Blue Jays' staple Mel Queen dies
TORONTO -- Mel Queen, a former Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach and manager who rejoined the organization in 2008 at its player development senior adviser, has died. He was 69.
The cause of death was not divulged.
Queen was an outfielder who became a pitcher and played for both the Cincinnati Reds (1964-69) and California Angels (1970-72). He posted a 20-17 career record with 389 innings pitched, 306 strikeouts, and a career ERA of 3.14.
In his four seasons in Toronto, Blue Jays pitchers won three Cy Young Awards: Pat Hentgen in 1996 and Roger Clemens in 1997 and '98. Queen served as the club's interim manager for the final five games of 1997 after the firing of Cito Gaston.
He returned to the Blue Jays in 2008 as a senior adviser to the player development department.
"Our organization would not be what it is today without the contributions of Mel Queen," Blue Jays president Paul Beeston said in a statement. "In Toronto he was both the major league pitching coach and manager, but his real strength was in the minor leagues.
"He joined us in 1986, and whether he was serving as the farm director, minor-league pitching coordinator or in a number of other roles, Mel was instrumental to our system being one of the most respected in the game. He was not only a great coach and passionate instructor, he was a great friend to me and everyone in the organization, and he earned the utmost respect from the young men who had the pleasure of working with him.
"We were fortunate to have Mel rejoin the organization in 2008 to assist with the rebuild. Our sincere sympathies go out to his wife and family."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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