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1983 photo of Oakland Athletics manager Steve Boros poses for a photo. The Detroit Tigers report that Boros, 74, died on Wednesday night, Dec. 29, 2010, in Deland, Fla., where he had been in recent years. The team said it didn't have any other details on his death. Boros managed the Athletics and the San Diego Padres and also coached and scouted for several other clubs. (AP Photo)

Former A's manager Steve Boros, who later played a key behind-the-scenes role in one of baseball's most thrilling World Series moments, has died. He was 74.

Boros died Wednesday night in Deland, Fla., where he had spent his recent years, the Detroit Tigers said Thursday. The team said it didn't have any other details.

He managed the A's in 1983 and part of 1984, and guided the San Diego Padres in 1986.

Boros hit .245 with 26 home runs and 149 RBIs in parts of seven seasons as an infielder with Detroit, the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati. He managed the A's in 1983 He hit three homers in a game for Detroit in 1962 -- no other Tigers player accomplished the feat until Bill Freehan in 1971. But it was his work as an advance scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988 that really showed off his baseball smarts.

Boros was part of a scout team that filled out reports that fall on the A's, the Dodgers' opponent in the World Series. Among the traits that Boros and his co-workers 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 Eck for a two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth homer to win Game 1. The Dodgers went on to upset the mighty A's in five games.

In the middle of the 1986 season, Boros was ejected before the first pitch of a game at Atlanta. He had gone to home plate for the exchange of lineup cards and tried to hand a videotape to umpire Charlie Williams, who had made a call the previous night that resulted in a triple play against the Padres. Williams was sure he'd gotten the play correct and quickly tossed Boros.


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Replays showed Boros was right.