On the same day the Minnesota Twins announced they are going to replace Ron Gardenhire as manager in 2015, former Twins skipper Tom Kelly told WCCO radio that he suffered a stroke last week.
Listen to a replay of the interview right here.
Kelly, 64, managed the Twins from 1986 to 2001, when he stepped away on his own terms. Kelly left his final press conference with a great quote, as documented by MLB.com.
"Managers don't last that long. I've been one of the lucky ones."
What he couldn't have predicted is that the next manager of the Twins would last 13 years, until he was let go by the team today.
Ron Gardenhire took over for Kelly in 2002 and guided the Twins to six postseason appearances. Unlike Kelly, four consecutive 90-loss seasons was too much for Gardenhire to overcome. Kelly is one of only two managers in MLB history to keep his job after four straight 90-loss summers. He actually replaced Ray Miller, who was fired late in the 1986. Until today, Miller was the most recent Twins manager to be fired.
What Gardenhire never did was take the Twins to a World Series. Kelly guided the Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991, where they went seven games against the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves.