Bing Devine dead at the age of 90

The man who built the Cardinals' dynasty of the 1960s and turned the Amazin' Mets from 100-game losers into the world champion Miracle Mets, died Saturday in St. Louis at the age of 90.

Devine, who had been ill since Christmas, died at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, said his widow, Mary Devine.

"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."

If you are a baby boomer and a St. Louis Cardinal fan today, it is due to the work and significant accomplishments of Bing Devine. On his watch, the Cardinals won World Series titles in 1964 and 1967, and the pennant in 1968.

A master GM, he was a major architect of four National League champions and three World Series champions in six years between 1964 and 1969.

He started his career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1939 as an office boy, before World War II. After the war he returned and ran the Cardinals farm system from 1941 through 1945, when the Cardinals promoted him to assistant general manager. Two years later he was promoted to GM and the rest as they say is history.

Bing Devine is probably best known for stealing future Hall of Famer Lou Brock from the Chicago Cubs for Ernie Broglio.

At the time the Brock for Broglio deal went through, most of the fans and members of the media in St. Louis were against the move. Broglio had won 20 games for the Redbirds in 1960 and then 18 games in 1963 and Brock was not considered that good of an outfielder.

Broglio went 4-7 in 1964 and just 1-6 in 1965 and Lou Brock went on to a Hall of Fame career. Devine who always played down his role in the deal, became immortalized in baseball lore for the trade.

Throughout his career in St. Louis, Devine also played a pivotal role in the signing the likes of Curt Flood, Mike Shannon, Joe Torre, Bill White, Julian Javier, Keith Hernandez and hiring a guy named Jack Buck.

Bing Devine was still serving the St. Louis Cardinals at the time of his death, as a special scout and adviser to general manager Walt Jocketty.

Mr Devine is survived by his wife Mary and their three daughters, Joanne, Janice and Jane.

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