Bob Watson broke racial barriers and brought players together, former teammate Enos Cabell says

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 23: Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, right, presents Bob Watson with The Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at Minute Maid Park on May 23, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) (Bob Levey, 2017 Getty Images)

The passing of Bob Watson leaves a void in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.

“Bob had a great career,” said Tal Smith, a former Astros General Manager. “He deserves even more credit for the adversity he had to overcome.”

As a player, Watson, a two-time All-Star, dealt with the hardships of hateful racism.

“That was difficult for Bob and Jimmy Wynn and other young Astros players at the time,” said Smith. “He and his wife Carol deserve an awful lot of credit for the way they handled it.”

Watson became the first African American general manager to win the World Series in 1996, while he was with the Yankees.

“It was very important, he was probably in the top 5 minorities in Major League Baseball of all time,” said Enos Cabell, who was Watson’s teammate.

“He was in that group of top 5 people; Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, Joe Morgan... Bob was in those positions where he did everything.”

And Watson’s influence spanned multiple generations.

“He had (Jeff) Bagwell, (Craig) Biggio, (Ken) Caminiti.. he had all those guys, and they all loved him.”

The man known as “The Bull” will be missed greatly.

“Just a good man," said Cabell. "Few people come along like that you can’t say anything bad about.”

About the Author:

Small town Indiana native obsessed with basketball, live music, Mexican food, and telling a good story.