(Reuters) - Hall of Fame baseball executive Lee MacPhail, part of the only father-son duo enshrined in Cooperstown, has died at age 95, the national baseball museum said on Friday.
MacPhail, a former American League president and general manager for the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles, died on Thursday night at his Florida home, the Hall of Fame said.
MacPhail, who followed his father Larry into the baseball shrine, was in the second generation of one of Major League Baseball’s foremost families.
His father was a top executive with the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees. His son Andy has served as general manager of the Minnesota Twins, president of the Chicago Cubs and president of baseball operations for the Orioles.
Lee’s grandson, Lee IV, works as the director of professional scouting for the Orioles.
“Lee MacPhail was one of the great executives in baseball history and a Hall of Famer in every sense, both personally and professionally,” commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.
“His hallmarks were dignity, common sense and humility. He was not only a remarkable league executive, but was a true baseball man.”
Lee MacPhail was elected to the Hall as an executive in 1998, 20 years after his father.
With MacPhail’s death, Bobby Doerr at 94 becomes the oldest living Hall of Famer.
Among MacPhail’s most famous came in 1983, when as president of the American League he upheld the Kansas City Royals’ protest in the famed “Pine Tar” game against the Yankees, restoring George Brett’s ninth-inning home run.
Brett had been declared out after Yankees manager Billy Martin argued that Brett’s bat had excessive pine tar on it when he hit a two-run, ninth-inning homer that seemingly put the Royals ahead 5-4.
Four days later, MacPhail upheld the protest, ruling that the home run counted and ordered the game to continue from that point. When the game was completed on August 18, the Royals held on to win 5-4.
While the pine tar extended more than 18 inches past the handle of Brett’s bat, the limit set by baseball’s rules, MacPhail said taking away the home run was improper.
“Although manager Martin and his staff should be commended for their alertness, it is the strong conviction of the league that games should be won and lost on the playing field -- not through technicalities of the rules.”
Editing by Gene Cherry