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Lou Gorman: 1929-2011

Apr 1, 2011, 2:05 PM EDT

lou gorman red sox

Lou Gorman, who served as the Red Sox’s general manager from 1984 to 1993 and guided the team to three division titles and a trip to the World Series in 1986, passed away this morning at age 82.

Gorman was the man behind the 1990 trade that sent Double-A third base prospect Jeff Bagwell to the Astros for veteran pitcher Larry Andersen, who helped the Red Sox to the playoffs and then became a footnote in one of the most lopsided deals in MLB history.

He was replaced by Dan Duquette in 1994, but remained with the Red Sox as a senior adviser and was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2002. Prior to joining the Red Sox he was the first-ever general manager of the Seattle Mariners in the 1970s and also worked for the Giants, Orioles, Royals, and Mets.

  1. Chipmaker - Apr 1, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    RIP, Lou.

    Now we get to find out if “Traded Bagwell for Andersen” really does get engraved on his headstone.

  2. Mark Armour - Apr 1, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Lou Gorman was a good man, who did a lot of great things in baseball. He will likely be remembered for things that did not work out, and that’s fair. I called him up a couple of years ago to ask him about a project I was working on, and he could not have been more kind.

  3. Erik Klemetti - Apr 1, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    My favorite Gorman quote was always “The sun will rise, the sun will set and I’ll have lunch.”

  4. markfrednubble - Apr 1, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Aaron, I enjoy your stuff but on the day a man passes away, especially a man as beloved as Lou Gorman, there are any number of career milestones you could choose rather than Bagwell for Andersen.

    Trading for Dave Henderson and Spike Owen midseason in ’86. Like Theo’s ’04 trade of Nomar for Orlando Cabrera, there would have been no World Series without that deal.

    Three division titles in five years. Aggressive moves in free agency, some paying off bigger than others. Trading for Lee Smith. A farm system that produced Mo Vaughn, Mike Greenwell, and Ellis Burks among others. Often overlooked, his role in building the Mets with Frank Cashen in the early ’80s, ironically the team that broke New England’s hearts in ’86.

    I got to meet Lou one night at Fenway around 10 years ago. Late innings, he was sitting at the bar in the old 600 Club. I introduced myself and he started telling stories. To a total stranger. Answering questions sincerely, including about the Bagwell trade. And what a story he told about that. He said Houston would have accepted either Bagwell or another minor league prospect, Scott Cooper, for Andersen. He said the room was divided. Lou, Joe Morgan and others believed Bagwell was going to be a star and they wanted to send Cooper to Houston. Others disagreed and Bagwell was the one traded. Cooper was briefly a good player for the Sox, but his career fizzled.

    Ever the class act, Lou stood by the deal and never tried to throw anyone under the bus. He wouldn’t tell me who outvoted him — too classy. A wonderful man and a New England baseball icon. Rest in peace.

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