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Thank You, Gene Monahan

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Folks, I wrote this back in May. Now it's October and the Yankees season has ended, thus ending Gene Monahan's Yankees career as well. I am very disappointed to see that we couldn't send Monahan out on top, as I'm sure many of you are.

I would like to once again thank Gene Monahan for his amazing work for the Yankees. Hope to see him around next season for a few games, and more so I hope he enjoys retirement.

Thanks again, Gene. Original post after the jump.

Gene Monahan is retiring at the end of this season, according to various reports. Monahan has been a part of the Yankees organization for 49 seasons, 39 of which he has been the Major League Head Athletic Trainer. Within the 49 seasons Monahan was fired and subsequently re-hired by George Steinbrenner many times, and never chose to leave the Yankees organization.

I can't say I know more than the average person about Monahan, but I love learning about the non players/coaches within the organization, so I did some research on Monahan.

From the research, I discovered nothing but glowing reports about Monahan, many touching anecdotes, and various stories about how Monahan treated the person better than the average trainer would.

Monahan won the 2009 National Athletic Trainers Association "Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award" and was inducted into the New York State Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame in 2007. Geno received the "Distinguished Service Award" from the American College of Sports Medicine in 1994.

Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue, the Yankees Assistant Athletic Trainer, have been working together since 1986. The two were named the "Best Athletic Trainers" in the MLB in 2010, and were declared the "Athletic Training Staff of the Year" in 1990.

Monahan, 66, was diagnosed with cancer last season. The trainer was forced to miss his first Spring Training with the team, as well as a portion of Major League games during the treatment. For anyone this would be the least of worries, but for Monahan, it was always on his mind.

After reading this article on Monahan, a few quotes stuck out.

"I have so much love for that man, because of who he is and how he does his job," Mariano Rivera says. "It doesn't matter if it's in season or offseason, at home or on the road. Whatever you need, he's there. Over and over and over, he's always there for us."

Monahan lives by the words of Pete Sheehy, the late Yankee clubhouse man, who used to say, "You learn a lot more when you keep your ears open and your mouth shut."

Says Jeff Idelson, "In so many ways, Geno has been the silent captain of the Yankees for four decades."

Gene Monahan turns and walks out of his spotless training room, back down the corridor. His team is in Boston. He is not. He's ready for that to change. So ready. His firm hope is that the cancer is behind him, but the longing, it keeps coming hard. His voice breaks again.

"I just can't wait to get back with my team," Gene Monahan says.

The thing I love most about the Yankees, that many do not appreciate, is that the organization has so many people like this. To many a PA announcer is just another guy, but the Yankees had Bob Sheppard. To many a trainer is just a small piece of the puzzle, but the Yankees have Gene Monahan.

I sincerely hope the Yankees honor Monahan in some way, such as giving him a plaque in monument park, or renaming the trainers room for him.

Monahan will retire as the longest tenured trainer in the MLB, and will certainly be missed. While Monahan does not hit home runs, strike batters out, tell players not to bunt, he still plays an essential role for the club. He will certainly be missed.