Thursday, September 7, 2017
Gene Michael, the former Major League player, manager and executive best known as the architect of the Yankees’ 1990s dynasty, died Thursday of a heart attack. He was 79.
Michael had already spent two decades in baseball when he was named general manager of the Yankees in 1990, the start of a five-year tenure that would define his career. From 1990-95, Michael built the farm system that would help yield four World Series championships in the five years to close out the decade.
Under Michael’s watch, the Yankees acquired players such as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Paul O’Neill, either via signings, the Draft or trade.
“Stick was a great man with enormous heart and integrity,” Yankees president Randy Levine said. “One of the greatest baseball executives of our time. He was central to the success of the Yankees.”
One of the great pieces of luck in Yankee history is that George Steinbrenner was suspended at just the right time to let Stick Michael do what he wanted to do and build up a Yankee team that became a dynasty.
Rest in peace, Stick. Our condolences to his friends and family.