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Former Fordham Coach Gil McDougald Passes Away

Bronx, N.Y. – The Fordham University community lost a valuable member on Sunday with the passing of former head baseball coach Gil McDougald of cancer at his home in Wall Township, New Jersey, at the age of 82.

McDougald served as the head baseball coach at Fordham from 1970-76, recording two 20-win seasons and five winning seasons during his seven-year tenure. He led the 1974 Rams to a 20-12 record and then bettered that the next spring by notching a 21-11 mark, the most wins for a Fordham team since 1926. McDougald won the school’s 1975 Iron Major Award as the Coach of the Year. The 1975 squad finished in a three-way tie for first in the Metropolitan Conference but failed to earn the NCAA Eastern Regional bid due to a loss to Seton Hall in a conference playoff game.

Born on May 19, 1928, in San Francisco, Gilbert James McDougald signed with the New York Yankees in 1948.

The American League Rookie of the Year in 1951, McDougald played for the Yankees from 1951-60, winning five World Series championships. A versatile player, he saw time at second base, shortstop and third base, and was a five-time All-Star.

As a rookie in 1951, McDougald hit .306 with 14 home runs. He tied a major league record on May 3rd of that year by knocking in six runs in one inning of a game, with a two-run triple and a grand slam against the St. Louis Browns. That same year he became the first rookie to hit a grand slam in the World Series and was named the 1951 Rookie of the Year

In 1955, he was struck on the head by a ball during batting practice and gradually lost hearing in both ears. His hearing was restored in 1995 after surgery to insert a cochlear implant.

McDougald’s last major league game was Game Seven of the 1960 World Series when he pinch ran for the Yankees in the top of the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates, scoring on a Yogi Berra ground out to tie the game at nine. The Pirates, however, won the Series on Bill Mazeroski’s walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth.

McDougald retired after the 1960 season.

McDougald is survived by his wife, seven children, and 14 grandchildren.

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