Thursday, September 7, 2017

Remembering Yankees of the Past: Gene Michael

The New York Yankees lost one of their own today as the baseball world learned that former Yankees player, general manager and executive Gene Michael passed away. He was 79-years old. Michael died of a heart attack and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his friends, the Yankees community and anyone who knew or was affected by his passing. I wanted to take the time this afternoon while we wait for the end of the Yankees game to honor Michael the only way they I feel like I can and the only way that I know how, by remembering his career, his life and what he meant not only to the Yankees but to this game we all know and love so much, baseball.

Eugene Richard Michael was born on June 2, 1938 and passed away on September 7, 2017. Gene Michael, or who was more commonly known as “Stick” for his 6’2” and 180 lbs. frame, played infield for 10 seasons at the Major League level including seven seasons for the New York Yankees. Unfortunately Michael played for the Yankees during one of the worst stretched in the team’s storied history from 1968-74.

Michael played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Yankees and the Detroit Tigers during his playing days and also managed the Chicago Cubs in 1986 and 1986 posting a career 206-200 record as a manager.

Gene Michael was the Yankees manager in 1981 and 1982 before transferring over to the front office after his playing career was done. Michael made it all the way to the General Manager position from 1990 to 1995 and many donned him as the “savior” of the Yankees for his six years in the position. Brian Cashman and Gene Watson may have taken much of the credit for the Yankees dynasty in the mid-to-late 90’s and into the 2000’s but it was Gene Michael who built that team, no doubt about it. Michael restocked the farm system after George Steinbrenner, the Yankees owner at the time, gutted it time after time in trade after trade and even built the Core Four of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada. It was Michael who also traded for outfielder Paul O’Neill when he was a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

Rest in peace to you Stick. You will truly be missed and always be remembered, and that my friends is true legacy. Say hello to the boss for me and watch your “six.”

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)