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Lou Piniella, is nicknamed "Sweet Lou," both for his swing as a major league hitter and, facetiously, to describe his demeanor as a player and manager.
Piniella played for the Kansas City Royals from 1969-73, and was the American League's AL Rookie of the Year in 1969. He was the first player to come to bat in Royals history. On April 8 of their first season, he led off the bottom of the 1st against left-hander Tom Hall of the Minnesota Twins. He doubled to left field, then scored on an RBI single by Jerry Adair.
That was followed by 11 years as a member of the New York Yankees, where they won five AL East titles (1976-78, 1980 and 1981), four AL pennants (1976-78 and 1981), and two World Series championships (1977-78). After centerfielder Mickey Rivers was traded, during the 1979 season, Piniella became the Yankees leadoff hitter. One of the more underrated players of the 1970s, he compiled 1705 lifetime hits despite not playing full time for just under half of his career.
After retiring as a player, Piniella managed the Yankees from 1986 to 1987 and for most of 1988 before briefly serving as the club's general manager for the rest of the 1988 and 1989 seasons. Piniella managed the Cincinnati Reds between 1990 and 1992, a tenure that included winning the 1990 World Series against the heavily-favored Oakland Athletics.
From 1993-2002, he managed the Seattle Mariners, winning the AL Manager of the Year Award in 1995, and again in 2001 when he led the Mariners to a record-tying 116 wins.
He later went on to manage the Devil Rays and the Chicago Cubs.
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