On January 11, 1965, Lou Gehrig’s predecessor at first base for the New York Yankees dies in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Wally Pipp, who in 1925 had asked out of the Yankee lineup with a headache, was 71 years old. After giving way to Gehrig, Pipp never again played a game at first base for New York.
On December 25, 1989, former New York Yankees and Oakland A’s manager Billy Martin dies in a car accident at the age of 51. Martin, a five-time Yankee manager under owner George Steinbrenner, was rumored to be a candidate to replace current Yankee skipper Lou Piniella. During a 16-year career, Martin forged a record of 1253-1013, led his teams to five divisional titles, and guided the Yankees to the 1977 World Championship.