Goodbye, No. 1: The death and funeral of Billy Martin | Eyewitness News Vault

NEW YORK (WABC) — Eyewitness News anchor Greg Hurst began Eyewitness News at 5 with the news that shocked so many on Christmas Day 1989: “We’ve lost one of baseball’s most colorful characters. Former Yankees infielder and manager Billy Martin is dead at the age of 61.

We best remember Martin for his antics on and off the field, kicking dirt on umpires, barroom brawls, and of course his brilliant strategy in 1977 when he and the Bronx Bombers won the World Series. But now we’ll also remember the accident, the accident last night in which building Martin died.”

This is original coverage of Martin’s death, just as it aired on Dec. 26, 1989, as well as our report on Martin’s funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Dec. 29, in which the notables who attended included former President Richard M. Nixon – and countless fans who paid tribute in the street.

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