KIRKLAND, Ill. (WTVO-WQRF) — Former White Sox manager and Kirkland native Gene Lamont is still going strong in professional baseball at the age of 74.
He’s currently working in the Kansas City Royals organization.
“What I do mostly is go around and watch our minor league teams,” said Lamont. “My tag is I’m a Senior Advisor to the General Manager, but I watch a lot of young teams, like I’ve seen Quad Cities this year, we have a team in Quad Cities so I was there. Just kind of give an idea of our players and maybe if I see some of the managers maybe give them some help, but I enjoy it. I saw a lot of big league games, but I enjoy probably going to the minor leagues now more than the big leagues.”
LaMont started in Major League Baseball as a first round draft pick by the Detroit Tigers in 1965 as a catcher. His playing career was a short one. He then got into coaching and managing.
He has been a coach with the Tigers, Pirates, Red Sox, and Astros. Lamont has also been the manager of the White Sox and the Tigers. In his first seaosn with the Sox 1992 they posted an 86-76 record. In 1993 the Sox went 94-68 and they won the AL West with a roster that included Frank Thomas, Robins Venturea, Ellis Burks, Jack McDwell, Alex Fernandez and Jason Bere. Lamont was named the AL Manager of the Year that year. In 1994, the strike year, the Sox were 67-46 before the season was shut down. Lamont was fired in 1995 after the White Sox began the season 11-20.
I asked Lamont what the highlight has been of his baseball career.
“I guess as a manager I guess it was probably when we won our division with the White Sox. Of course we got beat by Toronto (in the playoffs) and you know it was a real bummer the next year the strike came and we had a real good team, but you know, I didn’t have a very illustrious big league career, but my first at bat I hit a home run so I’m in the record books for that.”
Lamont was back in his hometown of Kirkland this past weekend where he was honored. A street by a local park was renamed in his honor.