Gene Michael

Eugene Richard Michael (June 2, 1938 – September 7, 2017), known as Stick, was an American shortstop, coach, scout, manager and executive in Major League Baseball who played 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.[1]

Gene Michael
Gene Michael 2014
Michael in 2014
Shortstop / Manager
Born: June 2, 1938
Kent, Ohio
Died: September 7, 2017 (aged 79)
Oldsmar, Florida
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 15, 1966, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
September 9, 1975, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average.229
Home runs15
Runs batted in226
Managerial record206–200
Winning %.507
Teams
As player

As manager

As general manager

Career highlights and awards

Early life and education

Michael was born on June 2, 1938 in Kent, Ohio.[1] After graduating from Akron East High School in Akron, Ohio, he went to Kent State University where he played college baseball and college basketball for the Kent State Golden Flashes.[2]

Playing career

After being signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1959,[3] Michael made his major league debut with the Pirates in 1966.[4] As a player, Michael earned the nickname "Stick" due to his slender frame.[5]

The following year, the Pirates traded Michael to the Los Angeles Dodgers with Bob Bailey for Maury Wills.[6] He spent one season in Los Angeles, and was then purchased by the New York Yankees.[7] He played for the Yankees from 1968 until 1974. The Yankees released Michael before the 1975 season,[8] and he signed with the Detroit Tigers.[9] Michael then signed with the Boston Red Sox in 1976, but did not play in a single game with Boston; they released him in May without using once.[10] He retired with a .229 batting average, 15 home runs, and 226 runs batted in in 973 games played.[11][12] Michael was a master of the hidden ball trick, having pulled it off five times in his career.[13]

Post-playing career

Weeks after his release from Boston, Michael became a coach with the Yankees.[10] Reggie Jackson credited Michael's scouting reports for helping him hit three home runs in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series.[14] He served as manager of the Yankees Triple-A team in 1979, and as general manager of the Yankees in 1980.[15] Michael served as the Yankees' manager in 1981[16][17] and again in 1982.[18] At one point in the 1981 season, annoyed by George Steinbrenner's constant interference, he challenged the Yankees owner to fire him, which he did.[1] Michael finished with a record of 92 wins and 76 losses over both stints as Yankees manager.[19] Michael returned to the Yankees front office in 1983, and again served as a coach starting in 1984.[20] He managed the Chicago Cubs in 1986 and 1987.[21] His managerial record with the Chicago Cubs was 114 wins and 124 losses.[19]

Gene Michael (manager) - New York Yankees - 1981
Michael in 1981

In 1990, Michael was hired as general manager of the Yankees.[22] At a time when Steinbrenner was suspended from baseball operations by Commissioner Fay Vincent, Michael took advantage of his newfound managerial flexibility by rebuilding the Yankees farm system, and developing young talent rather than trading it away, as they had done in the 1980s with little success.[1] During Michael's tenure as general manager, the Yankees drafted or signed such notable players as Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada (collectively known as the Core Four), and others. Further, he traded for Paul O'Neill.[23] Michael also demonstrated patience with Bernie Williams, whom Yankees owner George Steinbrenner had wanted to trade when he struggled early in his career.[24]

This foundation paid off with Yankees championships in 1996, and from 19982000. However Michael was fired in 1995, before the Yankees dynasty began to win World Series, as a result of the fallouts from the 1994 strike, which ended the Yankees chance of having the best record in the American League that year.[25] It was the second time that the Yankees fired Michael as a result of a strike; in 1981, he was fired as manager as a result of the team slumping after the 1981 strike.[26][27]

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.[28][29] In 2003, Michael was promoted to vice-president and senior advisor.[30] He held that position until his death.

During his time as Vice President, Michael was a regular attendee at the annual Old Timers Day festivities, where he served as the manager for both the Bombers and the Clippers teams in the exhibition game.

Managerial record

Team From To Managerial record
G W L Win %
New York Yankees 1981 1981 82 48 34 .585
New York Yankees 1982 1982 86 44 42 .512
Chicago Cubs 1986 1987 238 114 124 .479
Total 406 206 200 .507
Ref.:[19]

Personal life

During his tenure with the Yankees, Michael had been a resident of Norwood, New Jersey, and had four children. He married twice, his first marriage to Rae Reuter, ending in divorce.[1] Michael died of a heart attack on September 7, 2017, in Oldsmar, Florida at age 79. Survivors at the time of his death include his second wife and four children.[11][31] To honor Michael, the Yankees wore black armbands on their uniforms for the remainder of the 2017 season.[12]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Schudel, Matt (July 6, 2014) "General manager built New York Yankees dynasty that won 4 World Series”, The Washington Post, page B5 [1] Retrieved September 10, 2017
  2. ^ Lubinger, Bill (June 14, 2012). "Former Kent State baseball greats caught up in pride of trip to College World Series 2012". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  3. ^ "Core Four: The Heart and Soul of the Yankees Dynasty – Phil Pepe – Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "1966 Pittsburgh Pirates Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. January 1, 1970. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  5. ^ "Red Smith Straight as a Stick". NYTimes.com. September 7, 1981. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  6. ^ "Dodgers trade Maury Wills to Pittsburgh". News.google.com. December 2, 1966. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  7. ^ "1967 Los Angeles Dodgers Trades and Transactions". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  8. ^ "1974 New York Yankees Trades and Transactions". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  9. ^ "1975 Detroit Tigers Trades and Transactions". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Ferretti, Fred (August 19, 1979). "Down On The Farm With The Yankees' Gene Michael". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Goldstein, Richard (September 7, 2017). "Gene Michael, Whose Yankee Teams Won 4 World Series, Dies at 79". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Yankees mourn the passing of Gene 'Stick' Michael". YES Network. September 7, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  13. ^ foxsports (March 10, 2015). "The lost art of the ol' Hidden Ball Trick". FOX Sports. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  14. ^ Kernan, Kevin (November 4, 2009). "Give Chase his props – but Reggie's still tops". nypost.com. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  15. ^ Gross, Jane (February 13, 1981). "Yanks And Michael Start Fresh". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  16. ^ Gross, Jane (September 7, 1981). "Steinbrenner Dismisses Michael, Names Lemon As Yank Manager". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  17. ^ Berkow, Ira (October 19, 1981). "Gene Michael Sits One Out". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  18. ^ Chass, Murray (August 4, 1982). "Yanks Dismiss Michael After Losing Doubleheader". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c "Gene Michael". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  20. ^ Nelson, John (December 17, 1983). "This time, it's Yogi..." The Free-Lance Star. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  21. ^ Chass, Murray (June 14, 1986). "Michael Named Cub Manager". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  22. ^ Sexton, Joe (August 21, 1990). "Michael Is Named Yanks' General Manager". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  23. ^ Brescia, Joe (February 19, 2012). "30 Seconds With Gene Michael – Starting Another Yankees Season". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  24. ^ Sherman, Joel (September 7, 2017). "Gene Michael was much more than man who saved the Yankees". New York Post. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  25. ^ Johnson, Richard A.; Stout, Glenn; Johnson, Dick (2002). Yankees Century: 100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball. Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 386–390. ISBN 0-618-08527-0.
  26. ^ O'Connell, Jack (September 9, 1994). "Behind Two Strikes? Yankees' Shot at First Series Since '81 in Jeopardy". Hartford Courant. p. C1. 'The strike cost me my job,' said Gene Michael, the Yankees' current general manager who was fired as their manager Sept. 6, 1981 and replaced by Bob Lemon. 'There's no doubt in my mind we would have won the division outright if it had not been for the strike. Once they split the season and designated us winners of the first half, we did not play the same.'
  27. ^ Curry, Jack (August 7, 1994). "BASEBALL; Flashback to '81: Another Lead, Another Strike". The New York Times. p. A1.
  28. ^ Edes, Gordon (October 18, 2002). "Red Sox Strike Out on Michael". Boston Globe. p. E3.
  29. ^ McCarron, Anthony (October 18, 2002). "Stick is Stuck with Yankees; Boss won't allow him to talk to Sox". New York Daily News. p. 86.
  30. ^ "Gene Michael, Cubs manager in 1986 and 1987, dies at 79". Chicago Tribune. September 1, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  31. ^ "Gene 'Stick' Michael, architect of Yankees dynasty, dead at 79 | New York Post". Nypost.com. September 7, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2017.

External links

1967 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1967 Los Angeles Dodgers season marked the end of the franchise's most successful era on the ballpark. One season after losing the World Series to the Baltimore Orioles, the Dodgers declined to a record of 73–89, and finished ahead of only the Houston Astros and the New York Mets in the National League race, 28½ games behind the NL and World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. It was the Dodgers' worst record since the war-affected 1944 season, and their worst peacetime record since 1937. The Dodgers would not return to the postseason until 1974.

