Tuesday, July 13, 2010

George Steinbrenner (1930-2010)

Sad news just breaking. Multiple reports indicate that George M Steinbrenner III died this morning of a massive heart attack at the age of 80.

George's legacy is complex to say the least. The good were the 11 American League titles (1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2009) and seven World Championships (77, 78, 96, 98, 99, 00, 09). The bad were plentiful as well - Howie Spira and Dave Winfield, the battles with Reggie and Billy. The firings - Billy, Bob Lemon, Dick Howser, and on and on. He was brutal on his staff.

Yet he was amazingly charitable and decent. And those who hated him came back - every time. Billy, Gossage, Nettles, Winfield. Even Yogi Berra.

He was a brilliant businessman. He was parodied on Seinfeld. He hosted Saturday Night Live. He was suspended by baseball. Fans loved him and hated him - all at once.

He wanted to win. We loved that most of all.

So today, Yankees Universe has a heavy heart. First the beloved public address announcer Bob Sheppard. Now The Boss.

Old Timers Day will have a rather somber tone to it.

Memo to Cooperstown: prep a plaque. He deserves one.

Let's have some laughs with George. First with Billy Martin.

And here is with Derek Jeter. Classic.

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