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Jerry Girardi dies at the age of 81

Joe Girardi Joe Girardi's father, Jerry Girardi, died Thursday afternoon. The Yankees' skipper will still manage Game 4 of the ALDS against the O's on Thursday night. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Joe Girardi's father, Jerry Girardi, died ESPN reported on Thursday afternoon:

Funeral services are pending and will be held in Girardi's hometown of East Peoria, Ill. Jerry Girardi had been battling Alzheimer's disease and spent the past several years in an assisted-care facility.

Joe Girardi was the fourth of five children and gave his first World Series ring to his father, according to the Peoria Journal Star. In 2008 after a visit to the assisted-care residence, the Yankees manager said of his father:

"He doesn’t talk,” Girardi said. “But I felt like there were two seconds when I left and said, ‘I love you, Dad,’ he responded. He said, ‘I like you.’ I just felt like he looked at me different for two seconds. That’s big for me.”

Girardi has yet to make a public statement about his father's death. The news came shortly before the Yankees play the Orioles in Game 4 of the ALDS. According to the NY Post's Joel Sherman, Girardi will reportedly still manage the game.

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