Yanks mourn front-office mainstay Newman

September 12th, 2020

NEW YORK -- The Yankees observed moments of silence prior to Saturday’s game against the Orioles in memoriam of Dr. Gene Budig, the last president of the American League, and Mark Newman, a key front-office figure in the Bombers’ dynasty of the late 1990s.

Newman, who passed away on Friday at age 71, joined the Yankees in 1989 and served the organization in multiple roles prior to his retirement in 2014. Among numerous triumphs, Newman oversaw the development of the homegrown "Fab Five" of Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera.

With the Yankees, Newman rose from an initial role as the coordinator of Minor League instruction -- overseeing all of the organization’s managers and coaches -- to vice president of player development and scouting, a title he earned in 1997. Newman served as the Yankees' senior VP of baseball operations from 2000-14.

“You can’t reflect on the championships and postseason appearances during Mark’s time without recognizing how much he meant to the organization,” said Yankees senior vice president and general manager Brian Cashman. “He had a great baseball acumen but also an uncanny ability to cultivate incredible loyalty and work ethic from the players he worked with, which was especially notable among our Latin players, whom he treated with a special care and respect. Countless players, even after achieving success in the Majors, would always go back to him for advice.

“Mark also had a tremendous influence on our coaches at every level and built a distinguished coaching tree in the process. Through his direction, our coaches were able to bring out the best in our talent and become the best baseball teachers they could be. ... I will miss him, and I know that all the people he touched along the way will miss him, too.”

Related

Under Newman's supervision, the Yankees drafted and guided prospects who contributed to five World Series titles (1996, 1998-2000, 2009) and two other World Series appearances (2001, ’03). Newman began his coaching career in 1972 as the pitching coach for Southern Illinois University.

After nine successful seasons, during which he earned his law degree with honors, Newman was named the head baseball coach at Old Dominion University in 1981. Newman’s 321-167-3 record in nine seasons was recognized with his 1997 induction into the Old Dominion Hall of Fame. He was inducted into Southern Illinois’ Hall of Fame in 2000.

“One of things I remember most about Mark was how much he loved his players,” said outfielder Brett Gardner, the longest-tenured player on the Yankees' roster. “He was very passionate about all the guys in the Minor League system, and he treated everybody the same. I remember how hard he was on me, and I remember how hard he was on all of us.

"But I also remember it coming from a good place, and it coming from a place of wanting to make us not just better players but better people as well. I’ll be forever thankful for the opportunity that Mark and the Yankees gave me early on as a player in the Minor League system and for pushing me the way that he did in making me become the player I am today.”

Budig passed away on Tuesday at age 81. He was the AL’s president from 1994-99, at which time the AL and NL were consolidated under the Commissioner's Office and the two separate league presidencies ceased to exist.

Following his career in Major League Baseball, Budig was an owner of the Charleston RiverDogs, the Yankees’ Class A Minor League affiliate. Budig also helped to oversee the Pinstripe Bowl, a college football bowl game hosted at Yankee Stadium.