1968 New York Yankees season

The 1968 New York Yankees season was the 66th season for the team in New York, and its 68th season overall. The team finished above .500 for the first time since 1964, with a record of 83–79, finishing 20 games behind the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Ralph Houk. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. The 1968 season was notable for being Mickey Mantle's final season before he announced his retirement the following spring. The Yankees batted .214 as a team, the lowest total ever for the live-ball era (as of 2017).

1975 Detroit Tigers season

The 1975 Detroit Tigers compiled a record of 57–102, the fifth worst season in Detroit Tigers history. They finished in last place in the American League East, 37½ games behind the Boston Red Sox. Their team batting average of .249 and team ERA of 4.27 were the second worst in the American League. They were outscored by their opponents 786 to 570.

1976 Boston Red Sox season

The 1976 Boston Red Sox season was the 76th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League East with a record of 83 wins and 79 losses, 15½ games behind the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox did not come close to repeating the previous year's success. An off-season contract dispute with Fred Lynn was a distraction. In early May, a brawl with the New York Yankees led to a shoulder injury for Bill Lee, one of their best pitchers and a 17-game winner in 1975; Lee would be out until mid-1977, and his loss was keenly felt. The Red Sox' beloved owner, Tom Yawkey, died of leukemia in July. Manager Darrell Johnson was fired shortly thereafter, and replaced by coach Don Zimmer. Overall, it was a disappointing season for a talented but underachieving team.

1981 New York Yankees season

The New York Yankees' 1981 season was the 79th season for the Yankees. In the ALCS, the Yankees swept the Oakland Athletics for their only pennant of the 1980s. However, they lost in the World Series in 6 games to the Los Angeles Dodgers. New York was managed by Gene Michael and Bob Lemon. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1982 New York Yankees season

The New York Yankees' 1982 season was the 80th season for the Yankees. The team finished in fifth place in the American League Eastern Division with a record of 79–83, finishing 16 games behind the AL Champion Milwaukee Brewers. As a result, the Yankees endured their first losing season since going 80–82 in 1973, the team's final season at the original Yankee Stadium before the 1976 renovations. The Yankees were managed by Gene Michael, Bob Lemon, and Clyde King. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium.

Mel Allen, the long time Yankees play-by-play commentator, returned that season this time as a cable PBP man for the Yankees broadcasts on SportsChannel NY with Fran Healy. He had been a familiar face to many for several years now since his return to television in 1975 as the voice-over narrator and presenter for the hit program This Week in Baseball.

1986 Chicago Cubs season

The 1986 Chicago Cubs season was the 115th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 111th in the National League and the 71st at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fifth in the National League East with a record of 70–90.

1992 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament

The 1992 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament took place in May 1992. The top four regular season finishers met in the double-elimination tournament held at Gene Michael Field on the campus of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. This was the fourth Mid-American Conference postseason tournament to determine a champion and first since 1983. Top seeded Kent State won their first tournament championship to earn the conference's automatic bid to the 1992 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.

1993 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament

The 1993 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament took place in May 1993. The top four regular season finishers met in the double-elimination tournament held at Gene Michael Field on the campus of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. This was the fifth Mid-American Conference postseason tournament to determine a champion. Top seeded Kent State won their second consecutive and second overall tournament championship to earn the conference's automatic bid to the 1993 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.

1994 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament

The 1994 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament took place in May 1994. The top four regular season finishers met in the double-elimination tournament held at Gene Michael Field on the campus of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. This was the sixth Mid-American Conference postseason tournament to determine a champion. Fourth seeded Central Michigan won their first tournament championship to earn the conference's automatic bid to the 1994 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.

1996 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament

The 1996 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament took place in May 1996. The top four regular season finishers met in the double-elimination tournament held at Gene Michael Field on the campus of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. This was the eighth Mid-American Conference postseason tournament to determine a champion. Fourth seeded Akron won their first tournament championship to earn the conference's automatic bid to the 1996 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.

2000 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament

The 2000 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament took place in May 2000. The top three regular season finishers from each division met in the double-elimination tournament held at Gene Michael Field on the campus of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. This was the twelfth Mid-American Conference postseason tournament to determine a champion. Third seed from the east Miami won their second tournament championship to earn the conference's automatic bid to the 2000 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.

2003 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament

The 2003 Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament took place in May 2003. The top six regular season finishers met in the double-elimination tournament held at Gene Michael Field on the campus of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. This was the fifteenth Mid-American Conference postseason tournament to determine a champion. Fourth seed Eastern Michigan won their third tournament championship, and first since the event resumed in 1992, to earn the conference's automatic bid to the 2003 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.

