Former New York Yankees player, manager and general manager Gene “Stick” Michael has died of a heart attack, according to the New York Daily News. He was 79.
Michael was best known for his tenure as the Yankees general manager from 1991 to 1995. During that period, the team acquired Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada. That group is known today, of course, as the Core Four. They helped lead the Yankees to four World Series championships between 1996 and 2000.
Michael’s ties to the Yankees organization went far beyond his stint as the team’s general manager. He spent seven of his 10 years in the majors as the team’s shortstop, and managed the club in 1981 and 1982.
The Yankees released a statement calling Michael a “pillar of this organization for decades.”
RIP Stick. The Yankees mourn the passing of Gene Michael. pic.twitter.com/ORnP0Sr99w
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 7, 2017
Michael’s impact on the game exceeded his smart player acquisitions as the club’s GM. There’s been an outpouring of admiration for Michael from his former players, friends and executives in the game.
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter — who managed the Yankees for most of Michael’s tenure as GM — said he needed to pull to the side of the road after hearing the news.
Buck Showalter said he had to pull off the side of the road when his wife called him and told him Stick died this morning.
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) September 7, 2017
Paul O’Neill, who Michael acquired in a 1992 trade, thanked Michael for giving him an opportunity to play for the Yankees.
So sorry to hear about Gene Michael Thank you for giving me the best opportunity of my life: playing for the Yankees…you will be missed!!!
— Paul O'Neill (@PaulONeillYES) September 7, 2017
The club plans to wear arm bands on their left sleeves in memory of Michael.
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