New York Yankees: Ranking George Steinbrenner's Seven World Series
George Steinbrenner died at the age of 80 Tuesday morning in Florida.
He suffered a massive heart attack in his home.
Although the boss is gone, he is forever immortal where he left his biggest impact.
Steinbrenner revived baseball's most storied franchise into the most revered and feared team over the last 40 years.
His evil empire reached from coast to coast, separating the supporters from the envious.
His 11 pennants and seven World Series rings during his era are second to none.
He truly was one of kind, just like his franchise.
"Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa," Steinbrenner once said.
These seven teams were his greatest works of art.
1999 was a turbulent year in the Bronx.
In March, hall of fame Yankee Joe DiMaggio passed away after a long-time bout with cancer.
Then, early in a regular season, which New York finished 98-64, David Cone threw the third perfect game in Yankees history against the Montreal Expos.
The team was loaded with pitching giants.
From Cone to Andy Pettitte to Roger Clemens (not to mention Orlando Hernandez), New York had arguably the deepest rotation in baseball.
Mariano Rivera locked down 45 saves with a 1.83 ERA for New York.
The offense wasn't far behind, with Derek Jeter batting .349 and emerging as a superstar in the game.
In the post-season, the Yankees swept the Rangers and beat the Red Sox in five games en route to the American League title.
In the World Series, New York made quick work of the Braves in a four game sweep to capture its second championship in as many years.
Heralded as the worst team to make the playoffs, the Yankees finished the regular season just 87-74.
But that didn't matter to the two-time defending champs.
With basically the same lineup and pitching staff as the previous year, all that was important was winning the division.
In the division series, New York got all it could handle from the Athletics in an epic five game series that would be a prelude to 2001's rematch (Jeter's flip).
To reach the World Series the Yankees defeated Alex Rodriguez and the Mariners in six games.
Finally, in the subway series, New York captured its third straight title over the Mets in relative ease, taking out their cross-town rival in five games.
In 1978, the Yankees hit the triple digit win mark by winning 100 regular season games.
New York technically finished 1978 with 99 wins, but a tie with arch rival Boston led to a one-game playoff for the AL East crown.
In that game, the Yankees scored two in the bottom of the eighth inning and held on to a one-run win over the Red Sox to advance to the post-season (pictured Goose Gossage got the save).
New York went on to sweep Kansas City for the American League pennant.
In the World Series, the Yankees met their former rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
New York lost the first two games of the series but came back to win the final four, including a drama filled extra inning game four in which Lou Piniella hit a walk-off single.
The 1996 Yankees certainly are not the most talented team on this list.
But they ended the longest championship drought in the franchise's history (18 years).
With first year manager Joe Torre at the helm, and rookie of the year Derek Jeter just beginning his hall of fame career, New York played the rare role of the underdog.
After advancing to the World Series, the Yankees, just like in 1978, overcame a two games to none deficit to win the final four games of the series to win the title over the Braves.
Both Games Five and Six were one-run victories in epic pitching duels.
It took almost half a billion dollars for Steinbrenner to get his final championship.
After signing top free agents C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and A.J. Burnett to huge contracts ($423.5 million all together), there was little doubt this team was the prohibitive favorite to win it all.
With former player Joe Girardi now at the helm, and Alex Rodriguez's steroid admission still fresh, there still were a few questions about the powerhouse team.
Both became largely irrelevant as the season went on.
By the time October came rolling around, all that remained for this star-studded team was to finally get back to the mountain top.
Led by A-Rod's breakout post-season performance (six home runs, 18 RBI, .365 avg), the Yankees cruised to its 27th World Series Championship, beating the Phillies in six games.
It was the team's first season in the new Yankee Stadium.
He always got his man, didn't he?
Reggie Jackson was his most prized possession.
With everybody in the league wanting him, Steinbrenner inked Jackson to a five-year, $2.96 million deal during the 1976 off-season.
Mr. October led the Yankees to a 100 win season and eventually to the World Series without much trouble.
New York met the Dodgers for a chance to end its 15-year championship drought.
In Game Six, with the opportunity to close out the series, Steinbrenner's free agent signing paid off immensely.
In one of the most memorable games in baseball history. Jackson hit three home runs to close out Los Angeles and bring back the championship trophy to New York.
His third home run was hit amid chants of "Reg-eee, Reg-eee."
Most people say the first is always the sweetest, but for Steinbrenner, 1977 is just second best.
One of the best Yankee teams of all-time is also one of the best baseball teams of all-time.
The 1998 New York Yankees were dominant and consistent in every facet of the game.
What the team lacked in superstars, it made up for in sheer depth.
Not one player hit over 28 home runs, but four hit over 24.
Five Yankees drove in more than 84 runs, including Tino Martinez, who had an astounding 123 RBIs.
The pitching staff was led by David Cone, who totaled 20 wins and a 3.55 ERA in 1998 (aka the heyday of steroids).
The team remarkably won 114 games and clinched the division over the 92-win Red Sox by 22 games.
In the post-season, the club went a combined 11-2, including a sweep of the Padres in the World Series.
Overall, New York won a total of 125 games in 1998 (an MLB record that still stands).
If George loved one thing, it was winning, and that's what this team did better than anybody in the history of the game.