The Obit For Karl Kuehl

Former Expos manager, baseball scout, author Karl Kuehl dies at 70

The Canadian Press, August 7, 2008

PHOENIX — Karl Kuehl, a baseball scout, coach, author and player development specialist known for his contributions to the Oakland Athletics teams that won three pennants, died Wednesday. He was 70.

Kuehl died of pulmonary fibrosis in a Scottsdale hospital, his son John said. He had been active until recent weeks, when he was hospitalized.

Kuehl was the manager of the Montreal Expos in 1976, going 43-85 before being fired with two months left in the season.

He went on serve six seasons as a base coach for the Minnesota Twins, then spent 12 years as head of player development and later assistant to the general manager for the A's.

Players that came out of the A's farm system in those years included Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Walt Weiss, Terry Steinbach, Scott Brosius, Mike Bordick, Miguel Tejada and Mike Gallego.

"Within the game, he's one of the most highly respected people in the nation," said Casey Tefertiller, who co-authored one of Kuehl's two books on baseball, 2005's "Mental Toughness: Baseball's Winning Edge."

Kuehl later served several years in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. He also did special projects for the A's and Major League Baseball, setting up academies in the Dominican Republic and Australia. He spent the past several years as a special assistant to the Cleveland Indians, retiring for good last year.

In 2006, he was awarded baseball's Roland Hemond Award for long-term contributions to scouting and player development.

Hemond, a close friend now in the front office of the Arizona Diamondbacks, said he got to say goodbye to Kuehl a few days ago.

"He was a very humble guy who did so much for the game," Hemond said. "He was one of the great guys of the game."

Kuehl grew up in California and began playing professional baseball in 1955. By 1959, at age 21, he was a player/manager at Salem, Ore.

"First and foremost, he was a friend and a teacher," John Kuehl said. "His passion was helping people, and baseball just happened to be the medium."

In addition to his son, Kuehl is survived by his wife, Norma, daughters Kara Neumann and Stefani Kuehl, six grandsons and a sister. A memorial service in planned next month in Scottsdale.