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Bing Devine, 1916-2007
2007-01-27 18:50
by Bob Timmermann

Bing Devine, who was the general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1958 through 1964, his most prominent position during a long career in baseball, passed away Saturday in St. Louis. In addition to serving as the Cardinals GM, Devine also worked in the front office for the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos, Houston Astos, and San Francisco Giants.

In June of 1964, Devine negotiated a trade with the Chicago Cubs that netted the Cardinals Lou Brock, while giving up pitchers Ernie Broglio and Bobby Shantz and outfielder Doug Clemons. However in August of 1964, the Cardinals were well-behind Philadelphia in the standings and Cardinals owner August Busch, on advice from special assistant Branch Rickey, fired Devine. Cardinals manager Johnny Keane was ticketed for dismissal when the season ended. But a funny thing happened along the way, the Cardinals ended up winning the NL pennant and then defeated the Yankees in the World Series in seven games.

Devine's replacement, Bob Howsam, lasted in the job for two years, and then left/fired/got out of Dodge prior to the 1967 season and Stan Musial served as general manager for one year. Although the Cardinals won the World Series that year, Musial realized that he didn't want to be a front office guy and he stepped down and Devine got his old job back and kept it through 1978.

2007-01-27 20:02:59
1.   dzzrtRatt
An historical question: Does Bing Devine deserve the credit for drafting and promoting the great NY Mets' crop of pitchers who emerged in the late 60s? The timing suggests he would have been the one to sign Seaver, Koosman, Ryan, Gentry, maybe even McGraw. I don't think he was GM anymore when they won the Series, but since it's a day for obits, I wonder if that major achievement should also be added to his jacket.
2007-01-27 20:24:27
2.   Bob Timmermann
Devine is given some credit for forming the Miracle Mets team. Devine and Whitey Herzog did a lot of the work.
2007-01-28 12:49:58
3.   das411
A "funny" thing Bob? Funny? Of all the words in the English language that's the one you go with??? A whole generation of POed Philadelphians were permanently scarred by that team...

....although I hafta admit it would have been pretty hilarious if that had happened to the Cards this year.

2007-01-28 19:18:40
4.   Cliff Corcoran
Bing Devine also traded for Curt Flood in 1957 then traded Curt Flood in 1969, the first being his first key move for the Cards, the latter leading to Flood's lawsuit against baseball.

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