Paul, Gabriel Howard

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PAUL, GABRIEL HOWARD (Gabe ; 1910–1998), U.S. baseball executive. Born in Rochester, New York, Paul began his 64-year association with baseball with the Rochester Red Wings of the aa International League as a shoeshine boy in the clubhouse at the age of ten. The next year he was promoted to bat boy, and at 16 was hired as publicity and ticket manager for the team. He also served as Rochester correspondent for The Sporting News. Paul became traveling secretary for the Cincinnati Reds in 1936, and was promoted to assistant general manager after returning from two-year military service during World War ii. Paul was named vice president and general manager of the Reds on September 27, 1951, a post he held until 1960. He rebuilt the team by restructuring its minor leagues and scouting and signing Latin American and black players. In 1956 the Reds set a National League record for most home runs with 221, and Paul was named Executive of the Year. He served as general manager for the new franchise in Houston for six months, and then served as general manager of the Cleveland Indians from 1961 to 1973, during which time he co-owned the team from 1962 to 1966. After selling his interest in the Indians, Paul became part of the Cleveland-based syndicate of George Steinbrenner that purchased the New York Yankees from cbs on January 3, 1973. Paul was installed as Yankee president in April 1974, and was the architect of the 1977–78 championship teams. He returned to Cleveland as president of the Indians in 1978 and retired in 1984. He was responsible for changing the minor league draft system from drawing numbers out of a hat to drafting in reverse order of finish in the standings; led the fight to split each major league into two divisions; pushed through the free agent drafting of players; supported the designated hitter; and put through the rule change that required fielders to bring their gloves off the field after each half-inning.

[Elli Wohlgelernter (2nd ed.)]