George Steinbrenner: Two Reasons His Monument Is Appropriate

Matthew VerebContributor ISeptember 26, 2010

George Steinbrenner: Two Reasons His Monument Is Appropriate

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20:  Former manager of the New York Yankees Joe Torre (3rd L) walks past the monument of late owner George Steinbrenner with his wife Ali prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 20, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bron
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    This past Monday, the New York Yankees unveiled the largest plaque ever displayed in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium, a seven-by-five-foot, 760-pound monument dedicated to the Yankees long-time owner, George Steinbrenner, towers over the plaques dedicated to Yankee legends Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio.

    Some people believe that the monument is too large. Others believe that the plaque is appropriate.

    Given Steinbrenner's impact on the Yankee brand, its size is justified for the larger-than-life Yankee owner, and here are two reasons why.

Reason No. 1: Mr. Steinbrenner's Impact On The Yankees

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    NEW YORK - JULY 16:  Two roses honoring the late owner George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard are seen on home plate prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 16, 2010 at Yankee Stad
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    When Mr. Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees in 1973 for a paltry $10 million, the Yankees were a struggling franchise. Steinbrenner believed that a franchise that had captured 21 World Series Championships should be restored to glory. The restless Steinbrenner completely changed the culture of the Yankee brand. During his first 23 years as principal owner, Steinbrenner went through 20 different managers!

    In addition to Mr. Steinbrenner's quick trigger with management, he had little time for players who couldn't produce for him.

    Steinbrenner became a huge proponent of free agent acquisitions. Steinbrenner's first key free agent signing was pitcher Catfish Hunter. From that moment on, Steinbrenner went out each year and grabbed the market's best talent.

    Some of his key signing included "Mr. October," Reggie Jackson, Rich "Goose" Gossage, Dave Winfield, Darryl Strawberry, Alex Rodriguez, and CC Sabathia. From 1978 to 2009, Steinbrenner collected seven World Series titles and a lengthy list of opposing team owners who hated his aggressive, military-esque demeanor. 

    Steinbrenner biggest achievement will be enjoyed by Yankee fans forever. Steinbrenner envisioned creating a television network solely devoted to the Yankee brand. That vision became a reality in 2002 when the YES network debuted. Goldman Sachs technically owns the YES Network, but the Yankee brand dominates the network's programming.

    Without Mr. Steinbrenner's vision, it would not have been possible.

    Currently, the Yankee brand is valued at over $1 billion. Not too bad for a $10 million investment.

Reason No. 2: The Steinbrenner Family Still Owns The Yankees

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20:  The family of late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner poses in front of the newly unveiled monument prior to game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 20, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    At the end of the day, the Steinbrenner Family calls the shots on the Yankee brand.

    If they want to retire Derek Jeter's number tomorrow, it will happen. If they want the Yankees to start wearing pink uniforms, expect the team to resemble a band of Pink Panthers. If they want to pay Cliff Lee $50 million in the offseason, then expect the check to be written tomorrow.

    The family holds all of the cards and they felt like this was the proper tribute to their late father. 

George Steinbrenner Truly Embraced The Yankee Mentality

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    NEW YORK - JULY 16:  The scoreboard displays a photo of George Steinbrenner, Owner of the New York Yankees during his memorial ceremony before the game against theTampa Bay Rays  on July 16, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Yankee fans can thank Mr. Steinbrenner for creating a culture within the Yankee brand.

    His "Win Now" mantra will be the standard for any Yankee team, past, present, or future. Without Mr. Steinbrenner's ownership, who knows where the Yankee brand would be today.

    Do you agree or disagree with the size of Mr. Steinbrenner's monument?