Chicago Cubs: Former Cubs manager Gene Michael passes away

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Derek Jeter
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Derek Jeter /

Former New York Yankees executive, Chicago Cubs manager, Gene Michael died Thursday at the age of 79. Michael spent time with the Cubs from 1986-87.

On Thursday former New York Yankees General Manager, and Chicago Cubs manager Gene “Stick” Michael passed away at the age of 79.

Winning pedigree

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.

He managed the Cubs from 1986-87, compiling a record of 114-124 for a .479 winning percentage.

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In addition, Michael also spent time on the bench for New York as a coach and then skipper in 1981 and ’82.

He had a career 206-200 record as a manager. His time in Chicago bridged the gap between winning the NL East in 1984 and 1989. In 1986 he replaced Jim Frey.

Lean years on the North Side

Per the Chicago Sun Times, “He’s been through pennant races,

and he’s managed a club that was always under the media spotlight,” said former Cubs president and GM Dallas Green at the time. “He’s certainly shown he can handle all the pressure of managing and has always produced.”

However, things didn’t go well in Chicago, as the team finished in fifth in 1986. He resigned the following year as the club toiled around last place. This paved the way for Frank Lucchesi to take the helm before giving way to Don Zimmer.

In a statement Thursday, per ESPN, Commissioner Rob Manfred said:

"“I was saddened to learn of the passing of Gene Michael, a baseball man to his core and an important part of the New York Yankees for decades. In many different capacities, Gene played a pivotal role in shaping great baseball careers on and off the field. We appreciate his many contributions to the National Pastime.”"

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The Stick

Gene made his ML debut in 1966 with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an infielder, and also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1967, Yankees, 1968-74, and Detroit Tigers in 1975.

Known as “Stick” due to his slender frame, the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder compiled a career average of .229 with 15 home runs in 10 seasons.