GEORGE MICHAEL STEINBRENNER III (July 4, 1930 – July 13, 2010) was
an American businessman who was the principal owner and managing
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball 's
New York Yankees
New York Yankees . During
Steinbrenner's 37-year ownership from 1973 to his death in July 2010,
the longest in club history, the Yankees earned seven World Series
titles and 11 pennants . His outspokenness and role in driving up
player salaries made him one of the sport's most controversial
figures. Steinbrenner was also involved in the
Great Lakes and Gulf
Coast shipping industry.
Known as a hands-on baseball executive, Steinbrenner earned the
nickname "THE BOSS". He had a tendency to meddle in daily on-field
decisions, and to hire and fire (and sometimes re-hire) managers.
Former Yankees manager Dallas Green gave him the derisive nickname
"Manager George". He died after suffering a heart attack in his Tampa
home on the morning of July 13, 2010, the day of the 81st All-Star
* 1 Early life and education
* 2 Pre-Yankees career
New York Yankees
New York Yankees career
* 3.1 Facial hair policy
* 3.2 Campaign contributions to Nixon and pardon
Dave Winfield controversy
* 3.4 Reinstatement and championship years
* 4 Retirement
* 5 Death
* 6 Off the field
* 6.1 Charitable work
* 7 In the media
* 8 Awards and honors
* 9 See also
* 10 References
* 11 External links
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Steinbrenner was born in
Rocky River, Ohio , the only son of Rita
(née Haley) and Henry
George Steinbrenner II. His mother was an Irish
immigrant who had changed her name from O'Haley to Haley. His father
was of German descent, and had been a world-class track and field
hurdler while at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology , from
which he graduated in engineering in 1927, first in his class and a
distinguished scholar in Naval Architecture . The elder
Steinbrenner later became a wealthy shipping magnate who ran the
family firm operating freight ships hauling ore and grain on the Great
Lakes. George III was named after his paternal grandfather, George
Michael Steinbrenner II. Steinbrenner had two younger sisters, Susan
and Judy. At age nine, the elder Steinbrenner staked George to a
couple of hundred chickens, and he peddled hens and their eggs door to
door. "I learned a lot about business from raising chickens," he told
Sports Illustrated . "Half of my customers began buying because they
were afraid of me."
Culver Military Academy
Culver Military Academy , in
Northern Indiana ,
in 1944, and graduated in 1948. He received his B.A. from Williams
College in 1952. While at Williams, George was an average student who
led an active extracurricular life. He was a member of Delta Kappa
Epsilon fraternity. He was an accomplished hurdler on the varsity
track and field team, and served as sports editor of The Williams
Record , played piano in the band, and played halfback on the football
team in his senior year. He joined the
United States Air Force
United States Air Force after
graduation, was commissioned a second lieutenant and was stationed at
Lockbourne Air Force Base
Lockbourne Air Force Base in
Columbus, Ohio . Following honorable
discharge in 1954, he did post-graduate study at The Ohio State
University (1954–55), earning his master's degree in physical
He met his wife-to-be, Elizabeth Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann) Zieg, in
Columbus, and married her on May 12, 1956. The couple had two sons,
Hank and Hal , and two daughters, Jessica Steinbrenner and Jennifer
While studying at Ohio State, he served as a graduate assistant to
legendary Buckeye football coach
Woody Hayes . The Buckeyes were
undefeated national champions that year, and won the Rose Bowl .
Steinbrenner served as an assistant football coach at Northwestern
University in 1955, and at
Purdue University from 1956 to 1957.
Steinbrenner joined Kinsman Marine Transit Company in 1957, the Great
Lakes shipping company that his great-grandfather Henry had purchased
in 1901 from The Minch Transit Company, which was owned by a family
relation, and renamed. Steinbrenner worked hard to successfully
revitalize the company, which was suffering hardship during difficult
market conditions. In its return to profitability, Kinsman emphasized
grain shipments over ore. A few years later, with the help of a loan
from a New York bank, Steinbrenner purchased the company from his
family. He later became part of a group that purchased the American
Shipbuilding Company , and, in 1967, he became its chairman and chief
executive officer. By 1972, the company's gross sales were more than
$100 million annually.
