Love him or hate him, it can’t be denied that he was one of the most influential owners in all of pro sports.
Farewell to a New York institution.
I am shocked! :eek:
How cool is it that he died the day of the MLB All-Star Game?
George won’t be very upset any more.
And in breaking news, the Afterlife Wire is reporting Billy Martin has just been fired…
I can hear Bob Shepard now: “Now entering…the pearly gates… George Steinbrenner.”
I don’t know of a more influential owner, he took the free agency rules when they were new and ran with them, taking a storied franchise to new heights. Sure, he was a micromanager but you can’t argue with success, he spent big but still turned a profit.
I hope George Costanza got him a calzone for his final meal. RIP George
Jesus just walked by and was told “get a haircut or get out”.
RIP to The Boss.
Branch Rickey was part-owner of the Dodgers, as well as general manager, when he invented the farm system & broke the color barrier. But there’s no one George’s equal in the last 20 years or so.
I was just thinking about how appropriate it was that Bob Sheppard’s death preceded Steinbrenner’s. Of course, you might get some argument from a few people in Massachusetts about whether this introduction will take place at pearly gates or fiery gates.
Is the afterlife big enough for both George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin to co-exist in?
I’m imagining them as two of the three in a No Exit scenario.
The Boss is gone. He made things interesting and made the Yankees the biggest team in baseball again after a dark period. He spent a lot of money but made a lot of money and has now left the team in the very competent hands of his quiet son Hal.
He was often the reason the Yankees did not win. He traded away prospects and young players for aging vets very often and also way to often did not listen to his skilled baseball men. He created sideshows with Martin, Winfield and Reggie among others. but he always kept the Yankees the most talked about (and most hated) team in baseball.
All in all, 7 championships is a pretty good accomplishment. Taking a $168,000 investment and making it eventually worth over a Billion is a business accomplishment like few others. He and his partners bought the team for $8.8 million but he only put up $168,000 of his own money. Last I checked, the Yankees are the most valuable team in the world, ahead of a few soccer teams and then the Red Sox and Dallas Cowboys.
George mellowed quit a bit in his later years but still was known to bluster and issue military sounding statements. He might not be the most beloved owner, but he might end up the best known.
I know a lot of people object to the money he dished out, but despite any issues about his methods, every team should have an owner as committed to winning. And not, I hope, one who insists on running the team himself, because the Yankees did better when he let the baseball people make their own decisions. So far his sons are not overdoing it.
This does feel like the end of an era but that era had ended slowly over the last couple of years as his health declined and he turned over control of the team. He was one of a kind for sure. I’m starting to hear stories about how charitable he was and I hadn’t known about that. Then again he did some unquestionably scummy things, like making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon (and apparently telling his employees to lie about it). He was suspended from baseball for about a year for that one. Then in the ‘80s he had Dave Winfield tailed by a bookie who said he had dirt on Winfield. That time he was suspended for three years, and according to some his absence paved the way for the Yankees’ resurgence during the '90s.
He was larger than life in a way you don’t often see. His birthday was July 4 and he clearly thought that meant something. He kept pictures of generals in his offices, said he wanted saw himself like Patton, and above all he demanded the Yankees maintain their primacy in baseball and the sporting world. Sometimes they did it because of him and sometimes they did it in spite of him, but they won a lot during his reign - no other word really fits, does it? - and he changed the sport, too.
And in later breaking news, Billy Martin has been rehired.
RIP, George Steinbrenner.
I’ve made this same post elsewhere:
People who aren’t New York Yankees fans undoubtedly hated George Steinbrenner, and I understand. Even we Yankee fans weren’t always crazy about him.
To Yankee-haters, Steinbrenner looked like an arrogant bully who bought championships and used New York’s “big market” status to keep small-market teams down.
But let’s remember something: when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees in 1973, the Yanks did NOT look like a great investment. He didn’t pay much for the team because they looked like a dying franchise.
In 1973, the Yankees were terrible, and had been for nearly a decade. The Mets OWNED New York in those days. The Yankees were a washed-up franchise playing in the worst neighborhood in New York City (one of the worst neighborhoods in America!). When Steinbrenner bought the team, EVERYBODY knew he was going to move them out of town- the only question was whether he’d take them to Florida or “only” to New Jersey.
He didn’t do either, to my surprise and delight. Instead, he saw a bright future for the team at a time when NOBODY else saw one. He spent money to bring Catfish Hunter to New York. He won New York fans back from the Mets. He got dozens of big stars and millions of fans to come back to the South Bronx.
He could be a jerk, no question about it, and I won’t pretend otherwise. He EARNED much of the animosity he received. But, lest any jealous Yankee haters try to claim “ANYBODY could have accomplished what Steinbrenner did, in a big, rich market like New York,” I have to remind everyone: the Yankees were NOT a glamorous franchise when Steinbrenner bought them. He turned them into a glamorous franchise. If anybody else had bought the Yankees, they’d have left New York nearly 40 years ago.
So, for that alone, I say thank you and RIP, George.
I also remember his hilarious performance on Saturday Night Live back in the 80s.
Yeah, I guess the Babe, Gehrig, Dimaggio, Mantle, Ford, etc. etc. etc. were just stooges back in the day, eh?
I agree that not anybody could have done what George did, because most people wouldn’t cheat. That’s what the salary cap is for, and he flaunted it daily. I don’t remember the last time the Yankees didn’t pay the luxury tax. Of the 7 championships he brought to New York, I’d say he outright purchased 4 or even all of them. Boston only beat them by playing the luxury tax game themselves. And of their recent championship teams, so far Clemens, Rodriguez, and obviously Giambi used steroids.
I think it’s screwed that they made the playoffs 13 straight times between 1994 (the beginning of the 6 team format) until 2007, and 14 of the last 15 (except 2008.) Of those 14 playoff appearances, only 3 of them were wild card. The other 11 times, they won their division.
I think what George did has been great…for George.
The farm system happened when he was with the Cards.