The New York Yankees mourn the passing of Mark Newman, 71, who, during his Yankees tenure from 1989 through 2014, rose to the position of Yankees’ Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations in 2000 and was an integral part of the Yankees’ success during his time with the team. Under Newman’s guidance of the club’s Tampa-based player development operations, the Yankees drafted and nurtured prospects who contributed to five World Series titles (1996, 1998-2000, ’09) and seven World Series appearances (also 2001 and ’03).
“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.
“However, what stands out most is that Mark profoundly loved being a Yankee and deeply respected what it meant to wear the pinstripes. We worked together for a long time, navigating some rough waters along the way, and he always spoke up for what he felt was right for the organization. I will miss him, and I know that all the people he touched along the way will miss him, too.”
“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.”
"I have a vivid memory of Mark Newman,” said Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez. “I remember everything going all the way back to when he would come to the Dominican Republic and watch me during tryouts. He was the one who signed me. He was like a father to me because he taught me so much at a young age. Mark really cared about me, and I cared about him. We had a great relationship.”
“First of all he was a great man,” said current Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames. “He was like a father figure for a lot of guys that walked through those complex doors in Tampa. He was the smartest baseball man that I’ve been around, and I’m so thankful that I had the chance to know and love him. He was tough, but on the inside he was a big teddy bear because he loved all his players and all his staff. He’s going to be truly missed by a lot of guys in this organization — staff members, former players, and younger kids in Tampa right now who he has been working with at Baseball University. It’s a tough day for a lot of people in the game of baseball who were lucky enough to come in contact with Mark. I’m sending prayers to his wife and kids and grandkids because I know he loved them dearly, and I know he’s smiling down on us today.”
Newman spent 15 seasons (2000-2014) as the Yankees’ Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and 26 seasons with the Yankees overall. Prior to 2000, Newman served as the club’s Vice President of Player Development and Scouting from 1997-99.
During his time with the Yankees, the club’s player development system was recognized for producing homegrown talent that catapulted the Yankees into the postseason 17 of 18 years from 1995 through 2012. Players who came through the Yankees system included All-Stars Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Robinson Canó, Phil Hughes and David Robertson.
In addition to the Yankees’ success at the Major League level, the club’s minor league affiliates combined to post winning records in 23 consecutive seasons from 1990-2012. The Yankees were selected as the “Organization of the Year” by Baseball America in 1998 and earned the same honor from USA Today in 1999. In the eight-year stretch from 2006-13, Yankees farm teams captured 12 league championships.
Newman began his career in the Yankees organization in 1989 as Coordinator of Instruction, overseeing all managers and coaches in the farm system and planning both Major and Minor League spring training. He served in that position until his promotion to Director of Player Development and Scouting in 1996, and was named Vice President of Player Development and Scouting in 1997.
In 1972, Newman began his baseball coaching career at 22 years old as the pitching coach for Southern Illinois University. After spending nine successful seasons there — during which he earned his law degree with honors — he was named Head Baseball Coach at Old Dominion University in 1981. Newman’s impressive 321-167-3 record in nine seasons was recognized with his induction into the ODU Hall of Fame in 1997. He was inducted into the SIU Hall of Fame in 2000.
The Yankees organization sends its deepest condolences to his wife, Pat, Mark’s entire family, and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.