By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN
Published: January 31, 2007
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Bing Devine, the St. Louis general manager who helped build Cardinals teams that won three National League pennants and two World Series in the 1960s, died Saturday. He was 90.
Devine died at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, said his widow, Mary Devine. He had been ill since Christmas, she said.
"He had surgery, bless his heart," Mary Devine said. "He had too many little things, and he decided today was the day for him to leave. We were all there holding his hands. He had a wonderful baseball life, and he was still working for the Cardinals, and I tell you he would have worked for them for free."
Vaughan P. "Bing" Devine, was general manager of the Cardinals from 1958 to 1964 and again from 1968-78, and was credited with acquiring Hall of Fame players Bob Gibson and Lou Brock. The Brock trade with the Cubs, which cost the Cardinals sore-armed pitcher Ernie Broglio, is considered one of the most-sided in baseball history.
Many of the players Devine acquired led the Cardinals to World Series titles in 1964 and 1967 and the pennant in 1968, among them Curt Flood, Dick Groat, Bill White and Julian Javier.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bing, his family and many friends," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said. "Bing was an institution in baseball circles and will long be remembered for his many contributions to the Cardinals and all of baseball."
Devine was also assistant to the president, and then president of the New York Mets from 1965-67. He also held various scouting and front office positions with the Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos and San Francisco Giants.
"He was a real pioneer in sports management," Cardinals president Mark Lamping said. "He was as well-rounded of a general manager as you could get.
"We'll certainly miss him."
Devine also served as president of the NFL's St. Louis Cardinals from 1981 to 1986. He eventually returned to work with the baseball Cardinals in 1999 as a special scout and adviser to general manager Walt Jocketty.
"I had great pleasure in working with Bing for the past several years," Jocketty said. "He was a wonderful person and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from his vast experience and knowledge."
Devine, who began his career in baseball with the Cardinals in 1939, played college basketball at Washington University (Mo.) and served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946.
The team had not been informed of funeral arrangements.