(CBS/AP) — Former Cubs manager and player Don Zimmer has died at age 83.
Zimmer managed the Cubs from 1988-’91. In 1989, the Cubs won a division title, and Zimmer was named the Manager of the Year. Zimmer would later serve as a bench coach for the New York Yankees under Joe Torre and would win four World Series titles with the team.
Before managing the Cubs, Zimmer managed the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. Zimmer was currently working as a special advisor for the Tampa Bay Rays.
In addition to being a manager, Zimmer played 12 seasons as a player, including two seasons with the Cubs in 1960-’61.
Zimmer had been in a rehabilitation center in Florida since having seven hours of heart surgery in mid-April.
Zimmer was easily recognizable for the big chaw that always seemed to be in his cheek, and his storytelling was a treat for anyone lucky enough to hear him.
Beloved by many, his No. 66 jersey had been worn recently by longtime Tampa Bay third base coach Tom Foley in tribute. The Rays hosted the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night, and Foley was crying in the dugout.
“Probably the best baseball man I knew,” Billy Connors, who coached under Zimmer on the Cubs, told The Associated Press on Wednesday night.
“We had a lot of great times. I loved listening to him every day,” he said.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)