By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
Former Montreal Expos coach and broadcaster Bobby Winkles passed away on Friday at the age of 90.
His death was announced on the Arizona State University Sun Devils baseball Twitter account last night.
The longtime collegiate and professional coach led the Expos’ player development department from 1982 to 1985 before becoming the club’s batting coach in 1986 and 1987 and first base coach in 1988. Following that season, Winkles worked as a part-time analyst on Expos’ radio broadcasts until 1993.
Winkles’ tenure with the Expos was his last in the big leagues, but prior to his more than 10 years north of the border, he had managerial stints with the California Angels (1973-74) and the Oakland A’s (1977-78). He also held coaching positions with the Angels (1972), A’s (1974-75), San Francisco Giants (1976-77) and Chicago White Sox (1978 to 1981).
Born in Tuckerman, Ark., Winkles attended Illinois Wesleyan University before he signed as a young shortstop with the White Sox. He batted .270 in 858 games in seven seasons in the Sox organization – making it as high as triple-A – prior to retiring at age 29 to become the head coach of Arizona State University’s baseball team in 1959.
Winkles is credited with transforming Arizona State University (ASU) into a collegiate baseball powerhouse. He would lead the Sun Devils to three national championships (1965, 1967, 1969) and, along the way, mentor future big leaguers like Rick Monday, Sal Bando, Reggie Jackson and Larry Gura. For his efforts, he was named NCAA Coach of the Year in 1965 and again in 1969.
Winkles was part of the inaugural class of inductees into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.