Gene Michael, the slick-fielding shortstop nicknamed Stick who went on to manage the New York Yankees and then as an executive built a powerhouse that won four World Series in five years, died Thursday. He was 79.
Michael had a heart attack and died at his home in Oldsmar, Fla., said his wife, Joette.
At 6-foot-2 and about 180 pounds in his playing days, Michael hit just .229 with 15 home runs in 10 big league seasons, seven with the Yankees from 1968-74 in one of the worst eras in team history. He was known for pulling off the hidden ball trick, which he was said to have done five times.
He made a far bigger impact during two terms as manager, two as general manager and...