MLB Legend DEAD At 79

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We are saddened to report that we have lost another sports legend. 

Gene “Stick” Michael, who helped build the New York Yankees’ 1990s legendary championship teams, died Thursday at 79.

The team said Michael had a heart attack and died in his Oldsmar, Fla. residence.

“Stick was a pillar of this organization for decades,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “He knew the game of baseball like few others did, and was always willing and excited to talk about it with anyone in earshot. His contributions to the Yankees over the years have been immeasurable. He loved baseball and this organization, and he will be profoundly missed. I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife, Joette, and his entire family.”

“Stick was a great man with enormous heart and integrity,” Yankees president Randy Levine told Mark Feinsand at

“One of the greatest baseball executives of our time.”

“The organization will never be quite the same,” said Mike Mussina, who pitched for the Yanks from 2001-08.

Michael played shortstop for the Yanks from 1968-74, later rejoining the team after his retirement in ’76 at the request of owner George Steinbrenner, starting as a member of manager Billy Martin’s coaching staff.

Michael held the posts of general manager and manager during parts of the early-1980s, then after a two-year stint managing the Cubs in 1986-87, he returned to the Yankees, holding various coaching and scouting roles. He was named GM for a second time in 1990 — right before Steinbrenner began serving a suspension that would last three years.

“Mr. Steinbrenner valued him so much,” legendary Yankees athletic trainer Gene Monahan told “He started out as his shortstop in his first year as owner. He loved and respected him as a player, coach, manager and general manager. He did it all. The Boss knew he had a gem in this guy.”

Under Michael’s watch, the Yanks drafted or signed each of the members of the “Core Four” — Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera — while also trading for Paul O’Neill.

Michael had a far larger impact during two terms as manager and two as general manager. He helped assemble the Derek Jeter-led clubs that won World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. Michael was also credited with nurturing the rise of Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Porsado and Mariano Rivera through the farm system. He remained a key adviser to current general manager Brian Cashman, Fox News reported.

“Gene Michael was not only largely responsible for the success of the Yankees organization, but also for my development as a player,” Jeter said. “He was always accessible and willing to share his personal knowledge as well as support. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family.”

The Yankees will wear black armbands on their jerseys for the rest of this season. In addition to his wife, Michael is survived by sons Mark and Matthew and daughters Sandra and Haley.

Rest in peace brother.

God Bless.

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