Lou Piniella was traded to the Kansas City Royals expansion franchise before the 1969 season. On an unspectacular fourth-place team, Piniella was a bright spot, batting .282 with 11 homers in 1969 and winning the AL Rookie of the Year award.
2 of 30Cliff Welch/Icon SMI
Piniella was traded to the Yankees before the 1974 season. He would go on to finish his playing career in New York, finally hanging up his cleats 10 years later at 40.
3 of 30John D. Hanlon/SI
Piniella's first season with New York ended in disappointing fashion. After beating the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sept. 10, the Yankees found themselves up two games on the Orioles with 21 games to play. But they were swept by Baltimore later in September and finished in second place.
4 of 30John D. Hanlon/SI
There was something about Fenway Park that brought out the best in Piniella. In 71 games in Boston, Piniella hit .359, by far his best average at any park.
5 of 30Neil Leifer/SI
After the two triggered a bench-clearing brawl from this collision at home plate, Piniella and Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk covered Sports Illustrated the following week.
6 of 30Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Seen here at the plate against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, Piniella had a career year in 1977. He batted a career-high .330 and added 12 home runs as the Yankees went on to win their first of two consecutive championships.
7 of 30Manny Millan/SI
Piniella's legendary nature for managerial fits was also frequently on display as a player, as seen here during the 1978 ALCS. Piniella and the Yankees would go on to win the World Series that year.
8 of 30Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images
Piniella wasn't known for his sparkling defense, but he had the occasional bright spot, including this grab in a June 1979 game against the Indians.
9 of 30Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Lou Piniella, Rick Cerrone and Greg Nettles during Yankees spring training in 1984.
10 of 30Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Promoted to Yankees general manager following the 1987 campaign, Piniella couldn't stay out of the dugout for long. He managed the team for 92 games after Billy Martin was fired in his final stint with the team.
11 of 30AP
The late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner flanked by Piniella and Billy Martin during spring training of 1988.
12 of 30AP
Piniella won the only World Series of his managerial career with the Reds in 1990. The Reds swept the Oakland Athletics to win their fifth title.
13 of 30Chuck Solomon/Icon SMI
Piniella and Reds owner Marge Schott in Cincinnati in 1991.
14 of 30John Iacono/SI
Though Piniella managed some of the most talented teams of the 1990s in his 10 seasons with the Seattle Mariners -- teams that included pitcher Randy Johnson -- he could never get the Mariners over the hump and win a World Series. He did, however, win AL Manager of the Year in 1995.
15 of 30AP
Edgar Martinez's apparent home run was changed to a double and "Sweet" Lou went sour. It took the entire umpiring crew to pacify Piniella enough to get him off the field after this 1996 ejection in Seattle.
16 of 30AP
Anger gave way to incredulity during this argument with umpire Al Clark during a 1999 game between the Mariners and Tigers. Ken Griffey Jr. was called safe after stealing second base, but Clark changed his own call and ruled Griffey out.
17 of 30Damian Strohmeyer/SI
In 1999, Piniella was ejected a career-high five times. This one came in a 13-2 loss to the Red Sox.
18 of 30AP
In addition to dirt-kicking and hat-punting, Piniella would occasionally venture into the business of bat-throwing to demonstrate his displeasure with an umpire.
19 of 30David Maxwell/AFP/Getty Images
Piniella's Mariners tied the major league-record with 116 wins in 2001 behind strong seasons from the pitching staff and a .350 season from first-year right fielder Ichiro Suzuki. They would go on to lose in the ALCS to the Yankees.
20 of 30AP
Piniella spent 10 years managing the Seattle Mariners, including the 116-win 2001 team. The following season was another good year as the Mariners finished with 93 wins, but Piniella didn't show it here, taking out his frustration on his hat after a tough call in the 9th inning against the Texas Rangers.
21 of 30Chuck Solomon/SI
Piniella and Don Zimmer at the start of spring training with the Devil Rays in 2004.
22 of 30Robert Beck/SI
Along with Alfonso Soriano, Piniella would again cover SI as Spring Training came around in 2007, before his first season managing the Cubs. He would guide the Cubs to two consecutive first-place finishes but could not win a game in the postseason
23 of 30Mark Cowan/Icon SMI
Piniella turned the act of kicking dirt into an art form during his managerial career. "Sweet Lou" scuffed many a shoe while attempting to get his point across to umpires.
24 of 30Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Mark Wegner felt the wrath of Lou Piniella on many an occasion, here for calling Angel Pagan out at third.
25 of 30AP
Pinella, a natural righty, was able to punt hats with ease using both feet. Here Piniella was ejected by umpire Mark Wegner on June 2, 2007.
26 of 30Kristyn Ulanday/SI
Lou has managed for 23 years and played in the majors for 18, but he still has a deep appreciation for the quiet, personal moments that only baseball can bring.
27 of 30AP
Piniella's intensity, on display here during an argument with umpire Brian Gorman in 2008, is one of the enduring traits that helped him run afoul of many an umpire, but also win over 1,800 games as a manager.
28 of 30John Biever/SI
Piniella had his share of run-ins with umpires over his 23 years.
29 of 30Al Tielemans/SI
Piniella was part of the All-Star Game festivities in New York in July 2008.
30 of 30AP
For Lou Piniella, family comes first. And that's why he stepped down as Cubs manager on Aug. 22 in order to spend more time with his ailing mother.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!