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In a graceful move, Lou Piniella has announced he’ll retire after wrapping up the season with the Chicago Cubs. Piniella has distinguished himself as someone who excelled as a player and a manager, a combination that is uncommon if not rare.
I’ve followed Piniella’s career for a long time, dating back to when I picked up his first Topps rookie card* in 1964 and then as he moved briefly into the Indians’ organization as a top prospect who was ultimately dealt away for better times elsewhere. He managed for the Yankees and in Seattle, Cincinnati, St. Petersburg and for the Cubs.
Winning a World Series with the Reds was certainly a career highlight, and he had his most successful playing years with the Yankees. In both roles, he brought competitive fire to the field daily. Thanks, Lou, for all you’ve done for the game.
*Amazingly, Piniella appeared on Topps rookie cards for the Senators, Indians and Seattle Pilots, which also is a rarity.