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Sport Billy Connors, the Yankees' longtime 'pitching guru,' dead at 76

04:25  21 june  2018
04:25  21 june  2018 Source:   nydailynews.com

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a group of baseball players standing on top of a grass covered field© SCOTT MARTIN / AP Billy Connors, the Yankees longtime "pitching guru, died Monday. He was 76.

Connors, who had three stints as the Yankees pitching coach, also had a long run with the organization as vice president of player personnel.

Known for his ability to put careers back on track, the Schenectady product helped to salvage the career of Dwight Gooden.

"He gets right to the heart of the matter and makes you face the things that no one wants to face," Gooden said of Connors after joining the Yankees in 2000. "He saved me. He made it so I could contribute and get a (World Series) ring that year."

Connors also gets credit for helping Yankee legend Mariano Rivera develop his lethal cut fastball.

After playing his college ball at Syracuse, Connors had a brief stint in the majors with the Cubs and Mets.

He worked as a minor-league pitching instructor for the Mets, Royals, Cubs, Mariners and Phillies.

Connors first joined the Yankees in 1989 as manager Dallas Green's pitching coach.

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