The Obit For Bob Kennedy


Ex-Sox player was Cubs manager, GM

Published April 8, 2005

Bob Kennedy, who played for the White Sox and four other major-league teams and later served as manager and general manager of the Cubs, died Thursday in Mesa, Ariz.

He was 84.

A product of Chicago's South Side, Kennedy worked as a vendor at Comiskey Park as a youngster before signing with the White Sox. He reached the major leagues with them in 1939 and played 154 games at third base in 1940, batting .252.

Kennedy left for military service late in the 1942 season and fought in World War II for 3 1/2 years, returning to the Sox for the 1946 season.

Traded to Cleveland in 1948, he helped the Indians win their last World Series, hitting .301 over the second half of the season. He had his best year with the Indians in 1950, hitting .291 with nine home runs and 54 RBIs. Known for a strong throwing arm throughout his career, he also played for Baltimore, Detroit and the Brooklyn Dodgers before retiring in 1957.

In 1,484 major-league games, Kennedy batted .254 with 63 homers and 514 RBIs.

Kennedy remained in baseball as a scout and minor-league manager after retiring as a player and was a member of the Cubs' College of Coaches in the early '60s. He managed the team with the title of head coach in 1963-64, going 82-80 and finishing seventh before going 76-86 and finishing eighth. He was fired with a 24-32 record 56 games into the 1965 season.

Charlie Finley hired him to manage the Athletics in 1968, their first year in Oakland. He was fired after going 82-80. Kennedy returned to the Cubs as director of baseball operations in 1977. He later was general manager of the Astros.

Kennedy's son, Terry, was an All-Star catcher for the San Diego Padres and several other teams. Terry Kennedy later worked for the Cubs as a minor-league manager and in player development.