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Friday, February 09, 2007

Bauer passes away at 84- MLB.com

Former Yankee was part of seven World Series title winners
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Hank Bauer, a key component of seven New York Yankees World Series championship clubs, died Friday after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 84.

Bauer played 14 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1948-61, his first 12 with the Yankees. A three-time All-Star outfielder, he batted .277 with 164 home runs and 703 RBIs in 1,544 games, and helped the Yankees to nine American League pennants.

"Hank Bauer is an emblem of a generation that helped shape the landscape of our country," Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement.

"He was a natural leader and a teammate in every sense of the word, and his contributions went well beyond the baseball field. His service to the Yankees, his country, and his family shows why I have been so privileged to call him a friend."

A strong runner and fielder with a powerful arm, Bauer became an accomplished Major League manager after his playing career. He earned Manager of the Year honors at the helm of the Baltimore Orioles in 1964 and 1966, including one World Series title.

Bauer was traded to the Kansas City Athletics as part of a deal that brought Roger Maris to the
Yankees prior to the 1960 season. While Bauer's association with the club ended, his friendships with many Yankees teammates endured for decades.

"I am truly heartbroken," Yogi Berra said. "Hank was a wonderful teammate and friend for so long. Nobody was more dedicated and proud to be a Yankee, he gave you everything he had."

Bauer guided the Kansas City Athletics in 1962 and 1963, then moved on to spend five years with the Orioles before finishing his managerial career with Oakland in 1969. In eight seasons as a big-league manager, Bauer compiled a record of 594-534.

The youngest of nine children, Bauer was born to a blue-collar background in East St. Louis, Ill., and went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. Battling malaria in the South Pacific, Bauer earned 11 campaign ribbons, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts in 32 months of combat.

His gruff military background translated to his playing career, which delivered him to the Yankees for a 1948 debut.

As a tough presence in the clubhouse, Bauer is said to have chastised a young Mickey Mantle for not running out a ground ball, yelling, "Don't fool with my money" -- a reference to the regularity with which Bauer cashed Yankees World Series checks.

Indeed, many of Bauer's most memorable moments with the Yankees came in October. Bauer contributed a game-saving catch to rob the Giants' Sal Yvars in the 1951 Fall Classic, and set a World Series record with a 17-game hitting streak from 1956-58.

"Maybe I bore down a lot more in the Series," Bauer told the Kansas City Star. "I had my luck. I had my good days and bad ones. I played for the right organization."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bronson Arroyo receives a two-year contract extension from the Reds

By David

After an impressive 2006 campaign, Bronson Arroyo was given a two-year contract extension, worth $25 million. He will remain a Red through the 2010 season and there is a team option for the following year.

After being acquired via a trade with Boston, the 29-year old right-hander had the best year of his career. He went 14-11 last season with a 3.29 E.R.A. Arroyo also lead the league with 240.2 innings pitched.

Arroyo's contract extension comes two days after teammate Aaron Harang signed a four-year deal with the team. Arroyo and Harang create a formidable one-two duo that will be able to compete with just about any teams offense. By locking up both players through at least the 2010 season, owner Bob Castellini is telling Cincinnati fans that he is committed to winning.

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