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Thread: Obituary: Lawrence W. Shepard / Pirates manager

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    Default Obituary: Lawrence W. Shepard / Pirates manager

    Obituary: Lawrence W. Shepard / Pirates manager in 1968 and '69 also was a respected pitching coach
    April 3, 1919 - April 5, 2011
    Friday, April 08, 2011
    By Bill Brink, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Post-Gazette ArchivesFormer Pirates manager Larry Shepard.Larry Shepard, the former Pirates manager who coached Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski, died Tuesday in Lincoln, Neb. He was 92.

    Mr. Shepard managed the Pirates to an 80-82 record in 1968, and the Pirates were 84-73 when the team fired him in 1969.

    "He was so good with young pitchers," said Pirates broadcaster and former pitcher Steve Blass, who played for Mr. Shepard both in the minor leagues and with the Pirates.

    "You're just getting started professionally and there's so much to learn. He really helped me stay grounded and learn the secrets of pitching and the instincts and the feel of the game."

    Lawrence William Shepard was born in Lakewood, Ohio, on April 3, 1919, and had a 179-84 record as a minor-league pitcher from 1941 to 1958.

    He missed the 1942-45 seasons due to military service during World War II.

    He became a minor-league player-manager in the second half of his career, managing teams in the Pirates' and the Brooklyn Dodgers' organizations. He led the Billings Mustangs, a Dodgers affiliate, to a Pioneer League championship in 1950, and helped the Lincoln Chiefs, a Pirates affiliate, to a Western League championship in 1956.

    He managed the Pirates affiliate Columbus Jets from 1961 to 1966, then became a Philadelphia Phillies coach in '67.

    After his time with the Pirates, he was the pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds from 1970-78 and won two World Series with the team in 1975-76. He finished his coaching career on the San Francisco Giants staff in '79.

    Mr. Blass played for Mr. Shepard on the Jets from 1963 to 1965 and again when he joined the Pirates.

    He credited Mr. Shepard with helping him adjust to tougher competition.

    "Larry Shepard was like a pitching dad for me because he really helped me prepare to pitch in the big leagues," Mr. Blass said. "I always remembered that about him. He was tough and blustery, but he was one of those guys where if you got under that shell, he was a really good guy."

    That tough and blustery side revealed itself to Mr. Blass one Sunday morning in San Francisco, right after the pitcher bought his first $5 cigar.

    "He said, 'Throw that away, kid, we're going to church,' " Mr. Blass said. "And you know what? I threw it away and we went to church."

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    Default Re: Obituary: Lawrence W. Shepard / Pirates manager

    I saw Larry Shepard helping pitchers on the Welland Pirates team, back in about 93 or 94, at the Jamestown Jammers stadium , when they were with the Tigers. He was talking to the Tiger GM at the time............Glanville?, can't remember. I thought he was in uniform then.
    Remember, that which hath not killed you, will try again...................

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