George Steinbrenner: 1930-2010
New York Yankees owner known as "The Boss"
New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died Tuesday at the age of 80, and NBCSports.com asked readers to share their thoughts. Here are selected comments.
I have been a life-long Yankee fan starting in the 1950's with Mantle. When George took over the team I did not like him. Over the years I became one of his biggest fans. He truly was a leader in this game of baseball.
—Jim Galvin, Guilford, Conn.
George was not a loser. He loved to win and proved that with the Yankees.
--Joe, East Greenbush, N.Y.
Regardless of what you think of the man, you can't argue with the results. Many people feel he destroyed the competive balance of the sport, but I feel he raised the bar for the other teams in the league. The man did more to reshape the modern face of baseball than anyone else over the last 37 years. RIP, Mr. Steinbrenner, I hope you can catch a Yankees game wherever you are today.
He destroyed the game more than any one individual. I live in a small town MLB market. The concept of a team is gone. I know it was going to move in that direction but Steinbrenner took delight in facilitating the demise of the game. I obviously don't know him personally but his public demeanor was repulsive. My condolences to his family but this is his legacy where baseball is concerned. My view, of course.
--Rick Milam, Kansas City, Mo.
I wasn't always Steinbrenner's biggest fan, but I came to understand why he cared so passionately about the Yankees -- he understood their place in history, and what that demanded of the players. You were a great and generous man Mr. Steinbrenner. Rest in peace.
--Barbara Emanuele, Flushing, N.Y.
He was a legend. I feel like I am missing a relative. I am originally from New Jersey and my first baseball game in grade school were the Yankees. He will be sorely missed, and never replaced. RIP George. Look down on us and keep us all safe. You're an angel now.
During the 2000 victory parade, my 14-year-old son and I were proudly wearing our traditional Yankee caps when the float carrying Mr. Steinbrenner approached. I caught his eye from the huge crowd, pointed at him and gave him a thumbs up. His emotions swelled as he pursed his leaps and fought back tears as he nodded back to us in gratitude. He restored our pride, I was happy to give my thanks to him personally. Best owner ever, great businessman, great leader, great man!
--Frank D'Amico, Hillsdale, N.J.
At an Ohio State-Michigan football game at Ohio State, I saw him and his wife in attendance at the pre-band show (Skull Session). He contributed a million and a half dollars to a new band room. that's the side of George Steinbrenner that you don't always see.
--Len, Solon, Ohio
As a long time Yankee fan, I can't help but to think that the voice of God, Bob Sheppard passed away a day before George Steinbrenner, so that he (Bob) could announce the arrival of George at the heavenly Stadium. Bob: "Now entering, 'The Boss,' George Steinbrenner."
--Mick Ogulewicz, Travelers Rest, S.C.
Whether you loved him or hated him, no other owner ever did more for their team than George Steinbrenner. His passion for baseball and winning molded the Yankee team of my generation. I'm gonna miss you, George.
--Esther Leibmann, Wildomar, Calif.
It was a grave situation when Homestead, Fla., was devastated by Hurricane Andrew. Everyone in the state with an ounce of compassion took inventory of their possessions, seeing if they could contribute something, anything to help in the massive effort to get help to the residents. Fleets of vehicles loaded were loaded with relief supplies and joined the convoy going south. I remember a story related by one of the residents who lost everything - home leveled. He was sitting outside the rubble of his house when a truck pulled up in what was his neighborhood. An older man, unshaven and looking a little tired got out, opened the back of the truck, and asked the residents if they wanted some sandwiches. Most of the residents hadn't eaten anything for days. When the truck was empty, the man said to hang in there, he'd be back. He never revealed his identity, but one avid baseball fan recognized him right away. It was George Steinbrenner.
I hate what Steinbrenner did to the baseball salaries, and how it has affected the lack of loyalty to teams by turning many ballplayers into mercenaries. But this has happened in all major sports. I am a die-hard Orioles fan and am pledged to always hate the Yankees, but I must admire and respect the winning legacy he continued during his tenure, and the baseball world will miss this icon.
--Ronald Barnes, Orlando, Fla.
Mr. Steinbrenner was a wonderful, terrible, great and compelling man. He meant the world to my father even when they were at odds with each other. Mr. Steinbrenner was the first man who held me after I was born, even before my father. He will be remembered with affection and a sense of loss with every thought in memory of him.
--Jan (Barber) Titsworth, Millington, Mich.
Steinbrenner was the single biggest contributor to salary inflation in baseball along with increased costs to all fans who go to the ballparks.
--Lawrence Alvarez, New York
In 1983, I took my two sons and three mentally retarded boys to Yankee Stadium. I arrived at the bleacher ticket window when they ran out of tickets. The man sent me to the reserved ticket window. I purchased six tickets, and we went to our nosebleed section seats. Only to find out they were already taken by someone else. I called over to the usher and he said, "Well, we can put you here, and your two sons here and the other three boys over there. I said absolutely not! We then went down to Steinbrenner's office and within 15 minutes he had us sitting behind home plate! It made my sons (Joey and Mike) day!!
--Susie Lander, Las Vegas
Good for baseball?? You have got to be kidding. Steinbrenner was a vile, repugnant, convicted felon whose effect on major league baseball is reminiscent of the Black Plague's march through Europe in the Middle Ages. He took advantage of the corrupt financial structure that is unique to major league baseball. The elements: a free agency system that puts star players up for grabs after a few years, absence of full TV revenue sharing (like what they have in the NFL), and absence of a salary cap (like what they have in the NBA). No other major sport is like this. It was tailor-made for Steinbrenner, without any management skills and baseball sense, but obsessed with winning at any cost. Put those together with the TV networks dumping huge gobs of money on the Yankees, and you have Steinbrenner going out on a shopping spree every season to rip off other teams of their star players. He was Robin Hood in reverse, taking from the teams poor in talent in order to further enrich his talent rich Yankees. Good for baseball? Tell that to the fans in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City, and other cities whose teams have no realistic chance of winning the World Series and will not in the foreseeable future. Major league baseball will eventually die unless the financial structure is changed so that a Steinbrenner can't simple buy a championship every year. This is a great day for baseball and a great day for the world because it is a better place without him.
--Zorro, San Diego
DPS: MLB executive Joe Torre talks to Dan Patrick about instant replay in baseball. Torre says that the game isn't perfect, but there are limits as to what instant replay should be used for. He draws the line at using it for balls and strikes.
Taking a look at some of the greatest catchers off all time.