspects of our organization as a pitching coach, a scout and a trusted advisor," said Orioles managing partner Peter Angelos in a team-released statement on Saturday.
"Bruce will be remembered for his tremendous work ethic, professionalism and personality, as well as his dedication to the Orioles."
Kison was an exceptionally hard worker, well-respected by colleagues and lauded for his efforts.
"We will fondly remember Bruce for his mental toughness as a competitor on the field; his scouting insight and integrity, especially for pitchers; his folksy and dry sense of humor; and his personal humility," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "We send our sincerest condolences to his wife, Anna Marie, as well as his family and loved ones."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.