In 1960, against his father's wishes, Steinbrenner entered the sports
franchise business for the first time with basketball 's Cleveland
Pipers , of the American
Basketball League (ABL). Steinbrenner had
John McClendon , who became the first
African American coach in
professional basketball and persuaded
Jerry Lucas to join his team
instead of the rival National
Basketball Association . The Pipers
switched to the new professional ABL in 1961; the new circuit was
Abe Saperstein , owner of the
Harlem Globetrotters . The
league and its teams experienced financial problems, and McClendon
resigned in protest halfway through the season; however, the Pipers
had won the first half of a split season. Steinbrenner replaced
McClendon with former
Boston Celtics star
Bill Sharman , and the
Pipers won the ABL championship in 1961-62. The ABL folded in December
1962, just months into its second season. Steinbrenner and his
partners lost significant money on the venture, but Steinbrenner paid
off all of his creditors and partners over the next few years.
With his burgeoning sports aspirations put on hold, Steinbrenner
turned his attention to the theatre . His involvement with Broadway
began with a short-lived 1967 play, The Ninety Day Mistress, in which
he partnered with another rookie producer,
James Nederlander . Whereas
Nederlander threw himself into his family\'s business full-time,
Steinbrenner invested in a mere half-dozen shows, including the 1974
Tony Award nominee for Best Musical, Seesaw , and the 1988 Peter Allen
flop, Legs Diamond .
NEW YORK YANKEES CAREER
Steinbrenner's introductory press conference as owner of the
Yankees. Team president
E. Michael Burke is in background.
The Yankees had been struggling during their years under CBS
ownership, which had acquired the team in 1965 . In 1972,
William S. Paley
William S. Paley told team president
E. Michael Burke the media
company intended to sell the club. As Burke later told writer Roger
Kahn , Paley offered to sell the franchise to Burke if he could find
financial backing. Steinbrenner, who had participated in a failed
attempt to buy the
Cleveland Indians from
Vernon Stouffer one year
earlier, was brought together with Burke by veteran baseball
Gabe Paul .
On January 3, 1973, Steinbrenner and minority partner Burke led a
group of investors, which included
Lester Crown ,
John DeLorean and
Nelson Bunker Hunt , in purchasing the Yankees from CBS. For years,
the selling price was reported to be $10 million. However,
Steinbrenner later revealed that the deal included two parking garages
CBS had bought from the city, and soon after the deal closed, CBS
bought back the garages for $1.2 million. The net cost to the group
for the Yankees was therefore $8.8 million.
The announced intention was that Burke would continue to run the team
as club president. But Burke later became angry when he found out that
Paul had been brought in as a senior Yankee executive, reducing his
authority, and quit the team presidency in April 1973. (Burke remained
a minority owner of the club into the following decade, but as fellow
minority owner John McMullen stated, "There is nothing in life quite
so limited as being a limited partner of George Steinbrenner." ) Paul
was officially named president of the club on April 19. It would be
the first of many high-profile departures with employees who crossed
paths with "The Boss". At the conclusion of the 1973 season , two more
prominent names departed: manager
Ralph Houk , who resigned and took a
similar position with the
Detroit Tigers ; and general manager Lee
MacPhail , who became president of the
American League .
The 1973 off-season would continue to be controversial when
Steinbrenner and Paul fought to hire former
Oakland Athletics manager
Dick Williams , who had resigned immediately after leading the team to
its second straight
World Series title. However, because Williams was
still under contract to Oakland, the subsequent legal wrangling
prevented the Yankees from hiring him. On the first anniversary of the
team's ownership change, the Yankees hired former Pittsburgh Pirates
Bill Virdon to lead the team on the field. "There is nothing
in life quite so limited as being a limited partner of George
Steinbrenner." —Yankees minority owner John McMullen
Steinbrenner quickly became famous for his rapid turnover of
management personnel. In his first 23 seasons, he changed managers 20
Billy Martin alone was fired and rehired five times. During his
first 26 years with the club, he went through 13 publicity directors.
"The first time George fires you, it's very traumatic," oft-fired
Yankees flack Harvey Greene said. "The three or four times after that,
it's like, Great! I've got the rest of the day off." He also employed
11 general managers over 30 years. He was equally famous for pursuing
high-priced free agents and then feuding with them. In July 1978,
Billy Martin famously said of Steinbrenner and his $3 million
Reggie Jackson , "The two were meant for each other. One's
a born liar, and the other's convicted." The comment resulted in
Martin's first departure, though officially he resigned (tearfully),
before Yankees President
Al Rosen could carry out Steinbrenner's
dictum to fire him.
