Former Reds, Braves manager Nixon dies

Was big league catcher for 12 seasons with Red Sox, Indians, Twins

CINCINNATI -- Russ Nixon, who managed the Reds and Braves, died on Thursday. He was 81 years old.

A native of Cleves, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati, and a graduate of Western Hills High School, Nixon played 12 seasons in the Major Leagues as a catcher from 1957-68 with the Indians, Red Sox and Twins. Seven of those seasons were with Boston, and he finished his career with a .268 batting average in 906 games. His twin brother, Roy, played in the Indians' Minor League system for parts of five seasons and later worked for the Reds in security.

After serving as a Minor League manager in the Reds' system from 1970-75 and as a big league coach in Cincinnati from 1976-82, Nixon became manager when he took over from John McNamara on July 21, 1982. It made him the first local product to manage the Reds.

During his tenure with Cincinnati, Nixon was 101-131 before he was replaced by Vern Rapp following the 1983 season.

Nixon was 130-216 in three seasons of managing the Braves from 1988-90.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.