Results tagged ‘ George Kissell ’

George Kissell Passes Away From Auto Injuries


The joy of playoff baseball in October took a blow Tuesday as one of the game’s enduring figures died from injuries he sustained in a car crash in Pinellas Park.

George Kissell, a longtime instructor and minor league manager with the St. Louis Cardinals, was injured in the crash about 7:45 p.m. Monday on U.S. 19.

Mr. Kissell, 88, was taken to Northside Hospital, then on Tuesday morning was transferred to Tampa General Hospital, where he died, hospital spokesman John Dunn said.

Mr. Kissell, who lived in the Mainlands in Pinellas Park, may not have been a household name to the general public, but he was well known to baseball insiders and die-hard fans.

He had worked for the Cardinals organization since the 1940s, which is believed to be the longest current affiliation a person has had with a single club.

Although he never played in the major leagues, he held almost every other on-the-field job in baseball. He has mentored players from Joe Torre, now the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols.

A 1997 profile about Mr. Kissell in the St. Petersburg Times said “the word that describes him best is teacher,” earning him the nickname “the Professor.”

“Anybody in baseball knows George … from owners to clubhouse kids,” Brian Bartow, a Cardinals spokesman, said Tuesday before news of Kissell’s death had reached St. Louis. “We’re saying our prayers.”

Mr. Kissell was injured when the 2002 Chevrolet in which he was a passenger collided with a 2005 Pontiac at U.S. 19 N and 110th Avenue N.

The Chevrolet, which was traveling west on 110th, was driven by Mr. Kissell’s daughter, Karolyn K. Kidwell of Pinellas Park. Mr. Kissell was in the left rear passenger seat behind her.

The Pontiac, driven by Stacy L. Lehart of St. Petersburg, was going about 40-45 mph, said Pinellas Park police spokesman Sandy Forseth.

Both doors on the left side of the Chevrolet were crushed. Firefighters spent 15 minutes cutting off the doors to get Mr. Kissell out. His heart stopped at one point, but paramedics revived him.

Kidwell, 58, also was injured and was taken to Bayfront Hospital. She has since been released.

Lehart, 27, was injured but was not taken to a hospital.

Mr. Kissell’s wife, Virginia, who was in the front seat of the Chevrolet, was apparently not seriously injured.

Forseth said the investigation is continuing and no charges have been filed, though he said the early information indicates Kidwell may have run a red light.


Cardinals’ Great George Kissell Hurt in Tampa Bay Car Accident



Longtime St. Louis Cardinals official George Kissell was in critical condition Tuesday after being injured in a traffic accident.


Kissell’s daughter was driving her parents in a 2002 Chevrolet at about 7:45 p.m. Monday when she apparently ran a red light and was struck by another car, police Capt. Sanfield Forseth said.










The 88-year-old Kissell was in a Tampa hospital Tuesday with life-threatening injuries, police said. His daughter, Karolyn Kidwell, 58, was treated and released.


Kissell’s wife, Virginia, was also in the vehicle, but Forseth had no information on whether she had been hurt. The driver of the second vehicle, 27-year-old Stacy Lehart of St. Petersburg, had minor injuries.


Kissell has been with the Cardinals organization since 1940. He was a major-league coach from 1969 to 1975 and is currently a senior field coordinator for player development.


“We learned late last night of the accident and we’ve reached out to the family,” John Mozeliak, the team’s vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “And at this time our thoughts and prayers are with him during this difficult time.”


Kidwell hasn’t been charged.





This photo was actually taken at the old St Louis Cardinals Spring Training site, which is the Tampa Bay Rays’ Spring Training site since their inception into the major leagues