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Former MLB player, manager and executive Eddie Kasko dies at 88

Eddie Kasko spent more than three decades in Major League Baseball as a player, manager and executive before he died Wednesday. Photo courtesy Jay Publishing/Wikimedia Commons
Eddie Kasko spent more than three decades in Major League Baseball as a player, manager and executive before he died Wednesday. Photo courtesy Jay Publishing/Wikimedia Commons

June 25 (UPI) -- Eddie Kasko -- a former Major League Baseball All-Star infielder, manager and executive -- has died at the age of 88, his former team said.

The Boston Red Sox said Kasko died Wednesday but did not disclose the cause of death. Kasko held various MLB roles for 38 years.

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Kasko spent 10 seasons as a player for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros and Red Sox from 1957 through 1966. He was an All-Star in 1961 for the eventual National League-champion Reds.

Kasko hit .318 for the Reds during the 1961 World Series against the New York Yankees, who ultimately won the title in five games. That Yankees squad featured baseball greats Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford.

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A native of Elizabeth, N.J., Kasko attended Linden High School before he signed a minor league deal with the New York Giants at age 17. He played three seasons in Minor League Baseball before stepping away from the game for two years with the United States Army Combat Engineers during the Korean War, from 1952 to 1954. He returned for three additional minor league seasons before he made his MLB debut in 1957 for the Cardinals.

Kasko later managed the Red Sox's Triple-A affiliate after his final season as a player. He coached the minor league team from 1967 through 1969 before he was hired to manage the Red Sox at age 38. Kasko would lead Boston to four consecutive winning seasons and an overall record of 345-295. His players included Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, Orlando Cepeda and Luis Aparicio.

Following his managerial days, Kasko spent 21 years in the Red Sox front office -- working as a scout, director of scouting and vice president of baseball development. He helped the team sign several top draft picks, including Hall of Fame pitcher Roger Clemens and sluggers Mo Vaughn and Jeff Bagwell. He also helped the franchise scout opponents during the World Series in 1967, 1975 and 1986, during which the team went 0-3 in the championship round.

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Kasko, who was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2010, is survived by sons Michael and James. His wife, Catherine, died in 2015 after 57 years of marriage.

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