During the 1981
World Series , Steinbrenner provided a colorful
backdrop to the Yankees' loss of the series. After a Game 3 loss in
Los Angeles , Steinbrenner called a press conference in his hotel
room, showing off his left hand in a cast and various other injuries
that he claimed were earned in a fight with two Dodgers fans in the
hotel elevator. Nobody came forward about the fight, leading to the
belief that he had made up the story of the fight in order to light a
fire under the Yankees. After the series, he issued a public apology
to the City of New York for his team's performance, while at the same
time assuring the fans that plans to put the team together for 1982
would begin immediately. He was criticized heartily by players and
press alike for doing so, as most people felt losing in the World
Series was not something requiring an apology.
FACIAL HAIR POLICY
Another notable Steinbrenner policy was his military-style grooming
code: All players, coaches, and male executives were forbidden to
display any facial hair other than mustaches (except for religious
reasons), and scalp hair could not be grown below the collar. (Long
sideburns and "mutton chops" were not specifically banned.) The policy
led to some unusual and comical incidents.
During the 1973 home opener against the
Cleveland Indians , as the
Yankees, caps removed, were standing at attention for the National
Anthem , Steinbrenner, in the owner's box next to the New York dugout
, noticed that several players' hair was too long for his standards.
As he did not yet know the players' names, he wrote down the uniform
numbers of the offenders (
Thurman Munson ,
Bobby Murcer , and Sparky
Lyle ), and had the list, along with the demand that their hair be
trimmed immediately, delivered to Houk. The order was reluctantly
relayed to the players.
In 1983, at Steinbrenner's behest, Yankee coach
Yogi Berra ordered
Goose Gossage to remove a beard he was growing. Gossage responded by
shaving away the beard but leaving a thick exaggerated mustache
extending down the upper lip to the jaw line, a look Gossage still
sports to this day.
The most infamous incident involving facial hair occurred in 1991.
Although Steinbrenner was suspended, the Yankee management ordered Don
Mattingly , who was then sporting a mullet -like hair style, to get a
hair cut. When Mattingly refused he was benched. This led to a huge
media frenzy with reporters and talk radio repeatedly mocking the
WPIX broadcasting crew of
Phil Rizzuto ,
Bobby Murcer , and
Tom Seaver lampooned the policy on a pregame show with Rizzuto playing
the role of a barber sent to enforce the rule. Mattingly would
eventually be reinstated. Coincidentally,
The Simpsons episode "Homer
at the Bat ", which was filmed earlier that year, included Mattingly
as a guest star who is suspended from play by
Mr. Burns for his
sideburns being too long, despite shaving the area of his head above
where side burns grow. In 1995, Mattingly again ran afoul of the
policy when he grew a goatee. Steinbrenner publicly criticized him for
it and Mattingly eventually trimmed it to a mustache. David Wells
occasionally wore a goatee and informed the media he would be willing
to pay any fine to do so.
Another notable incident involving Steinbrenner's strict grooming
policy involved the Yankees' acquisition of former Boston Red Sox
Johnny Damon for the 2006 season. Damon was well known
for his "Jesus-like" beard and shoulder-length hair during his time
with the Red Sox. In being asked about conforming to New York's strict
grooming code, Damon said, "Without a doubt,
George Steinbrenner has a
policy and I'm going to stick to it. Our policy with the Yankees is to
go out there and win and we're going to try and bring another
championship to them." Steinbrenner later noted, "He looks like a
Yankee, he sounds like a Yankee and he is a Yankee." Damon claimed he
was already planning on cutting his hair after the 2005 season.
CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS TO NIXON AND PARDON
The "convicted" part of Billy Martin's famous 1978 "liar and
convicted" comment referred to Steinbrenner's connection to Richard
Nixon ; in 1974, Steinbrenner pleaded guilty to making illegal
contributions to Nixon's re-election campaign, and to a felony charge
of obstruction of justice. He was personally fined $15,000 and his
company was assessed an additional $20,000. On November 27 of that
Bowie Kuhn suspended him for two years, but
later commuted it to fifteen months.
Ronald Reagan pardoned
Steinbrenner in January 1989, one of the final acts of his presidency.
DAVE WINFIELD CONTROVERSY
After the 1980 season , Steinbrenner made headlines by signing Dave
Winfield to a 10-year, $23 million contract, making Winfield
baseball's highest-paid player. In 1985, Steinbrenner derided
Winfield's poor performance in a key September series against the
Toronto Blue Jays :
Where is Reggie Jackson? We need a Mr. October or a Mr. September.
