A lifetime baseball man, Gabe Paul spent six decades in the game. His start came in 1920 as a batboy for the minor league Rochester Red Wings at age ten.
Eight years later Paul was hired by Warren Giles as the Red Wings’ publicity director before becoming their traveling secretary in 1934. In 1937 he was promoted to publicity director of the Red Wings’ parent team, the Cincinnati Reds.
Soon he worked his way up to GM and eventually team president in 1950. Paul was in that capacity when he penned this letter.
On January 29, 1952. Written on his personal letterhead from his residence on Vine Street, Paul thanks Mr. Corbly for the “wonderful party” that was held in Paul’s honor earlier in the evening.
Paul had success in Cincinnati, earning the Executive of the Year Award in 1956. He left the Reds in 1960 to become the first GM of the Houston Colt .45s. The team he built in Cincinnati won the pennant in ’61.
His stay in Houston was marred by clashes with owner Roy Hofheinz. Paul left to join the Indians in 1961. By the end of 1962 he wore many hats for the Indians. Paul was part-owner, team president, GM, and treasurer of the club.
In 1973 he sold his stake in the Indians and joined George Steinbrenner’s ownership group with the Yankees. As team president, Paul rebuilt the team in New York.
In a few short years acquired key pieces Chris Chambliss, Lou Piniella, Willie Randolph, and Bucky Dent. Paul also signed future Hall of Famers Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson.
For his work, Paul earned his second Executive of the Year Award in 1974. Two years later the Yankees won the pennant for the first time in a dozen years. Paul’s roster won it all in ’77.
Steinbrenner brought in Al Rosen as a senior executive late in 1977. The move diminished Paul’s authority. He left New York to rejoin the Indians in 1978. Paul’s presence did little to help the Tribe. They posted only two winning seasons during his second tenure.
Paul retired after the ’84 season.
The lifetime baseball man has appeared on the Veterans Committee ballot multiple times. His primary accomplishments coming as GM of the Steinbrenner Yankees.