07/30/07 1:34 AM ET
LA Minors hitting coach Robinson dies
Ex-big leaguer was in second year in Dodgers organization
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
"Bill was a wonderful family man and a great baseball player, coach, manager and friend to everyone he met," said Dodger general manager Ned Colletti. "Even though he never played for the Dodgers, it was an honor that he chose to be a part of the organization. Everyone he came into contact with was better for having known him.
"He had everyone's best interest in mind at all times, and he cared deeply about the development of our young players. He will be missed by everyone in the game of baseball, and our deepest sympathies are with his family, particularly Mary Alice, Bill Jr. and Kelley."
Robinson was in his second season in the Dodgers' organization following four years as a member of the Marlins coaching staff, where he was the hitting coach for the 2003 World Series championship team.
"The entire Florida Marlins organization is deeply saddened and shocked by the sudden loss of Bill Robinson," Marlins president David Samson said. "Not only was he a big part of the Florida Marlins 2003 World Series championship, he was a huge part of the entire Major League Baseball family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Mary, and his entire family."
Robinson also served in that role for the Mets from 1984-89, which included their 1986 World Series title team.
"Bill was a true gentleman and the consummate professional," said Dodgers director of player development, De Jon Watson. "He worked tirelessly with our young players, sharing his wisdom and knowledge of the game. He will be greatly missed by the Dodger players and staff, and our deepest condolences go out to his family."
Robinson had a 16-year playing career as an outfielder for the Braves, Yankees, Phillies and Pirates from 1966-83. His finest season was in 1977, when Robinson batted .304 and set career highs in hits (154), runs (74) homers (26) and RBIs (104), which ranked eighth in the National League. Robinson also served as an analyst for ESPN's Baseball Tonight in 1990-91.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Alice, two children, William III and Kelley Ann, and three grandchildren, Bret, Ty and Will.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.