Winfield is Mr. May. My big guys are not coming through. The guys who
are supposed to carry the team are not carrying the team. They aren't
producing. If I don't get big performances out of Winfield, Griffey
and Baylor , we can't win. — Steinbrenner to New York Times
Murray Chass .
This criticism eventually became somewhat of an anachronism, as many
believed Steinbrenner made the statement following the 1981 World
Series . Part of that comment later led
Ken Griffey Jr. to list the
Yankees as one team for which he would never play.
On July 30, 1990, Steinbrenner was banned permanently from day-to-day
management (but not ownership) of the Yankees by
MLB Commissioner Fay
Vincent for paying a gambler named Howie Spira $40,000 to dig up
"dirt" on Winfield. Winfield had sued the Yankees for failing to
contribute $300,000 to his foundation, a guaranteed stipulation in his
contract. (Vincent originally proposed a 2-year suspension, but
Steinbrenner wanted it worded as an "agreement" rather than a
"suspension" to protect his relationship with the U.S. Olympic
Committee ; in exchange for that concession, Vincent made the
"agreement" permanent.) After considerable negotiation with Vincent's
Robert Nederlander , one of Steinbrenner's theatre partners
and a limited partner in the Yankees organization, became the managing
general partner. After Nederlander resigned in 1992, he was succeeded
Joe Molloy , George's son-in-law.
In 2001, Winfield cited the Steinbrenner animosity as a factor in his
decision to enter the Hall of Fame as a representative of his first
San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres , rather than the team that brought him
national recognition, the Yankees.
REINSTATEMENT AND CHAMPIONSHIP YEARS
Steinbrenner was reinstated in 1993. Unlike past years, he was
somewhat less inclined to interfere in the Yankees' baseball
operations. He left day-to-day baseball matters in the hands of Gene
Michael and other executives, and allowed promising farm-system
players such as
Bernie Williams to develop instead of trading them for
established players. Steinbrenner's having "got religion" (in the
New York Daily News
New York Daily News reporter Bill Madden) paid off. After
contending only briefly two years earlier, the 1993 Yankees were in
American League East race with the eventual champion Toronto Blue
Jays until September.
The 1994 Yankees were the
American League East leaders when a
players\' strike wiped out the rest of the season. Similarly, a
players\' strike had in that instance aided their 1981 playoff effort.
In 1995 the team returned to the playoffs for the first time since
1981, and in 1996, they beat the Atlanta Braves in six games to win
World Series . They went on to Series wins in 1998 , 1999 , and
2000 , and fell short of a fourth straight title in 2001 with a
seventh-game loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks .
The Yankees then made the playoffs every season through 2007. In 2003
they beat the
Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox to win the AL Pennant, but lost the World
Series to the Florida Marlins , denying Steinbrenner—who had won the
Stanley Cup in June of that year as part-owner of the New Jersey
Devils —the distinction of winning championships in two major sports
leagues in the same year.
While leading the eventual World Champion
Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox three games
to none (3-0) and 3 outs away from winning Game 4 , the Red Sox
stunned the Yankees and the baseball world by coming back to win Game
4 and then the next three games and sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals
World Series . In 2008, the Yankees ended their post-season run
with a third-place finish in the
American League East . However, in
2009, the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in the World
Series to win a 27th championship, seven of which had been won under
From 2006 to his death,
George Steinbrenner spent most of his time in
Tampa, Florida . After the 2007 season and the decision not to bring
Joe Torre , Steinbrenner was in poor enough health that
he officially retired and handed control of the Yankees to his sons
Hal Steinbrenner . Hank in particular shows similar traits to
After ceding day-to-day control of the team, Steinbrenner made few
public appearances and gave no interviews. Associates and family
members refused to comment on rampant speculation concerning his
declining health, specifically rumors that he was suffering from
Alzheimer\'s disease . A 2007 interviewer said: "He doesn’t look all
right. In fact, he looks dreadful. His body is bloated; his jawline
has slackened into a triple chin; his skin looks as if a dry-cleaner
bag has been stretched over it. Steinbrenner’s face, pale and
swollen, has a curiously undefined look. His features seem frozen in a
permanent rictus of careworn disbelief." The Yankees went to great
lengths to prevent anyone outside Steinbrenner's immediate family and
closest business associates from speaking to him, or even getting a
glimpse of him on the rare occasions when he made an appearance at
Yankee Stadium. Temporary curtains were set up to block views of his
entry and exit routes, and no one was allowed near the vehicles
transporting him. The press elevator carrying media members downstairs
to the interview areas were shut down before he arrived, and again
toward the end of the game while he departed.
