The Obit For Haywood Sullivan

Former Red Sox general manager Haywood Sullivan dies

By Greg Sukiennik, Associated Press, 2/12/2003 18:38

BOSTON (AP) Former Boston Red Sox co-owner and general manager Haywood Sullivan died Wednesday in Fort Myers, Fla., the team said. He was 72.

Sullivan, who lived in Naples, Fla., died after having a stroke, spokesman Kevin Shea said.

Sullivan, the team's general manager from 1978-83, last worked for the Red Sox in 1993. He was best known for neglecting to mail a contract offer to catcher Carlton Fisk, allowing the future Hall of Famer to become a free agent and leave Boston.

After a seven-year playing career, much of it with the Red Sox, and a year managing the Kansas City Athletics, Sullivan became Boston's director of player personnel in 1965.

In 1978, he, Jean Yawkey and Buddy LeRoux took possession of the Red Sox.

Born Dec. 15, 1930, in Donalsonville, Ga., Sullivan had a brief major league career, catching for the Red Sox and the Athletics. He managed the A's most of the 1965 season to a last-place finish.

He ended his career with a .226 batting average, 13 homers and 87 RBIs in 312 games. As a manager, he posted a win-loss record of 54-82.

His son, Marc, also was a catcher, from 1982-87.

Sullivan was also involved in one of the more bizarre events in Red Sox history.

On June 6, 1983, during Tony Conigliaro Night at Fenway Park, LeRoux announced he had taken control of the Sox from Sullivan and Yawkey, the widow of owner Thomas Yawkey. LeRoux said that he and two other part-owners had voted to reorganize the partnership and that he would be managing general partner.

His first act was to try to fire Sullivan and replace him with Dick O'Connell, a move that landed them in court. Sullivan finished the season as GM, when he was replaced by Lou Gorman.

After leaving the Red Sox, Sullivan ran a marina in Fort Myers, Fla., the team's current spring training home.