Bob Bailey (baseball)

Robert Sherwood Bailey (October 13, 1942 – January 9, 2018) was an American professional baseball third baseman. He played seventeen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1962 and 1978 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds, and Boston Red Sox. Bailey attended Wilson Classical High School, where he was the 1961 CIF Baseball Player of the Year and quarterbacked the football team for two years, one of which was undefeated. He was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a bonus baby. After the 1966 season, the Pirates traded Bailey and Gene Michael to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Maury Wills.In a 17-season career, Bailey posted a .257 batting average with 189 home runs and 773 Runs batted in in 1931 games played. Bailey batted fifth in the inaugural game of the Montreal Expos versus the New York Mets on April 8, 1969, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one walk in the 11-10 win. Bailey led the National League in Double Plays turned by a Third baseman in 1963, Double Plays turned by a Left fielder in 1974 and Fielding percentage by a Third baseman in 1971.

After his playing days were over, Bailey was a minor league manager and hitting instructor, most notably in the Montreal Expos organization. In 1987, he was the final manager of the Hawaii Islanders.

Bailey died on January 9, 2018 at the age of 75.

Kent State Golden Flashes baseball

The Kent State Golden Flashes baseball team is a varsity intercollegiate athletic team of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, United States. The team competes at the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a member of the Mid-American Conference. The head coach is retired Major League Baseball player Jeff Duncan, who was hired in June 2013.

Baseball was established at Kent State in 1914 and the team was known as the "Normal Nine". It is the second-oldest athletic team at Kent State University after the men's basketball team. Kent State began play in the Mid-American Conference in 1951, winning their first conference title in 1964 and making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Through the 2018 season, the Flashes have won 15 Mid-American Conference regular-season titles, 12 MAC tournament titles, 12 MAC East division titles, and have made 14 NCAA tournament appearances. The 2012 season marked the team's first appearance in the College World Series.

Home games are held at Schoonover Stadium, the team's home field since 1966. The stadium, previously known as Gene Michael Field, was renovated in 2005 and received additional upgrades in 2007, 2008, and 2013. Additionally, the Flashes have an indoor practice facility, the David and Peggy Edmonds Baseball and Softball Training Facility, which opened in 2014. Kent State has produced a number of players who have gone on to play professionally at the Major League level, including Thurman Munson, Andy Sonnanstine, Emmanuel Burriss, and Dustin Hermanson.

List of New York Yankees managers

The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in New York City, New York in the borough of The Bronx. The New York Yankees are members of the American League (AL) East Division in Major League Baseball (MLB). The Yankees have won the World Series 27 times, more than any other MLB team. In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. Since starting to play as the Baltimore Orioles (no relationship to the current Baltimore Orioles team) in 1901, the team has employed 35 managers. The current manager is Aaron Boone, the current general manager is Brian Cashman and the current owners are Hal and Hank Steinbrenner, who are sons of George Steinbrenner, who first bought the Yankees in 1973.

List of New York Yankees owners and executives

The New York Yankees are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in The Bronx, New York City, New York. They play in the American League East division. This list consists of the owners, general managers (GMs) and other executives of the Yankees. The GM controls player transactions, hires the manager and coaching staff, and negotiates with players and agents regarding contracts.The longest-tenured general manager in team history is Ed Barrow, who served in that role for 23 years. He was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953. The longest-tenured owner in team history is George Steinbrenner, who was the team's principal owner from 1973 until his death in 2010.

Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament

The Mid-American Conference Baseball Tournament is the conference baseball championship of the Mid-American Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. The top six finishers participate in the double-elimination tournament, which has been played at Sprenger Stadium in Avon, Ohio, since 2012. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. The tournament began in 1981, but was not held from 1984 through 1991. Kent State has won the most tournament titles with 12, followed by Eastern Michigan with four.

Schoonover Stadium

Olga Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium is a baseball venue located on the campus of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, United States. It is home to the Kent State Golden Flashes baseball team, a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in Division I and the Mid-American Conference East Division. The field opened in 1966 and was previously known as Gene Michael Field from 1990 to 2003. The field was renamed in late 2003 and renovated in 2005 with additional upgrades made from 2006 through 2008 and again in 2013 to 2014. It has a seating capacity of 1,148 people with a Shaw Sports Turf synthetic playing surface.

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