Steinbrenner made a rare appearance in the Bronx on the field for the
79th All-Star Game on July 15, 2008. Wearing dark glasses, he walked
slowly into the stadium's media entrance with the aid of several
companions, leaning upon one of them for support. He later was driven
out on to the field along with his son Hal at the end of the lengthy
pre-game ceremony in which the All-Stars were introduced at their
fielding positions along with 49 of the 63 living Hall of Famers.
In subsequent occasional visits to spring training, regular-season
games, and other outings, he used a wheelchair.
On April 13, 2010,
Derek Jeter and
Joe Girardi privately presented
the first 2009
World Series Championship ring to Steinbrenner in his
stadium suite. He was "almost speechless", according to reports.
George Steinbrenner's estimated net worth was $1.15 billion in 2009
according to the
Forbes 400 List in
Forbes magazine issued in
George Steinbrenner was the first owner of a baseball team to sell
cable TV rights (to MSG Network ).
If one adds the $1.2 billion valuation of the 36% Yankees owned YES
Network to the team revenue (the other 64% is owned by Goldman Sachs
and the former
New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets owner which is also a minority owner of
the ballclub), they far surpass even the
Dallas Cowboys in total
Wikinews has related news: GEORGE STEINBRENNER DIES AT 80 YEARS
Bob Sheppard memorialized on the facade of
On July 13, 2010, the morning of the 2010 Major League Baseball
All-Star Game ,
George Steinbrenner died of a heart attack at St.
Joseph's Hospital in
Tampa, Florida . His death came nine days after
his 80th birthday, two days after the death of longtime Yankee Stadium
public address announcer
Bob Sheppard , and eight days before that of
former Yankee manager
Ralph Houk . On July 14, the Yankees announced
that players and coaches would wear a Steinbrenner commemorative patch
on the left breast of their home and road uniforms, and a Bob Sheppard
commemorative patch on the left arm.
The Steinbrenner family added a monument to Monument Park on
September 20, 2010 to honor Steinbrenner. He is buried at Trinity
Memorial Gardens in
Trinity, Florida .
OFF THE FIELD
In addition to being an intense boss to his on-field employees,
Steinbrenner was also known for pressuring and changing off-field
employees (including various publicity directors), sometimes chewing
them out in public. Longtime Cardinals announcer
Jack Buck once said
that he had seen Steinbrenner's yacht and that, "It was a beautiful
thing to observe, with all 36 oars working in unison." Former
Hank Greenwald , who called Yankee games on WABC radio
for two years, once said he knew when Steinbrenner was in town by how
tense the office staff was.
Steinbrenner usually kept his complaints about the team broadcasters
he approved of (except for the
YES Network crew, who have generally
not been his direct employees) out of the newspapers. However, he was
known to be upset with the sometimes blunt commentary of former
Jim Kaat and former analyst
Tony Kubek .
World Series was called "Steinbrenner's nightmare", because
it was a showdown between two of the Yankees' biggest rivals, their
cross-town rival the
New York Mets
New York Mets and their most hated rival , the
Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox . As a result, Steinbrenner wrote articles in the New
York Post on the World Series. The Mets won that World Series, which
relieved many Yankee fans.
Steinbrenner had a reputation as a domineering boss. Only three
Yankee employees were continuously employed from the start of
Steinbrenner's ownership in 1973 until the end of his tenure. One of
those is long time Head Athletic Trainer
Gene Monahan , who in 2010
missed his first spring training in 48 years after being diagnosed
Harvey Greene, the Yankees' Director of Media Relations from
1986–1989, talked about the experience of working under
Steinbrenner: "When the team was on the road, you’d come back to
your hotel late at night, and if your phone light was on, you knew
that either there had been a death in the family or George was looking
for you. After a while, you started to hope that there had been a
death in the family."
George Steinbrenner was involved with thoroughbred horse racing from
the early 1970s. He owned Kinsman Stud Farm in
Ocala, Florida and
raced under the name
Kinsman Stable .
