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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Martin killed in drunk driving accident
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

Dec. 25, 1989

It's not a merry Christmas for Yankee fans when Billy Martin, the boozing, brawling five-time manager of the Yankees, dies in a one-vehicle drunken-driving accident. Martin is a passenger in his pickup truck when the vehicle skids off an icy road, continues 300 feet down an embankment and stops at the foot of Martin's driveway in Fenton, N.Y.

William Reedy, Martin's longtime friend, survives the accident, but is charged with driving while intoxicated. Neither Martin nor Reedy is wearing a seat belt.

Martin's last managerial tour with the Yankees ended on June 23, 1988, but he was working with the team as a special consultant to owner George Steinbrenner. Besides managing the Yankees, he also piloted the Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics. He won the World Series with the Yankees in 1977, the American League pennant with them in 1976 and took division titles with Minnesota in 1969, Detroit in 1972 and Oakland in 1981.

He played 11 seasons in the majors, compiling a .257 lifetime batting average. A fiery second baseman for the Yankees from 1950 until he was traded in 1957, he played in five World Series, with the Yankees winning four.

Martin was 61.

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