Jerry Kindall

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Jerry Kindall
Jerry Kindall - Chicago Cubs - 1961.jpg
Kindall in 1961
Second baseman
Born: (1935-05-27)May 27, 1935
St. Paul, Minnesota
Died: December 24, 2017(2017-12-24) (aged 82)
Tucson, Arizona
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 1, 1956, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1965, for the Minnesota Twins
MLB statistics
Batting average.213
Home runs44
Runs batted in198
Career highlights and awards

Gerald Donald Kindall (May 27, 1935 – December 24, 2017) was an American professional baseball player and college baseball player and coach. He was primarily a second baseman in Major League Baseball who appeared in 742 games played over nine seasons between 1956 and 1965 for three MLB clubs. Then, after his playing career, he became the highly successful head baseball coach of the University of Arizona Wildcats, winning 860 games and three College World Series championships over 24 seasons (1973–1996).[1]

Kindall was born in Saint Paul, and graduated from Washington High School before attending the University of Minnesota. In 1956, as a student-athlete at Minnesota, his Golden Gophers won the NCAA Division I baseball championship; 20 years later, Kindall became the first man to win College World Series titles as both a player and a head coach.[2] He is also the only batter to hit for the cycle in the history of the College World Series and was elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Playing career[edit]

Kindall batted and threw right-handed and was listed as 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and 175 pounds (79 kg). After his 1956 College World Series triumph, he signed with the Chicago Cubs as a bonus baby.[3] The rules of the time mandated that such players be kept on the MLB signing club's 25-man roster for two full seasons before they could be optioned to minor league baseball. Kindall appeared in 104 games for the Cubs over the 1956 and 1957 seasons and collected only 38 hits (although six were home runs), batting a poor .161. Finally, in 1958, he was able to gain further experience in the Cubs' farm system, playing for two seasons and part of a third for high-level affiliates. He made the major leagues for good in 1960 and was the Cubs' starting second baseman for the latter half of that season, then split the job with Don Zimmer in 1961. With standout youngster Ken Hubbs coming up through the organization, Kindall was traded to the Cleveland Indians on November 27, 1961, for pitcher Bobby Locke. In 1962, he responded by playing in a career-high 154 games, and setting personal bests in hits (123), home runs (13) and runs batted in (55). He led all American League second basemen in assists with 494.

Offensive struggles plagued Kindall during his MLB career. He batted above .205 only three times: 1960 (.240), 1961 (.242) and 1962 (.232). He reverted to a reserve role in 1963, playing shortstop and first base as well as second base, and was traded to the Minnesota Twins, now his "hometown" team, in a three-way deal during June 1964. His final MLB campaign saw him contribute to the pennant-winning 1965 Twins. He started 101 of the team's 162 games at second base. But he hit only .196 and suffered a hamstring injury that limited his playing time during the pennant drive;[4] he did not appear in the 1965 World Series, won by the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games. The Twins released him after spring training in 1966, ending his professional career.

As a major leaguer, Kindall was credited with 439 hits, including 83 doubles, nine triples and 44 homers. No one since 1920 with at least 2,000 at-bats has a lower career batting average than Kindall's .213, but he did have above-average power for a second baseman.[5]

According to the Chicago Tribune, Kindall also made a lasting contribution to baseball phraseology when he coined the expression “the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field” to describe the Cubs' venerable stadium.[6]

Coaching career[edit]

Kindall began his college coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater, Minnesota, before joining the University of Arizona staff in 1972. Ironically, the Wildcats had been the victims of Kindall's Golden Gophers in the finals of the 1956 College World Series.[1] He became the Wildcats' head coach the following year. With a win-loss record of 860–579–7 and NCAA championships in 1976, 1980 and 1986,[7] Kindall became a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He also was the author of Baseball: Play the Winning Way and co-editor of The Baseball Coaching Bible.[8] The University of Arizona's former baseball field, Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium, is named in honor of Kindall and Sancet,[9] who preceded him as Arizona's head coach from 1950–1972.

Kindall also broadcast NCAA Tournament baseball games on television, and his talents as a storyteller and analyst were famous.[10]


Kindall was hospitalized on December 21, 2017, after suffering a major stroke in Tucson, Arizona.[11] He died three days later, at the age of 82.[12]


  1. ^ a b Obituary (December 24, 2017),
  2. ^ USA Today December 24, 2017
  3. ^ "Jerry Kindall Stats -".
  4. ^ Tomashek, Tom, "Jerry Kindall." Society for American Baseball Research Biography Project
  5. ^ Snyder, John (2010). Twins Journal: Year by Year and Day by Day with the Minnesota Twins Since 1961. Cincinnati, Ohio: Clerisy Press. p. 39. ISBN 1-57860-380-3.
  6. ^ Chicago Tribune December 24, 2017
  7. ^ "Ex-Wildcats coach enters Hall of Fame". Tucson Citizen. Associated Press. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  8. ^ Kindall, Jerry (2000). The Baseball Coaching Bible. Human Kinetics. p. 384. ISBN 9780736001618.
  9. ^ "Sancet Field Renamed Jerry Kindall Field At Frank Sancet Stadium". CSTV. CBS Sports Network. 12 January 2004. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  10. ^ December 24, 2017
  11. ^ Star, Arizona Daily. "Jerry Kindall, who won three national titles at Arizona in Hall of Fame career, dies at 82".
  12. ^ "Legendary former UA baseball coach Jerry Kindall dies after stroke". December 24, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017.

External links[edit]

External video
KGUN9 News at, December 24, 2017 – Jerry Kindall