Former Red Sox manager Eddie Kasko dead at 88

Kasko managed the Red Sox from 1970-73.

In this 1971 file photo, Boston Red Sox manager Eddie Kasko poses during baseball spring training in Winter Haven, Fla. AP Photo/Harry Harris, File

Eddie Kasko, who managed the Red Sox from 1970-73, died on Wednesday three days prior to what would have been his 89th birthday.

An infielder, Kasko played 10 seasons in the majors, including 58 games for the Sox in 1966 before retiring. He was then named to manage the Triple A team and remained in that post for three seasons.

Kasko then replaced Dick Williams as manager of the Sox. He was 38 at the time. The Sox were 345-295 under Kasko but failed to make the playoffs despite a potent offense led by Carl Yastrzemski and Reggie Smith that was supplemented by up-and-comers Carlton Fisk and Dwight Evans.

Kasko is ninth in team history in victories and games managed.

Kasko was fired with one game remaining in the 1973 season and became a scout before promotions to scouting director in 1978 and vice president of player development in 1992.

Kasko played a lead role in drafting and developing Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, and Mo Vaughn.

In all, Kasko spent 29 years with the Sox and was elected to the team’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

A New Jersey native, Kasko signed with the New York Giants in 1949 and served two years in the Army during the Korean War before returning to baseball. He hit .264 over 1,077 major league games and was an All-Star for the Cincinnati Reds in 1961.

Kasko was married for 57 years to his late wife, Catherine. They had two sons.