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Baseball legend and Ozarks native Bill Virdon dies at 90

Bill Virdon
Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
Bill Virdon with the Pirates

Bill Virdon, who broke into the MLB as National League Rookie of the Year with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1955 and helped the Pittsburgh Pirates win the World Series as a player in 1960, passed away Tuesday. His death was confirmed by multiple teams he was affiliated with.

Virdon grew up in West Plains then attended Drury University before trying out for the New York Yankees, who signed him to their minor league team in 1950.

“He was a local sports legend and someone that even during his Major League managerial career, when he would be in Springfield or the area in the offseason, was incredibly approachable and friendly; just a nice nice person,” said Ed Beach, who is the head of media relations for Drury University.

In addition to playing for the Cardinals and Pirates, Virdon also coached and managed for the Pirates, Yankees, Astros and the Expos. He coached the Pirates to another World Series win in 1971.