Lou Gorman, former general manager of the Boston Red Sox, died at the age of 82 after a long illness on the Opening Day of the 2011 Boston Red Sox season.
He will always be remembered as the architect of the 1986 Red Sox team that was a pitch away from winning the World Series and ending years of whining from Red Sox fans everywhere. Unfortunately Red Sox fans would continue whining for another 18 years.
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Gorman was General Manager of the Mariners for the first four seasons of the franchise’s history from 1977-80. His first ever draft choice was center fielder Dave Henderson in the first round in June 1977. It was a typical time for a new team, as the Mariners finished no higher than sixth in the American League West. Gorman’s tenure in Seattle ended with a 246-400 record.
Gorman was a native of South Providence, R.I., grew up a Red Sox fan and was a very good athlete. He played minor league baseball for a short time in 1948 for the Providence Grays of the Class B New England League. He went on to college where he earned his bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., and a master’s degree from Bridgewater State College. The baseball field at Stonehill College is named for him.
Gorman also worked with the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles. But it was in Boston where he was able to turn the Red Sox into a contender once again as general manager from 1984-93. During Gorman’s leadership, the Red Sox won three American League East championships in 1986, 1988 and 1990. He was responsible for bringing in Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs and pitcher Roger Clemens (whose Hall of Fame status could be determined in a trial later this year). The Red Sox won 80 or more games in eight of Gorman’s 10 seasons and posted an overall record of 891-843.
As an Anaheim Angels (I’m not calling them Los Angeles) fan, I will forever remember Gorman’s 1986 team that ripped our hearts out as we were one pitch away from taking their place in that World Series.