Fenton, NY Billy Martin Dies In Auto Accident, Dec 1989


Binghamton, N.Y. (AP) -- BILLY MARTIN, who brought success and trouble everywhere he went and managed his beloved New York Yankees five times, died Monday evening in a one-vehicle crash outside his upstate New York home. He was 61.
MARTIN, known for being combative with players, umpires, fans and even Yankees owner GEORGE STEINBRENNER, was a passenger in a pickup truck that veered off an icy road in the town of Fenton, N. Y. The driver of the truck, WILLLIAM REEDY of Detroit, was charged with driving while intoxicated, Broome County Sheriff ANTHONY RUFFO said.
Witnesses at the scene said a blue and white Ford pickup skidded off Potter Hill Road at 5:45 p.m. EST and continued 300 feet down a gully into a culvert. The vehicle stopped right side up at the foot of MARTIN'S driveway.
MARTIN was transported to Wilson Memorial Hospital in Johnson City while medics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He arrived at the area trauma center at 6:33 p.m., according to a Broome County emergency service dispatcher.
MARTIN was pronounced dead at 6:56 p.m. The cause of the death was possible head injuries and severe internal injuries, according to MICHAEL DOLL, a hospital spokesman.
"His heart did not respond," said DOLL, who said an autopsy will be performed on Tuesday.
REEDY, 53, was listed in serious condition at Wilson Memorial with a broken hip and possible broken ribs in the accident. REEDY, owner of REEDY'S Bar near Tiger Stadium in Detroit, had been a friend of MARTIN dating back to the 1970's. REEDY also is an administrative assistant to Detroit City Councilman JACK KELLY.
Broome County Sheriff ANTHONY RUFFO said REEDY would be arraigned on Jan. 4 in Fenton town court. RUFFO said REEDY took a blood alcohol test following the accident, but he did not disclose the results of the test.
"He was a dear friend and I will miss him," Yankee great JOE DiMAGGIO said. "He was a great little guy."
MARTIN'S latest position was as a special consultant to STEINBRENNER.
"BILLY was a true Yankee -- one of the truest ever," said current Yankees manager BUCKY DENT, who played for MARTIN in the 1970s. "He always said he wanted to die a Yankee. He was his own man. He was fiery and could be charming. He was a great manager."
MARTIN, one of seven managers who have led the Yankees to World Series titles, was their manager in 1977 when they won the Series for the first time in 15 years.
MARTIN was a second baseman on five Yankees World Series champions during the 1950s and was first hired to manage the team in 1975. His latest firing was on June 23, 1988, when he was replaced by LOU PINIELLA, the man he replaced at the end of the 1987 season.
He had 1,258 victories and 1,018 losses in 16 seasons as a major league manager. He brought success -- and trouble -- to each team that he managed and eventually left every job he held because of controversy, not his on the field performance.
In addition to the Yankees, MARTIN managed Minnesota, Detroit, Texas and Oakland, tying JIMMY DYKES' record for most American League clubs managed. He led the Twins to an AL West title in 1969, the Tigers to an AL East title in 1972 and the Athletics to an AL West title in 1981.
He led the Yankees to AL pennants in 1976 and 1977 and his "No. 1" uniform was retired by the team on Aug. 10, 1986, when a plaque was erected in his honor in Yankee Stadium.
MARTIN is survived his fourth wife, the former JILLUAN GUIVER, whom he married on Jan. 25, 1988, and by two brothers and two sisters -- FRANK PISANI of Vacaville, Calif.; JACK DOWNEY of Clearlake, Calif.; PATRICIA IRVINE of Berkeley and JOAN R. HOLLAND of Berkeley.

The Frederick Post Maryland 1989-12-26