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New York Yankees' pitcher Cory Lidle was killed on Wednesday when his plane hit a Manhattan high-rise building, the baseball club's owner George Steinbrenner said.
"This is a terrible and shocking tragedy that has stunned the entire Yankees organization. I offer my deepest condolences and prayers to his wife Melanie, and son Christopher, on their enormous loss," Steinbrenner said in a statement issued through his publicity officer.
Cory Lidle's beneficiaries could lose out on a $1.5 million payout from baseball's benefit plan if it's determined that he was piloting his plane when it crashed into a Manhattan high-rise condominium.
While Lidle wasn't a member of the Major League Baseball Players Association licensing plan because he was a replacement player during the 1994-95 strike, the New York Yankees pitcher was covered by the union's benefit plan.
The plan calls for a $450,000 life insurance benefit and has an accidental death benefit of $1.05 million. However, the plan -- which applies to all big leaguers -- contains an exclusion for "any incident related to travel in an aircraft ... while acting in any capacity other than as a passenger."
Lidle and his flight instructor, Tyler Stanger, were killed Wednesday when Lidle's four-seat Cirrus SR20 crashed into a building on the Upper East Side. While Lidle was the registered owner of the aircraft, it has not been confirmed who was at the controls.