Rocky Bridges, the quick-with-a-quip manager during the Buffalo Bisons first season in the downtown ballpark, died Wednesday at 87 in his hometown of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. His death was reported Friday by multiple media outlets.
Bridges managed the Bisons to a 72-70 record and a third-place finish in the American Association East in 1988, the team’s inaugural season at what was then Pilot Field.
Renowned for his self-deprecating sense of humor, Bridges brought smiles to many faces during his one season with the Herd. His repertoire of one-liners included mention of how he wouldn’t eat snails because he preferred fast food.
Everett Lamar ‘Rocky’ Bridges played 11 major league seasons beginning in 1951, a career during which he bounced from Brooklyn to Cincinnati to Washington to Detroit to Cleveland, St. Louis and Los Angeles (Angels).
He was a .247 career hitter but made the American League all-star team with Washington in 1958.
Bridges wasn’t a feared hitter but admired those who were.
He’s quoted as having said: “I got a big charge out of seeing Ted Williams hit. Once in a while they let me try to field some of them, which sort of dimmed my enthusiasm.”