Former Detroit Tigers third baseman Steve Boros, whose career as a player, coach, manager, scout and front office executive spanned more than 40 years, has died at 74.

The Tigers confirm Boros’ death Wednesday in Deland, Florida, but a statement from the club does not give a cause of death.

Boros, a native of Michigan, joined the Tigers in June, 1957, out of the University of Michigan. He played seven seasons in the Big Leagues, four of them in Detroit.

Boros managed the Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres in the 1980s, but it was as a scout with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988 that he may have made his biggest contribution to the game.

Boros scouted the Oakland Athletics, the Dodgers’ opponent in the ’88 World Series. He noticed that A’s closer Dennis Eckersley liked to throw sliders to left-handed batters on 3-2 counts.

Kirk Gibson, pinch-hitting in Game One in the bottom of the ninth inning with Los Angeles trailing by two runs, belted an Eckersley slider into the right-field seats for a three-run home run and a come-from-behind win.  Oakland never recovered and the Dodgers beat the heavily favored Athletics in five games.

Boros closed out his baseball career in the Tigers’ front office from 1996 to 2004, serving as assistant to the general manager, among other duties.

Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a statement, “Steve was a lifelong baseball man, who we respected for his years of experience as a player, manager and teacher of the game.”

(Copyright 2010 WWJ Newsradio 950. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press Contributed To This Story)


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