Ex-Yankees hitting coach Rick Down dies at home in Las Vegas

New York Mets‘ Xavier Nady, center is congratulated at the dugout by coaches including coach Rick Down (54) after hitting a third inning home run against the Washington Nationals during a spring training baseball game Monday March 13, 2006 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Rick Silva)This is a 2007 file photo of Rick Down of the New York Mets baseball team. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)Former major league hitting coach Rick Down, left, is shown with Las Vegas friends Bob Snyder, center, and Don Richardson. Down, 68, died at his Las Vegas home on Saturday. (Courtesy Don Richardson)

Fred Dallimore, the winningest baseball coach in UNLV history, was telling a story Wednesday about Rick Down, when Down was managing the Columbus Clippers after Bucky Dent was elevated to Yankees’ skipper.

Down insisted Dallimore wear a uniform and join him in the dugout, though it was against International League rules. And wouldn’t you know it, that was the night the Syracuse pitcher began plunking Columbus batters in the ribs with fastballs, and a brawl ensued, and Dallimore wound up on the field in the middle of it.

“I watched the next game from the stands,” he said, recalling the good times…

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