Yesterday was a sad day for Yankees fans as George M. Steinbrenner III passed away after suffering a major heart attack in Tampa, Florida. He was 8o years old.
Even the Yankees haters of the world respected the man. He spent and spent to put the best players he could find on the New York Yankees because he felt that’s what Yankees fans deserved. He even said that he didn’t like to pay as much as he did but it was necessary.
Just like us he was not without his faults. He hired and fired 20 managers over his first 23 years of ownership, had falling outs with players and managers, was suspended for making illegal campaign contributions to the Richard Nixon campaign and was banned from ever having day to day control of the Yankees for having hired a gambler to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield.
Many say that it was because of the later ban that put the Yankees on course to win 4 championships in 5 years. When the Boss returned in 2003 he seemed to be a bit more reserved and trusted, to an extent anyway, his baseball people that put the team together.
After the 1998 season, when the Yankees won 125 games, Steinbrenner was quoted as saying that winning is everything to him, breathing first winning second. To me it’s only fitting that the Yankees won the World Series for the 27th time last year in the New Yankee Stadium often referred to as the House that George Built.
Yankees fans had a love hate relationship with the Boss. It wasn’t until he returned in 2003 and the Yankees put the dynasty together did Yankees fans truly embrace what George Steinbrenner did for the New York Yankees. George Steinbrenner was a winner and made the Yankees a winner. He was a caring compassionate man who was also one of the most charitable people around. For as much as he loved the back pages of the New York papers he never wanted the attention for his charitable work.
On the day that MLB Baseball played the All Star Game, news in the baseball world was dominated by the passing of George Steinbrenner. Even in death, the man can still steal the spotlight. RIP Boss, the Yankees Universe will miss you.