After suffering from heart attack on 12th July night, George Steinbrenner died at about 6:30 a.m. on 13th July, 2010 at his Tampa home. He was 80 years old. George Steinbrenner, the mercurial and free-spending owner of the New York Yankees who won 11 pennants and seven World Series in 1977-78, 1996, 1998-2000 and 2009 during Steinbrenner’s ownership.
The Associated Press reported that he suffered a heart attack. The family said, “He was a visionary and a giant in the world of sports”, “He took a great but struggling franchise and turned it into a champion again.” The son of a Cleveland shipping merchant, Steinbrenner went on to become the longest-serving owner in Major League Baseball.
Under Steinbrenner, the Yankees won the World Series. In addition to the championships, “The Boss” was also very short-tempered, hiring and firing manager Billy Martin five times. Steinbrenner canned Yogi Berra 16 games into the 1985 season and, in his heyday, called out players — even Derek Jeter — and managers openly.
Steinbrenner owned the team while it won seven of the team’s record 27 World Series titles. In 1973, he bought the franchise with a group of investors for $10 million from CBS Corp. Steinbrenner bought out his partners over the years to become principal owner though his initial investment was $168,000. Forbes magazine valued the team at $1.6 billion, most in baseball in April. Steinbrenner “is a father figure to everyone that was in our organization, past or present,” said Jeter, the AL team’s starting shortstop, “because he really took care of his players…It’s tough, because he’s more than just an owner to me. He’s a friend of mine.”
Steinbrenner let sons Hal and Hank run more of the family business as his health declined. He turned over formal control of the Yankees to Hal in November 2008. “He was truly the most influential and innovative owner in all of sports,” former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said. “He made the Yankees a source of great pride in being a New Yorker.”
Steinbrenner demanded championships until his dying day. He barbed Joe Torre during the 2007 American League playoffs then let the popular manager leave after 12 seasons due to another loss in the opening round. The team responded last year by winning his final title. Torre said, “I will always remember George Steinbrenner as a passionate man, a tough boss, a true visionary, a great humanitarian, and a dear friend”, “It’s only fitting that he went out as a world champ.” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered flags to half-mast at City Hall Plaza.
Quotes & Reactions to Steinbrenner’s Death:
Cubs Manager Lou Piniella
“Everyone knows George Steinbrenner went from loser to legend by taking a second division team with a struggling franchise in 1973 and turning it into a champion again. But he was much more than a winner and a celebrity. There was no falseness in him. He did everything with his heart: his family, his friends, his team, his nation and his community. I’m not surprised that in the end he died by wearing it out.”
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
“We all suffered a huge loss today! Mr. Steinbrenner was a great man, great owner, that did so many amazing things. You will truly be missed!”
Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain, via Twitter
“Baseball will miss him. He did a lot of great things – and some not so great – but it’s a sad day for baseball, no doubt about it. He was a winner, and he made the Yankees a winner. Any Yankee fan had to love George Steinbrenner because he put the best team on the field.”
Former Yankees coach Don Zimmer
“George was The Boss, make no mistake. He built the Yankees into champions and that’s something nobody can ever deny. He was a very generous, caring, passionate man. George and I had our differences, but who didn’t? We became great friends over the last decade and I will miss him very much.”
Giants’ president John Mara
“He had that image of a tough boss but there was a different side to him. He had a big heart a caring heart, a generous soul.”
Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and Jeff Wilpon of the New York Mets
“Few people have had a bigger impact on New York over the past four decades than George Steinbrenner. George had a deep love for New York, and his steely determination to succeed combined with his deep respect and appreciation for talent and hard work made him a quintessential New Yorker.”
Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida
“George was a demanding owner, but very caring, very supportive. He bought a struggling franchise and turned it into a dynasty. He’s going to be known as the most influential owner in the history of sports.”
The Hall of Famer Yogi Berra
“The passing of George Steinbrenner leaves a significant void in the fabric of the sports world and New York City. The thoughts and prayers of our organization are with the Steinbrenner and Yankees families. George’s energy and his commitment and devotion to the Yankees were unmatched, and he was as generous and charitable a person as has ever been in sports. His was a unique, special and unforgettable presence.”
Vide of Yankees fans remember ‘The Boss’ Steinbrenner from YouTube: