Dallas Green, a towering baseball figure who won a World Series as a manager in Philadelphia and paved the way for lights at Wrigley Field as president of the Chicago Cubs, died Wednesday. He was 82.
No cause of death was announced, but Green had been suffering from kidney failure and had been in declining health for much of the past year.
“The game lost a great baseball man today,” Phillies chairman David Montgomery said in a statement released by the team. “Dallas held many different positions in baseball, and his passion and love for the game was evident in every role he played.
“He was a big man with a big heart and a bigger-than-life personality. Having known Dallas since 1971, he was one of my first phone calls upon becoming Phillies president because of his perspective and advice. All of us at the Phillies had tremendous respect for Dallas as a baseball man and friend. We will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Sylvia, and his children, Dana, John, Kim and Doug.”
Then a weird thing started to happen. Gonzaga was back the next year. The year after that, too. And the year after that, and the year after that, and the year after that.
Suddenly, the Bulldogs were every bit as much of a March fixture as Duke. But it wasn’t just March. Gonzaga was scheduling major-conference opponents and playing in big early-season tournaments in November and December, and they were winning. They were winning a lot.
Mark Few — who had taken over the year after Gonzaga’s initial Elite Eight run after Dan Monson ironically bolted for Minnesota — had somehow taken a program from the lowly West Coast Conference and turned it into a perennial national player. This, like the Zags’ original run, was cool with America. A new name on the national scene, and one with humble beginnings and a much taller annual wall to climb than the established powerhouses. How could it not be cool?