Keane joined the Cardinals as coach in 1959 and became manager of the team midway through the 1961 season. The Cardinals barely missed winning the pennant in 1963, after a streak of nineteen victories in twenty games. In 1964 they won the National League pennant and defeated the New York Yankees in a seven-game World Series; Keane, hailed as Manager of the Year, startled the baseball world by leaving the Cardinals immediately for the Yankees, where he replaced Yogi Berra as manager. His teams were plagued by injuries, however, and Keane was released in 1966, after the Yankees lost sixteen of their first twenty games. He next worked as a special-assignment scout for the California Angels, the job he held at the time of his death.
Keane was noted for being soft-spoken and mild-mannered but also for being a strict disciplinarian. Sports writers observed that he drank little but smoked about fifteen small cigars a day, which he inhaled. He died of a heart attack in Houston on January 6, 1967. He was survived by his wife, Lela, whom he had married in 1937, and by one daughter. He was buried in Houston at Memorial Oaks Mausoleum.
29° 47.009, -095° 36.871
Chapel of the Oaks Mausoleum
Memorial Oaks Cemetery