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Gene Michael, the man who built the Yankees dynasty, dead at 79

Gene Michael, the man who built the Yankees dynasty, dead at 79

The cause was a heart attack, the Yankees said in a statement.

Michael spanned parts of five decades with the Yankees and is known for his role in helping form the 90s dynasty culminating in four World Series Championships.

The Yankees got two runs in the third inning on a run-scoring single by Matt Holliday and a groundout by Jacoby Ellsbury, and two more in the fourth on Chase Headley's 12th home run of the season, The homer was his eighth since he was shifted to first base from third on July 20.

No man is more responsible for those World Series teams than Michael.

The word most consistently associated with Gene Michael over the years is "architect".

"I think Gardy really set the tone with that walk", Manager Joe Girardi said. "That's the way we communicated, and George doesn't have the patience on the phone he has face-to-face".

Michael's ties to the Yankees organization went far beyond his stint as the team's general manager. Michael was also credited with nurturing the rise of Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Porsado and Mariano Rivera through the farm system.

It also bolstered the Yankees' playoff hopes, which seemed to be in jeopardy after they were swept at home by Cleveland last week.

"Michael comes out of this taking a huge hit on his already weakened credibility", Tom Verducci wrote in Newsday in 1991, "like a shot of seltzer water in the face".




Michael also traded for Paul O'Neill in 1992, who went on to bat.303 in his nine years with the team.

Michael was a player, manager and general manager for the Yankees.

"We concluded that he might not have held up as a starter, because he was so wiry", Michael told the Newark Star-Ledger in 2013. "It turned out to be a good call".

Rivera's 652 saves are the most in Major League Baseball history, so are his 952 games finished.

Eugene Richard Michael was born June 2, 1938, in Kent, Ohio. He spent seven of his 10 years in the majors as the team's shortstop, and managed the club in 1981 and 1982. He finished his career with the Detroit Tigers in 1975.

Do you remember the legendary Yankee general manager?

He managed the Cubs from 1986-87, compiling a record of 114-124 for a.479 winning percentage. He remained a part of the team's front office, holding scouting and advisory positions, until his death. Survivors include his wife, the former Joette Corona of Oldsmar; three children from his first marriage; and a daughter from his second marriage.

He dutifully called other general managers and discussed nearly every player but Williams.

In many ways, this team mirrors the ones that Michael built, blending young, homegrown core players like Judge, Sanchez and Luis Severino with others brought in via free agency (Aroldis Chapman and Matt Holliday) and big trades (Gray, Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle).