Gene "Stick" Michael, longtime Yankees executive, dies at 79


The Yankees family is in mourning today, as news broke earlier that Gene “Stick” Michael, former manager and general manager for the club, passed away at the age of 79. Michael had a huge impact on the franchise, and was beloved by everyone who knew him. Even following his tenure with the team, he could be seen around Yankee Stadium, and was an annual guest for Old Timers’ Day in the Bronx.
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As a general manager, Gene Michael was an intricate part of the sustained success that the Yankees enjoyed during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. He was responsible for building up the farm system, one that would include such players as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada. The Core Four, as they would be called throughout the years, ushered in an era of Yankees dominance that would continue for the next 15+ years. Michael also pulled off the trade that sent Roberto Kelly to the Reds in exchange for Paul O’Neill. Because of his willingness to get younger and find pieces that would mesh well, he watched the Bombers go on to win three championships, including three consecutive titles between 1998-2000. Had it not been for Stick’s keen eye for talent, the Yankees dynasty might not have ever come to fruition.

Gene Michael was someone who trusted his vision and gut instincts when it came to scouting players, even as analytics was becoming more widely accepted in the MLB. His method of evaluating talent will likely never be seen again. But moreover, he will be remembered as a great human being, and a presence that greatly be missed around the clubhouse by veterans and rookies alike.
Article by: Dan DeGregorio

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