Yanks offer condolences after passing of Katz

NEW YORK -- Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner issued a statement offering condolences to the family of Lewis Katz, a former owner of the New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils who died in a plane crash on Saturday evening in Bedford, Mass.

Katz, 72, was a co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, and had been a minority owner of the Yankees, as well as an investor in the YES Network. He bought the Nets in 1998 and sold the franchise in 2004.

"The New York Yankees are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Lewis Katz last night. We would like to express our deepest, heartfelt sympathies to his family," Steinbrenner said.

"Lewis was a minority owner of the Yankees and a valued, long-time friend and colleague to so many of us within the organization. We will cherish his sense of humor, intellect, and deep sense of philanthropy. Lewis had a huge heart and was always there when someone needed help. He will forever be remembered."

A moment of silence honoring Katz was observed at Yankee Stadium prior to Sunday's game between the Yankees and Twins. Seven people died when Katz's Gulfstream IV plane crashed as it was leaving Hanscom Field, bound for Atlantic City, N.J. There were no survivors.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.