HOUSTON - Longtime Astros minor league coach and scout Gordy MacKenzie passed away on Tuesday. He was 77 years old. Astros Director of Player Development Quinton McCracken released the following statement regarding MacKenzie's passing:
"This is truly a sad time for the Astros family. Gordy was an outstanding baseball man that was widely respected not only in our organization, but throughout all of baseball. He will be greatly missed. We send our heartfelt condolences to Gordy's family and many friends."
MacKenzie had served as a coach for the Astros Gulf Coast League team since 2008. He first joined the Astros as a minor league instructor (1999-2001) and later returned to the organization as a scout from 2004-08 before joining the Gulf Coast League club's coaching staff.
MacKenzie's distinguished career in baseball began in 1956 when he was signed as an amateur free agent by the Kansas City Athletics. MacKenzie, who was a catcher, would make his Major League debut on August 13, 1961 (53 years ago today). After eight minor league seasons as a player, he would serve as a minor league manager at the Class A, Double A and Triple A levels for a combined 16 seasons, which included stints in the Washington (1966-67), New York-NL (1970-73), Montreal (1975-76), Kansas City (1977-79), Detroit (1983-85), San Francisco (1989) and Cleveland (1995) minor league systems. MacKenzie won the Carolina League Championship while managing Kinston in 1995 and later was inducted into the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.