Robert E. (Bob) McDonald, 81, a retired Department of the Army employee and a former coach manager and player of area baseball and basketball teams, died Tuesday at the Winchester Memorial Hospital in Winchester, Va. He had suffered from a heart ailment.

Mr. McDonald was born in Alexandria and lived there until 1959, when he retired from the government and moved to Deal Island, Md., where he operated a marina. Following the death of his wife, Gertrude M. McDonald, in 1970, he moved to Round Hill, Va., where he lived at the time of his death.

Mr. McDonald was a player-manager on the old Cardinal Athletic Club baseball team and in Alexandria. The team used to play its game on Bagget Field where the Redd Theater now is located on Duke Street.

In the early 1930s, he helped organize a basketball team for the Health Brewery Co. of Washington. The team later became the Washington Americans.

Mr. McDonald went to work as a freight clerk for the RF&P railroad in Alexandria following high school. In the 1930s he went to work for the Department of the Army, where he was a specialist in traffic and transportation.

Survivors include a sister, Mary E. Swetnam, of Alexandria.