Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner Dies at 80carolyncastiglia
There just may be a moment of silence at Little League games across the country tonight for the man known in baseball as the Boss. The New York Times reports that beloved (and sometimes vilified) Yankees figurehead George Steinbrenner died this morning of a heart attack in Tampa, FL at age 80.
Steinbrenner bought the Yankees in 1973 and resuscitated them from near death to become seven-time World Series champs, their most recent win taking place against the Phillies last fall in the brand new Yankee Stadium. Steinbrenner died just two days after “the voice of the Yankees” Bob Sheppard died at 99 years of age.
The Yankees are now run by Steinbrenner’s sons, Hal and Hank, who according to the Times, became co-chairmen in May 2008. “Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ managing general partner as well, was given control of the team in November 2008 in a unanimous vote by the major league club owners, who acted on his father’s request.”
Steinbrenner notoriously pushed general manager Joe Torre out after he’d secured years of wins for the team, and many baseball fans complained that the Yankees, under Steinbrenner, spent more than too much money on star players. His larger-than-life persona was “lampooned, with his permission, by a caricature in the sitcom “Seinfeld,” portrayed by the actor Lee Bear, who was always photographed from behind at the Boss’s desk, flailing his arms and suitably imperious, while Larry David, the show’s co-creator, provided the voice.”
Steinbrenner will go down in history as a man who revolutionized America’s favorite pastime for better and for worse. This has been a dramatic week for Yankees fans. I wonder if Yogi Berra will make it to the funeral. He’s quoted as saying, “You should always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise, they won’t come to yours.” RIP, George.