Gene “Stick” Michael, one of the most prominent Yankees executives has reportedly died at the age of 79 years. Gene Michael’s cause of death is said to be a massive heart attack.
If reports are to be believed, the Yankees executive had undergone a heart operation earlier this year. Nonetheless, this was never revealed to the media. Only his family members and very close associate were informed about his health condition and the operation.
The news of his death has come as a rude shock to his fans Yankees fans. They initially didn’t believe the news thinking that it was a mere rumor and nothing else. But as the news was confirmed by his family members, people had to believe it.
Gene Michael, whose full name was Eugene Richard Michael was born on 2 June 1938. He was an American former professional baseball player, coach, scout, manager and executive. He played as a shortstop in Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, and Detroit Tigers from 1966 to 1975. After his playing career, Michael managed the Yankees and Chicago Cubs, and served as the Yankees’ general manager. Michael built the Yankees team that became a dynasty in the late 1990s.
‘Stick’ served as the manager of the Yankees in 1981-82 and as their GM from 1991-95. Under his leadership, Yankees became a major force and attracted talents that no one thought they were capable to attract earlier. During Michael’s tenure as GM, he rebuilt the farm system, adding the likes of Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada either in the draft or free agency. He also traded Roberto Kelly for Paul O’Neill. That core group helped the Bombers to championships in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000.
‘Stick’s association with Yankees completely changed the team. It succeeded with Yankee championships in 1996, and from 1998–2000. However, Michael was fired before the Yankees dynasty began, as a result of the fallouts from the 1994 strike, which ruined the Yankees having the best record in the American League that year in 1995. From 1996 until 2002, Michael served as vice-president of major league scouting for the Yankees. In 2002, the Boston Red Sox tried to talk to Michael about their general manager position, but were not given permission by the Yankees. In 2003, Michael was promoted to vice-president and senior advisor.
Michael reportedly married twice and has four children from both the marriages.