On December 25, 1989 — Billy Martin, an All-Star infielder and former manager of the Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics, dies in a car accident in Johnson City, NY, at the age of 61. Martin, a five-time Yankees manager under owner George Steinbrenner, was rumored to be a candidate to replace current Yankees skipper Lou Piniella. During an 18-year managerial career, Martin posted a record of 1253-1013, led his teams to five American League pennants and guided the Yankees to the 1977 World Championship. He will be buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Westchester, NY, in a plot near Babe Ruth. Steinbrenner, who fired Martin four times (he resigned the fifth time) purchases the plot.
President Richard Nixon..
Paying their respects during Billy Martin’s funeral at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, back in 1989..
Billy Martin’s son tells a pretty neat story how he was all but ready to burst into tears, lose his cool, after the church services. When Richard Nixon met him at the door on their way to the cemetery, and put his hands on his shoulders. He turned him around to look outside and reminded him, how many people were there, to see his father off..
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