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Longtime Orioles scout Bruce Kison dies after battle with cancer

Longtime Orioles scout Bruce Kison (left), and vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette watch the club's first intrasquad game at Ed Smith Stadium in 2017.
Longtime Orioles scout Bruce Kison (left), and vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette watch the club's first intrasquad game at Ed Smith Stadium in 2017. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Bruce Kison, the former major league pitcher who played a role in beating the Orioles in two World Series and then was a coach and scout with the Orioles for nearly two decades, died Saturday morning after a battle with cancer. He was 68.

Kison, who retired from scouting after the winter meetings in December, had been a recognizable fixture with the Orioles for years, maintaining a similar tall, lanky and mustachioed look from his playing days.

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The Orioles will hold a moment of silence to remember Kison before Saturday’s game against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards.

“We loved Bruce Kison,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said in a text message. “He was a real champ, and those who worked with him closely, which was my privilege for the last several seasons, will fondly remember Bruce for his mental toughness as a competitor on the field, his scouting insight and integrity, especially for pitchers, his folksy and dry sense of humor and his personal humility. May God bless Bruce and his family.”

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Former major league pitcher and Orioles scout Bruce Kison was one tough character during his playing career, but also was a principled guy who once tried to return his salary after getting injured.

Kison won two World Series rings with the Pittsburgh Pirates, pitching for teams that beat the Orioles in 1971 and 1979. He served as Orioles pitching coach in 1999 under manager Ray Miller and later joined the club as a professional scout, a position he held through restructuring in the team’s scouting department until his retirement.

“Our entire Orioles family is deeply saddened to learn of Bruce Kison’s passing,” Orioles managing partner Peter Angelos said in a statement released by the club. “For nearly two decades, Bruce played an integral role in all aspects of our organization as a pitching coach, a scout and a trusted advisor. Bruce will be remembered for his tremendous work ethic, professionalism and personality, as well as his dedication to the Orioles. Our thoughts are with Bruce’s wife, Anna Marie, as well as his family, loved ones and many friends and colleagues throughout our game.”

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