Wendell Kim

Wendell KimFormer Cubs coach Wendell Kim died Sunday near his home in suburban Phoenix after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 64.

Kim’s widow, Natasha, confirmed her husband’s death on Monday.

Kim was a major league coach for 15 seasons with four teams — the Giants (1989-1996), the Red Sox (1997-2000), the Expos (2002) and the Cubs (2003-04). Kim was known for his aggressive style as the Cubs’ third-base coach and was dubbed ‘Wavin’ Wendell.”

Although Kim’s tactics weren’t always successful or popular, he never skirted responsibility with the media. He also was popular among players he coached and managed in the minors.

“He let me be me,” said Padres announcer and former major league pitcher Mark Grant, who won 16 games for Kim at Class A Clinton in 1982 and went on to pitch parts of eight major league seasons. “He was not a manager who put his fist down. He knew who I was. I loved the man.”

Kim, a native of Hawaii, signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Cal Poly Pomona. Kim was an infielder for parts of eight minor league seasons (1973-80) and compiled a .285 batting average.

Kim managed in the Giants minor league system from 1981-88 before joining manager Roger Craig’s staff in 1989.

Kim’s last season of organized baseball was in 2005 with the Nationals’ Florida Gulf Coast League team.

Services will be held March 1 at a site and time to be determined.

Posted in Obituary, Sports, U.S. News.

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