BOSTON, MA-Wendell Kim, the Boston Red Sox' third base coach from 1997-2000, passed away on Sunday in Arizona after a struggle with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He was 64 years old.
During his four seasons with the Red Sox, Kim served under manager Jimy Williams and was also the club's infield instructor. Boston reached the postseason twice during his tenure, in both 1998 and 1999, the club's first back-to-back postseason berths since the 1915 and 1916 seasons.
Known as one of the most aggressive third base coaches in the major leagues, Kim is also remembered fondly for his enthusiastic personality, motivational messages, and the slight-of-hand card tricks he enjoyed performing. The native of Honolulu, HI was the first Korean-American to wear a major league uniform.
During his time in Boston, Kim was an important part of the Red Sox' community relations efforts and was honored as the BoSox Club's Man of the Year in 1997.
Kim spent more than 30 years in professional baseball beginning in 1973, as a minor league player and then as a minor league manager and coach. He initially reached the major leagues as the San Francisco Giants' first base coach in 1989, a position he held for three seasons before transitioning to third base coach from 1992-96.
In all, he enjoyed a 15-year career as a major league coach. In addition to his time with the Giants and the Red Sox, he also saw stints with the Montreal Expos in 2002 and the Chicago Cubs from 2003-04.
The former infielder played three years of varsity baseball for California State Polytechnic University in Pomona and set school records for runs scored, walks, and games played. A two-time selection to the All-California Collegiate Athletic Association Team, he was signed by San Francisco as an undrafted free agent in 1973.
He is survived by his wife, Natasha, and their son, Donald. Services will be held on March 1, with further details to be determined.