July 14th, 2010 12:03 EST
The Boss New York Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner Dies at Age 80
George Steinbrenner the icon of the New York Yankees and the personality of Major League baseball died yesterday at age 80. Steinbrenner was the face of the New York Yankees and had been in the spot light of controversy in the past. He had been in the media spotlight in 1972 for making illegal campaign contributions to President Richard Nixon for Nixon`s reelection campaign. And then he was again in the media spotlight for hiring a Private Investigator to investigate and dig up information on one of his past ball players. He was suspended from baseball for both of the controversial moves, but eventually was reinstated.
Steinbrenner is best known for his Yankee years of the 1970s era of baseball. The Yankees were a declining franchise until Steinbrenner took control of the team in 1973 and turned the team around into a powerhouse. He was criticized many times for buying championships. In the 1970s, the Yankees were one of the most successful baseball franchises in sports history and had been the bully team that beat the Kansas City Royals in the 1976, 1977, and 1978 ALCS and the Yankees also dominated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. Because Steinbrenner had the money and had probably the richest baseball franchise in those days he was able to sign big name talent like Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, Craig Nettles, Ricky Henderson, Chris Chambliss and an array of others. These were big named players that helped the Yankees win and win big in the regular and post season.
I remember when he hired and fired Billy Martin at least five times in Martins tenure as the Yankees skipper. Steinbrenner would hire Martin and then it seemed like the next year he would fire him. In 1982, Steinbrenner went through if I remember correctly, five Yankees Managers, eleven pitching coaches and multiple changes in the organization. The Yankees had one of their worst years in franchise history in 1982.
Martin was fired so many times by Steinbrenner they even made a Lite Beer commercial back in those days with Martin and Steinbrenner in it. The punch line at the end of one of the commercials was Steinbrenner saying to Martin, Billy, You`re Fired! " And then Martin responding with, Oh no, not again! "
Steinbrenner was also one of the characters on Seinfeld. Of course they had an actor playing Steinbrenner`s characters on the show, but the character was so real that you would really question if Steinbrenner was playing himself on the show? Or, is this really an actor?
Steinbrenner once said, Winning is the most important thing in my life after breathing. " (Steinbrenner, G.) He was a true boss and Manager who loved the game of baseball and loved what he did.
He was born on July 4th and died on the day of the Major League All-Star game. The name Steinbrenner will be missed but not forgotten in the game of baseball. He will always be the face of the New York Yankees and one of the biggest icons in professional sports. He will definitely be missed.
Steinbrenner, George, Brainy Quotes, George Steinbrenner Quotes, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgestei305045.html. Retrieved 2010