From Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. -- Gabe Paul, the baseball executive who helped George Steinbrenner buy the New York Yankees, died this weekend. He was 88.
Paul, who battled an extended illness in a nursing home, and died Sunday in a Tampa hospital. The cause of death has not been determined. He had a series of strokes recently and broke his hip about 18 months ago.
Paul helped put together pennant-winning teams for the Cincinnati Reds and Yankees, including New York's 1977 World Series winners. He also won two executive of the year awards.
``Gabe Paul was a dear friend and the most knowledgeable baseball man I ever met in my 25 years in the game,'' Steinbrenner said. ``He was responsible for our group being able to purchase the Yankees from CBS. ... He was a wonderful man and he will be deeply missed.''
> ``Gabe Paul was a baseball man all his life,'' Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard said in a tribute prior to New York's game against Toronto on Monday night. ``Let us now remember him with affection, admiration and respect.''
Paul was born in Rochester, N.Y., on Jan. 4, 1910, and began his baseball career as a batboy there. He later worked for local newspapers before he began his career as a baseball executive as publicity director and ticket manager for the Rochester Red Wings.
In 1934, he was named traveling secretary of the Red Wings and, two years later, he was brought to Cincinnati by Warren Giles.
In 1943, Paul entered the army for a two-year stint, then rejoined the Reds. By 1947, Paul was named assistant to the vice president and took over as vice president and general manager in 1951, succeeding Giles, who left to become National League president.
``Gabe has done a great job for me,'' Giles said at the time. ``He will do a great job for Cincinnati.''
He did well enough to earn major league executive of the year honors in 1956. In 1961, the team he built won the pennant, but lost the World Series to the Yankees. However, Paul already had joined the Cleveland Indians as general manager.
He remained with the Indians until 1972 as president and treasurer. But he still hadn't been a part of a pennant winner.
In 1976, Paul achieved that goal. He was in his fourth season as president of the Yankees when the team captured the American League title. Ironically, the Yankees lost to Cincinnati in the World Series.
The next year, New York won the Series and Paul had ``fulfilled a lifelong dream.'' So he moved on once more, or rather back to Cleveland as Indians president and chief executive officer.
Paul ran the Indians in that capacity until after the 1984 season, when Tal Smith _ once one of his assistants _ took over most of Paul's duties. But Paul remained with the team.
He also was a member of the Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame.
Paul is survived by his wife, Mary; five children; one brother; and three sisters.