Steinbrenner gave to many charitable causes. In 1982, George, "while
attending the funeral of a police officer killed in the line of duty,
was deeply moved by the ceremony in which the American flag was folded
military-style and presented to the officer's surviving spouse and
young children". "He was concerned about their education and who would
help with the cost, so he established the Silver Shield Foundation ,"
said Foundation's Co-Founder James E. Fuchs, a close friend of Mr.
Steinbrenner's. He often donated to the families of fallen police
officers in the Tampa Police Department and the New York City Police
Department in addition to college scholarships for many poor children.
1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics in
Barcelona, Spain , Steinbrenner
comforted United States Olympic Swimming medalist
Ron Karnaugh through
his father's death and maintained a relationship with him until his
death. At his residence in Tampa, Steinbrenner supported numerous
individuals and charities including the Boys and Girls Club as well as
Salvation Army .
Mel Stottlemyre recalled that during his myeloma
cancer treatment at
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital he had mentioned
in passing to Steinbrenner how he regretted not being able to watch
Yankee games from his room. Stottlemyre heard that Steinbrenner went
all the way to Mayor
Rudy Giuliani to ensure he was able to watch the
broadcasts from his room. Steinbrenner had also donated $1 million to
St. Joseph's Children's Hospital where a wing was named in his honor.
IN THE MEDIA
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Despite Steinbrenner's controversial status he poked fun at himself
in the media. His frequent firings and rehirings of manager Billy
Martin were lampooned in a '70s
Miller Lite beer commercial in which
Steinbrenner tells Martin "You're fired!" to which Martin replies "Oh,
no, not again!" After one of Martin's real-life rehirings, the
commercial was resurrected, only with Steinbrenner's line redubbed to
say "You're hired!" The two commercials would sometimes alternate
depending on Martin's status with the team.
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live on October 20, 1990 at the same time
his former outfielder and Yankee manager,
Lou Piniella , led the
Cincinnati Reds to a World Championship. In the opening sketch, he
dreamt of a Yankees team managed, coached, and entirely played by
himself. In other sketches, he chews out the SNL "writing staff"
Al Franken ) for featuring him in a mock Slim Fast
commercial with other ruthless leaders such as
Saddam Hussein and Idi
Amin and plays a folksy convenience store manager whose business ethic
is virtually the complete opposite of that of the real Steinbrenner.
The Simpsons episode "
Homer at the Bat ",
Mr. Burns fires Don
Mattingly for refusing to shave sideburns only Burns could see. It is
often assumed that this was a parody of an argument Steinbrenner and
Mattingly had in real life with regards to Mattingly's hair length.
However, the episode was actually recorded a year before the
suspension occurred, and was nothing more than a coincidence. As
Mattingly walks off the baseball field, he states, "I still like him
better than Steinbrenner."
He appeared as himself in the
Albert Brooks comedy The Scout . In
1991, he played himself in an episode on
Good Sports , with
Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O\'Neal .
In the 1994 computer game
Superhero League of Hoboken , one of the
schemes of the primary antagonist, Dr.
Entropy , is to resurrect
George Steinbrenner to bring chaos to the world and rule together. The
superheroes foil his plan by resurrecting Billy Martin.
After a public chastising of Yankees shortstop
Derek Jeter for
"partying too much", the two appeared in a Visa commercial
club-hopping. A 2004 Visa commercial depicted Steinbrenner in the
trainer's room at Yankee Stadium, suffering from an arm injury, unable
to sign any checks, including that of his then-current manager Joe
Torre , who spends most of the commercial treating Steinbrenner as if
he were an important player.
George Will once described Steinbrenner as an "error machine" and a
Steinbrenner also was a fan of professional wrestling . He wrote the
foreword of the 2005 Dusty Rhodes autobiography and was a regular at
old Tampa Armory cards in the 1970s and 1980s. In March 1989, he
appeared in the front row of the WWF\'s Saturday Night\'s Main Event
broadcast, even interacting with manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan at
one point (Heenan remarked about the guy he managed in the ring at the
time to Steinbrenner "I've got a ring full of Winfield"). In December
1990, Steinbrenner made another appearance on WWF TV in the front row
Superstars of Wrestling TV taping held in Tampa's SunDome .
Once again he interacted with Heenan and the wrestler he was managing
at the time
Curt Hennig . At WWF
WrestleMania 7 , Steinbrenner, WWF
Vince McMahon , and NFL announcer
Paul Maguire filmed a skit
with the trio debating instant replay. He was also present in the
front row of an edition of
WCW Monday Nitro
WCW Monday Nitro in 1996, and in the front
row of another edition as well early 1998, when the event took place
At the funeral of his long-time friend
Otto Graham in December 2003,
Steinbrenner fainted, leading to extensive media speculation that he
was in ill health.
