George Stienbrenner is dead

Posted: July 13, 2010 by datechguy in baseball
Tags: , , ,

For all the nonsense Yankee fans put up with, in the end the Yankees won more titles with him than any other team during his era.

Baseball Crank has this to say:

Steinbrenner’s personality and legacy will be described as “complicated,” which is sort of true although the pieces are easy enough to stitch together into a coherent whole with some effort. My all-time favorite line was from Luis Polonia in 1989: “Steinbrenner is only interested in one thing, and I don’t know what it is.” At times, when the Yankees weren’t winning, it seemed that way. Nobody cared about winning more than Steinbrenner, and that of course was his greatest virtue as an owner; the Yankees made a lot of money under George, but he never saw the money as something to pocket separate and apart from winning, and as a fan there are few things you want more in your team owner. His signature move was signing Goose Gossage to be his closer immediately after Sparky Lyle won the Cy Young Award, an act of colossal baseball gluttony that turned out to be visionary; Sparky’s arm game out and he went, in Graig Nettles’ words, “from Cy Young to Syonara in one year,” while the Goose went on to have the prime of his Hall of Fame career in pinstripes.

David Pinto nails it:

I grew up a Yankees fan, before George took over. As someone who remembers the Yankees before the boss, I’ll say that George was a bastard, but he was our bastard. He restored a franchise laid low by poor management and changing rules on signing amateur players to a championship team again. As a fan at the time, I was happy to see that. He used the wealth of the Yankees to leverage free agency and won consecutive World Series trophies in the 1970s. He was a tough driving boss. He did not believe in vacations or time off. More than anything, he wanted to win, and constantly pushed the team to do so.

It should be noted, however, that the two great eras of the Steinbrenner years, the late 1970s and last 1990s came about due to George’s evil side. He was suspended from taking part in day to day operations after the 1974 seasons due to illegal contributions to Richard Nixon. That allowed Gabe Paul to put together a team that would win the pennant in 1976 without interference. Steinbrenner was again suspended in 1990, and would not control the team again until 1993. By that time, the front office had laid the foundation for the great teams of the late 1990s.

Baseball will not be the same without him, if nothing else he sure wasn’t boring.

  1. Proud2Serve says:

    I have not been a baseball fan since the players walked out during 1972. I certainly NEVER cared much for the New York Yankees. That said, George Steinbrenner was always an intrigueing personality and a man who I believe epitomized the competitive part of the (dying?) American culture that propelled us to greatness. To quote another great American, “I wouldn’t give a hoot and hell for a man who lost and laughed.”

    We desperately need more like him. RIP.