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Former Bisons, Indians manager Doc Edwards dies

Horace "Doc" Edwards, who managed the Buffalo Bisons for two seasons (1993-94) has died in San Antonio, Texas. He was 81.

A backup catcher for most his major league playing career, Edwards didn't leave many records but he did leave thousands of friends in his 57 years in professional baseball, starting in 1958 as a minor elague player with the Cleveland Indians farm team at North Platte in the Nebraska State League until his final year as an manager of the San Antonio Colts of the independent United League in 2014.

Born in Red Jacket, W.Va. in 1936, Edwards earned his nickname after service time as a medic in the Navy. He played in 317 games in the major leagues from 1962-70 with a. 238 batting average 15 home runs and 87 RBIs for Cleveland, Kansas City, Philadelphia and New York Yankees.

Edwards managed the Cleveland Indians from 1987 to '89 and compiled a record of 173-207 in three years, including the strike-shortened 1987 season.

A great storyteller, Edwards liked to talk about his first at-bat in the big leagues for the Indians. He drew a walk from New York Yankees Hall of Fame left-hander Whitey Ford.

A burly man, 6-foot 2, 215 pounds, Edwards was unlike many hard-bitten baseball lifers of his generation. He was soft-spoken, friendly almost gentle and patient with fans, media, teammate, players and front office personnel.

Bisons general manage Mike Buczkowski tweeted:

"Saddened to hear of the passing of former Bisons manager Doc Edwards today. He was the first manager when I became the general manager in 1994. There were never enough hours in the day to hear all the great baseball stories Doc would tell."

"So sorry to hear of the passing of former Indians manager Doc Edwards. Was also manager when I covered Maine Guides. Nobody taught me more about baseball. Great friend. I owe him so much," tweeted veteran Boston baseball write Steve Buckley.

"Oh man. Doc Edwards was the best. Former MLB manager who then worked in indy ball. Looked forward every year to catching up with him. Man who knew and loved baseball," tweeted J.J. Cooper, executive editor of Baseball America.

Similar sentiments were expressed by players whom Edwards encouraged along the way.

Edwards actually started with the Bisons in 1992 as hitting coach under manager Marc Bombard before taking over the team the next season. That Buffalo team won the American Association Eastern Division by four games.

Edwards managed the Bisons for two seasons, winning 126 games in 1993-1994, and guided the team to a second place in the AA East in his first season as the manager. He is one of only 10 managers in the team’s modern era to have over 100 wins with the Bisons.

Funeral arrangements had not been announced as of Monday.

 

 

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