Bill Lajoie, a key part of building the 1984 world champion Detroit Tigers, died on Tuesday. Lajoie, 76, passed away while taking a nap after lunch, according to a close associate.
Lajoie had been working with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a special assistant to the general manager. Since leaving the Detroit Tigers in 1990 he held similar jobs with Atlanta, Milwaukee, Boston and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
An All-American at Western Michigan University, Lajoie had a nine-year playing career in the minor leagues, and then went to work for the Cincinnati Reds as a scout and manager in 1965.
He spent 23 years in the Detroit organization, beginning in 1968 as a scout and manager of the Tigers' rookie-league Bristol affiliate, becoming the coordinator of scouting in 1975, director of player procurement in 1975, vice president/assistant general manager in 1979, and the general manager in 1984.
— Tracy Ringolsby