ANAHEIM--The words are indescribable of the somber news that stunned all of baseball, unfortunately stealing the spotlight on the day of the All-Star Game. As the most sentimental death ceased the excitement, we lost arguably the craftiest businessman in sports, the savvy owner of the famous New York Yankees.
We lost George Steinbrenner, a controversial chairman with a yearly ritual, demanding legitimacy and delivery from the well-paid players he blessed with enormous profit. The trials of the Boss have initiated much controversy during the longest tenure of any owner in the majors.
Much as he was adored for his charitable work, loyalty among players, and pampering of his players, he was inevitably disliked for his controversial tension and verbal disputes with managers and players.
Ever since he bought the Yankees, he was always in the headlines for indifference, capitalism, or squandering mega dollars to revamp a lowly franchise. If he attained anything less than a World Series title, it was considered a failure as Steinbrenner wasn’t satisfied with early postseason exits or unsuccessful losses.
Those who had a bonding relationship with the Boss would tell you that he was compassionate and impassioned of piling world titles to reach the unprecedented by embodying the tenor of a fervent sporting atmosphere.
Over the course of his regime, he built an empire and inherited billions, representing the sports in a fanatic state that admires baseball and traditional pinstripes.
But the story of baseball wasn’t the Midsummer Classic on the morning the baseball family lost a future Hall of Famer and an insightful merchant who died less than two weeks after his 80th birthday on July 4.
He sadly died of a massive heart attack and suffered in falling health for years, awarding the personnel decisions to his two sons, Hank and Hal, two years ago.
With declining health, he barely traveled with the team and appeared in the press box at Yankee Stadium, including the recent palace the organization spent billions in creations.
In judging his habits, he frequently caused discussion and havoc in the back-page headlines of raging feuds with Billy Martin, who was fired five times after he failed to adhere to guidelines and demands.
Although he greatly became a mentor and father-figure, he was a baseball capitalist by dauntlessly investing in millions, the most adventurous and creator of gambling to construct the most powerful baseball franchise of all-time.
All of his creativity and passion played a key role in the Yankees' triumphant prosperity, delivering 27 titles, 40 American League pennants, and more championships than any other franchise in North American professional sports history.
But he grabbed headlines for commonly hiring and firing managers, a bombastic pattern that cast misery on his managerial staff and players who had face-to-face feuds, losing respect for the man described as the Boss.
However, of course, Steinbrenner’s character epitomized a fiery competitor who expected to win a pennant each season after investing in talented names.
Because he was the greatest owner in the history of baseball, if not in sports, he was simply endeared for his warmhearted selflessness, even though he was a polarizing and wicked businessman. So what if he called a Japanese pitcher “a fat toad” or changed managers 21 times? He’s the tremendous winner, largely the reason the Yankees have excelled.
He was truly admired outside the clubhouse, but behind closed doors, he was described as an evil boss and scolded his players whenever they performed poorly.
His famous quote described him. “Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing,” he said roughly.
“It’s tough, because he’s more than just an owner to me—he’s a friend of mine,” Yankees captain Derek Jeter said emotionally during pregame interviews before the All-Star Game. “He will be deeply missed.”
Think of the hilarious moments. Remember, he featured on Seinfeld and ordered George Costanza to deliver him calzones, still demanding much as the superior one, the most hated owner in sports history?
Either you loved or loathed him. He never allowed the Yankees tradition to diminish or topple, expanding the hallmark of pinstripes by launching a cable television channel—Yes Network —nine years ago.
As he marketed and produced a large payroll, he offered millions to form the unprecedented like no other, attracting a fervid crowd of Yankees devotees to embrace future Hall of Famers Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. Between his players and balance for constantly renovating an unfinished franchise, he inflated a share of revenue in the stands and television ratings.
“His toughness came out in his expectations. I think his expectations carried over into the clubhouse, and we had the same expectations as he did, which I think is the sign of his influence on all of us,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. “I do think winning the World Series meant a lot to him, but the next day, he was always back to work. He was like, OK, how are we going to win next year?
"He enjoyed it, but he stayed the course all the time. We won in 1996, and we were told he was already planning for 1997 when they were planning the parade. He probably felt that it was a huge accomplishment, but he never rested in it.”
Although Larry Lucchino, an owner of the archenemies Boston Red Sox, called the Yankees “the evil empire,” Steinbrenner offered second chances to problematic Dwight Gooden, who had a history of troubles, and gave chances to a corrupted Darryl Strawberry, who ran into unlawful troubles.
And with the highest payroll in baseball at $205 million, the Yanks can possibly win back-to-back, leaving behind a well-conditioned franchise that returned to prominence last season when the Yanks won the fall classic by investing in three premier stars and grabbed CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and A.J. Burnett.
With all the criticism swirling around the Yankees, it was noticed that the Yankees spend $1.5 billion in stadium creations. Since he purchased the team, the Boss always got what he wanted—until he died at 80 Tuesday morning, remembered for his bravery and gusty moves, for his helpfulness within the communities and willingness to spend dauntlessly on star players.
Back in 1977, he brought the Yankees for a price worth $8.8 million and valued the trademark.
“The thing with the Boss, he’s an old football coach,” said Jeter. “So his way, he sort of looked at the baseball season like we played 12 games and had to win every single day. He really expected to win every night, every day. I remember my first, second year. I was on third base and got doubled off on a line drive in the infield. We won, but after the game, he was yelling at me…He expected perfection.”
That’s why the Yanks have the most titles and are on the verge of another one, possibly.