clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Former Cub Al Dark Dies At 92

New, 18 comments

The longtime manager was a Cubs infielder for two years in the 1950s.

Al Dark while with the Boston Braves in 1949
Al Dark while with the Boston Braves in 1949
Diamond Images

Most associated for many years with the Giants, both in New York and San Francisco, as a player and manager, Al Dark played third base for the Cubs in 1958 and 1959. Dark passed away Thursday, aged 92:

He was a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Marines and was a member of Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley.

Private services are being arranged.

"We knew it was coming," said longtime friend Bob Bolin. "It's a glad time and a sad time."

Dark was acquired by the Cubs from the Cardinals in May 1958 in exchange for pitcher Jim Brosnan. At 36, his best years were behind him, but he hit a credible .279/.341/.376 in 1,051 plate appearances for the Cubs. Remember, most infielders weren't expected to hit much in that era and those numbers produced an OPS+ of 92, and in 1959 he had 3.3 bWAR for the Cubs, second on the team behind league MVP Ernie Banks. He also was the third-base coach for the Cubs in 1965 and their first-base coach in 1977.

As noted, Dark went on to a long managing career with the Giants, Athletics, Indians and Padres, winning 994 and losing 954. He won two pennants, one with the Giants and one with the A's, and was A's manager for their 1974 World Series championship year.

There's more on Dark in this comprehensive SABR biography, including analysis of accusations of racism made against him while he was Giants manager.

At the time of his death, Dark was the 31st-oldest living former major-league player.