Jerry Kindall, a college baseball legend who was the first to win the College World Series as both a player and a coach, passed away Sunday at the age of 82.
As a player, Kindall was the shortstop on the 1956 Minnesota Golden Gophers team that won the College World Series. Following his time at Minnesota, he had a nine-season playing career at the major league level that included stints with the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, and Minnesota Twins. Kindall would later serve as a head coach at the collegiate ranks, winning College World Series titles with the University of Arizona in 1976, 1980, and 1986.
According to the University of Arizona, Kindall died of complications from a stroke. More from The AP:
“Saddened and stunned to hear of the passing of Jerry Kindall,” former Twins teammate Jim Kaat tweeted. “A friend. A wonderful teammate. A gentle and kind man of deep Christian faith. And a coach that impacted many lives. A life well lived.”
That sort of testimony flowed after the news of his death.
“Some people talk the talk, he walked the walk,” said Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, a member of the 1980 championship team. “He lived his life just like you’re supposed to. It’s easy to say things, but he lived it.
Kindall built a strong legacy at Arizona, where he coached the baseball program to a 860-579-7 record during a storied tenure that ran from 1973 to 1996. The playing surface at Arizona baseball’s former home, Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium, was named in Kindall’s honor.