Steve Boros dies at 74; former major league infielder and manager

Steve Boros, a former major league infielder and manager who played a key behind-the-scenes role in the Dodgers’ opening-game victory over the Oakland Athletics in the 1988 World Series, has died. He was 74.

Boros died Wednesday night at his home in Deland, Fla., of complications from multiple myeloma, his son, Steve Jr., told

Boros hit .245 with 26 home runs and 149 RBIs in parts of seven seasons with the Detroit Tigers, the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds. He managed the A’s in 1983 and part of 1984, and guided the San Diego Padres in 1986.

Born Sept. 3, 1936, in Flint, Mich., Boros earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan before making his major league debut with Detroit in 1957. He mostly played third base, and in 1962 he hit three home runs in one game.

In 1988, Boros was part of a Dodgers scout team that filed reports on the A’s, L.A.'s opponent in the World Series. Among the traits that Boros and fellow scouts Mel Didier and Jerry Stephenson noticed: Oakland relief ace Dennis Eckersley tended to throw a backdoor slider on 3-2 counts to left-handed hitters.

That was exactly the pitch that pinch-hitter Kirk Gibson launched off Eckersley for a two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth home run to win Game 1 at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers went on to defeat the A’s in five games.

Boros coached for Kansas City, Montreal, the Dodgers and Baltimore. He spent the last nine years of his career in the Tigers organization as their minor league field coordinator (1996-2002), director of player development (2003) and special assistant to the general manager (2004).

The Athletics went 74-88 during Boros’ first year as a manager, and he was let go during the next season.

He took over the Padres in spring training in 1986 after Dick Williams resigned. San Diego also went 74-88 under Boros.

Boros married his wife, Sharla, in 1973. They had two daughters, Renee and Sasha, and son Steve, who is a major league scout.