When starting pitcher Ron Guidry wanted refuge from aGeorge Steinbrenner pep talk before another decisive game — the one-game playoff with the Boston Red Soxto determine the 1978 American League East champion — he turned to him.
When Steinbrenner was considering potential captains, he bounced names off him.
«Gee, I’m kind of surprised you’re asking me,» Gene Monahan recalls saying to the Yankees owner.
«Well, stop that!» he says Steinbrenner replied. «I’m just asking because you went to school.»
Monahan did indeed, earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Indiana in 1969. But he has also been schooled in pinstripes for the last 49 years.
For 39 of them, he has been the Yankees’ head athletic trainer, beginning the job the year Steinbrenner bought the team. At the end of this season, the year after Steinbrenner’s death, Monahan, 66, is retiring.
Not only is he the longest-tenured active head trainer in the majors, but he’s a Yankees institution.