Yankees’ Joe Giradi Managing In Wake of Father’s Death

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi plans to continue working, including Thursday night’s Game 4 of the American League Division Playoffs, despite the recent death of his father, Jerry, earlier in the day.

Jerry Girardi had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for several years, living in an assisted-care facility in Metamora, Ill. He was 81.

Girardi’s father passed away on Saturday.  Girardi did not share that news with he public, however. He learned of his father’s death during the Yankees’ trip to Baltimore, but he elected to stay with the team and manage the remainder of the series.

“I didn’t really want to talk about it,” Girardi said. “I didn’t want to take away from what we were trying to do here, because I know my dad wouldn’t. The one thing my parents always taught me was, finish the job at hand.

“It’s been somewhat difficult, but because I didn’t really have to talk about it, it was probably easier.”

Girardi would visit his father a couple times each baseball season, usually taking advantage of an off-day surrounding a Yankees series in Chicago or the Midwest. His last visit with his father came in August, on an off-day between the Yankees’ series in Chicago and Cleveland.

Girardi recalled the moment he informed his father that he had made the Cubs’ opening day roster in 1989 as one of his favorite memories. Giving his father his 1996 Yankees World Series ring was another.
“Huge Cubs fan, loved the other sports, loved basketball, played a year at Bradley,” Girardi said. “We played in the backyard. He was tough on me when we played basketball. I mean, he’d knock me down. He taught me about how to get back up.”

Girardi said he hadn’t told any of his players about his father’s death. He planned to inform them this weekend, ideally to tell them he would miss Monday’s workout between Games 2 and 3 of the ALCS.

“I feel sorry for him. I know this is very tough,” Robinson Cano said. “I know he’s a family guy; you always see his kids and his wife around. He always says family comes first. Hopefully we can win his game for him tonight.”

Jerry Girardi was born on May 5, 1931, and married Angela Perino in 1959 in Tampico, Ill. The couple had five children: John, George, Maria, Joe and Jerry. Girardi is also survived by six grandchildren. His wife, Angela, passed away in 1984.

Girardi served his country in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. Later he worked in construction sales for National Gypsum Company, and he also worked as a bricklayer.

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