Larry Shepard, who managed the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1968-69 and later won two World Series as pitching coach for Sparky Anderson and the Cincinnati Reds’ “Big Red Machine,” died on Tuesday, April 5, at the age of 92.
Born in Lakewood, Ohio, Shepard was a career minor league pitcher from 1941 through 1956 with a break between for military service during World War II. He was a player-manager in the Brooklyn Dodgers farm system and won the league playoffs in 1949. Shepard took another break from managing in 1952 and part of 1953 to be a relief pitcher for the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League. He left the Dodgers organization for the Pirates farm later that year. He went on to win the 1956 Western League championship with the Lincoln Chiefs and three more league championships in the Pirates farm system from 1958-1966 with the Salt Lake City Bees and Columbus Jets.
That was good enough for Shepard to join the Big Show as pitching coach for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1967. The Pirates apparently saw his potential and named Shepard manager a year later, where he managed Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente. Unfortunately, Shepard’s tenure was short lived. He was fired with just seven games left in the 1969 season. In just 320 games, Shepard finished his major league managerial career with a 164-155 record. After helping the Reds to their two World Series in 1975 and 1976, he finished his career as baseball coach with the San Francisco Giants in 1979.