George Steinbrenner: 5 Years Later

George Steinbrenner Rides Back Into Baseball March 1, 1993 X 43980 credit: Bill Frakes - contract

george steinbrennerGeorge Steinbrenner bought the Yankees from CBS in 1973 for ten million dollars and within four years, the Yankees were winning World Series again and they would end up winning 7 World Series and 11 American League Pennants during his ownership (though 1 World Series win and AL Pennant came after he turned over day-to-day control of the team to his sons).

Mr. Steinbrenner was someone who you either loved or hated (if you weren’t a Yankee fan). He wanted to win at any cost and most fans of other teams didn’t like that about him.       However, if given the chance, I’m sure every other fan would have loved to have George Steinbrenner as their owner because it would mean they would have an owner willing to spend money to put together the best team possible to give them the best chance to win.

George Steinbrenner careerYes, Mr. Steinbrenner had his faults, some of which led to him being “banned for life” (which turned into suspensions), which I won’t go into here though spying on your own players is never a good thing.       He is also partly to blame for the rising player salaries in baseball and for the huge difference between the “haves” and “have nots” (part of this was his desire to market the Yankees by having their own cable network etc). However, the reason The Boss did all this was to win, plain and simple.       Yes, he was very quick to fire a manager but he was also very quick to hire them back if he thought they brought the Yankees the best chance to win.

Mr. Steinbrenner demanded nothing but the best on the field from his players and if you didn’t meet those standards, you were no longer a New York Yankee; he also expected all his players to act with dignity and class off of the field. The Boss was the only Yankee owner in my life and he made some bad decisions (Buhner for Ken Phelps for example) but he also made some great ones (bringing in Joe Torre, trading for Paul O’Neill and realizing that he just needed to let Gene Michael and then Brian Cashman do their jobs as General Managers in the early/mid 90s).

George Steinbrenner HofThere is debate whether or not George Steinbrenner deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I’m torn on this because he was a fantastic owner with a willingness to win (something hardly any owners today seem to have) but his actions in the past can’t be justified so I’d have to lean towards No (though I would be very happy to see him included someday).

Rest in peace Mr. Steinbrenner; you were arguably the most loved and hated man at the same time in all of US Sports but you were a fantastic owner that brought the New York Yankees back to being the greatest franchise US sports history.

 

George Steinbrenner Rides Back Into Baseball March 1, 1993 X 43980 credit:  Bill Frakes - contract

  • Born: July 4, 1930, Rocky River, OH
  • Died: July 13, 2010, Tampa, FL

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. I think that what I dislike most about Steinbrenner is the shenanigans he pulled. One example is when the former Yankee manager Billy Martin was managing my Tigers, Billy acted up so bad that he got himself fired so Steinbrenner could rehire him for a second term at managing the Yankees. How much collusion there was between Martin and Steinbrenner is still debated, but it would seem likely that there was quite a bit. Steinbrenner was not a nice man nor was he good for baseball. (I’m not a Yankee fan but it is difficult for me to see how he could have been good for the Yankees.)

    Compare him to the current Tiger owner, Mike Illich. Also a spender for his teams and one whose goal is winning. (Illich has not got the big one in baseball — at least not yet — but his Red Wings have done okay over the past two decades.) Illich has also been a supporter (financial and promotional) of Motown. Which would I pick as the owner of my team? Certainly not Steinbrenner!

  2. I’ve always been on the fence about how I feel about George Steinbrenner… the man could be a bully and sometimes could and did do some despicable things but he also was a man who could and did do some good… from Wikipedia…

    “Steinbrenner gave to many charitable causes. In 1982, George, “while attending the funeral of a police officer killed in the line of duty, was deeply moved by the ceremony in which the American flag was folded military-style and presented to the officer’s surviving spouse and young children”. “He was concerned about their education and who would help with the cost, so he established the Silver Shield Foundation,” said Foundation’s Co-Founder James E. Fuchs, a close friend of Mr. Steinbrenner’s. He often donated to the families of fallen police officers in the Tampa Police Department and the New York City Police Department in addition to college scholarships for many poor children.

    “During the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Steinbrenner comforted United States Olympic Swimming medalist Ron Karnaugh through his father’s death and maintained a relationship with him until his death. At his residence in Tampa, Steinbrenner supported numerous individuals and charities including the Boys and Girls Club as well as the Salvation Army. Mel Stottlemyre recalled that during his myeloma cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital he had mentioned in passing to Steinbrenner how he regretted not being able to watch Yankee games from his room. Stottlemyre heard that Steinbrenner went all the way to Mayor Rudy Giuliani to ensure he was able to watch the broadcasts from his room. Steinbrenner had also donated $1 million to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital where a wing was named in his honor.”

  3. Joe, are you saying that bullies can also sometimes be nice guys. Perhaps, but the “niceness” does not begin to justify the bullying.

  4. It doesn’t justify it but maybe it means they recognize that have an anger/control problem & in some sort of way are trying to make up for their shortcomings or correct their wrongful acts….
    I don’t really know and short of playing amateur shrink… I do think George was a conflicted person who had some sort of psychological problems… maybe was a, or had an, undefined obsessive compulsive disorder/personality … he does fit the pattern actually… and true to the nature of an obsessive/compulsive person he would act out his need to control or have things his way and then feel guilty about it and go to any extreme to be the good guy.
    Think Billy Martin whose alcoholism was his manifestation of the obsessive compulsive disease. Then think about how these two obsessive compulsive individuals interacted with one another… explains a lot if you think about how George existed in this world.

    Just some ramblings of an old person who at one time been there; done that…and recovered.

  5. Thanks, Joe. I think I understand better where you are coming from. You make a valid point even though I still disagree with you regarding Steinbrenner as a HOF candidate. I recognize that others have combated personal devils and contributed to their communities. (Among others, Pete Rose and Ty Cobb come to mind.)

    Let us agree to disagree on Steinbrenner.

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