New York Daily News
New York Daily News cartoonist
Bill Gallo often cited Steinbrenner's
German heritage by drawing him in a Prussian military uniform,
complete with spiked helmet, gold epaulettes and medals, calling him
"General von Steingrabber".
ESPN 's miniseries
The Bronx is Burning
The Bronx is Burning , he is portrayed by
Oliver Platt .
George Steinbrenner appeared as a character in the situation comedy
Seinfeld , when
George Costanza worked for the Yankees for several
seasons. Mitch Mitchell and Lee Bear portrayed the character, and
Larry David provided voice-over performances whenever the character
spoke. Steinbrenner's full face was never shown , and the character
was always viewed from the back in scenes set in his office at Yankee
Stadium . The character appeared in the following episodes: "The
Opposite ", "
The Secretary ", "The Race ", "
The Jimmy ", "The Wink ",
The Hot Tub ", "The Caddy ", "
The Calzone ", "The Bottle Deposit ",
The Nap ", "The Millennium ", "
The Muffin Tops ", and "The Finale ".
The fictional Steinbrenner talked nonstop, regardless of whether
anyone was listening, and sometimes referred to himself as "Big
Stein". The team owner was known for eccentric decisions, such as
cotton jerseys, threatening to move the team to New Jersey "just to
upset people", scalping his owner's box tickets, wearing
Lou Gehrig 's
uniform pants (and panicking about "that nerve disease " being
contagious), trading several players to
Frank Costanza 's dismay, and
canceling a meeting because he wanted
George Costanza to get him an
eggplant calzone . In "The Wink", the Steinbrenner character mentions
all of the people he fired, saying
Billy Martin four times, and
mentions then-current manager
Buck Showalter , but then quickly swears
Costanza to silence. Though intended as a joke, the comment proved
prophetic: A few weeks after the episode aired, Steinbrenner replaced
Showalter as manager with
Joe Torre .
Steinbrenner's involvement with
Seinfeld began when he refused a
request to make a cameo appearance and permit a Yankees pennant to
appear; the show nonetheless used the pennant. A year later,
Steinbrenner was asked to permit a Yankees uniform to appear on the
sixth-season "The Chaperone ". The owner was still angry about the
unauthorized pennant, and knew so little about the show that after
reading the script he believed
George Costanza had been named after
him as an insult. He refused to permit the uniform's use unless the
character was renamed. After watching the show and enjoying both it
and the Costanza character, however, Steinbrenner approved the
uniform, and later maintained that he was a fan of the show and that
"Costanza is always welcome back." He filmed three scenes for the
Seinfeld season 7 finale, "
The Invitations ", but they were edited out
when the time of the original episode ran longer than the allowed
time. They are on the
Seinfeld Season 7 DVD Disc 4.
Seinfeld said after Steinbrenner's death: “Who else could be
a memorable character on a television show without actually appearing
on the show? You felt George even though he wasn’t there. That’s
how huge a force of personality he was."
AWARDS AND HONORS
Steinbrenner won seven
World Series titles as owner of the Yankees
(1977, 1978, 1996, 1998-2000, 2009)
Steinbrenner was awarded
The Flying Wedge Award , one of the National
Collegiate Athletic Association ’s (NCAA) highest honors.
In 1992, Steinbrenner was presented with Tampa's most prestigious
civic service award, the Tampa Metro Civitan Club's Outstanding
Citizen of the Year Award.
In 2000, Steinbrenner was honored as Grand Marshal at the
German-American Steuben Parade on
Fifth Avenue in New York City. At
German-American event in the country, he was greeted by
tens of thousands who celebrated him as an outstanding American of
Steinbrenner Band Hall at the
University of Florida
University of Florida was made
possible by a gift from George and Joan Steinbrenner in 2002. The
facility was completed in 2008 and serves as The Pride of the Sunshine
's rehearsal hall and houses offices, instrument storage, the band
library and an instrument issue room.
A high school in
Lutz, Florida , which opened for about 1600 students
in August 2009, is named
George Steinbrenner High School .
Steinbrenner was a generous contributor to the Tampa Bay area.
Legends Field, the Yankees' Spring Training facility in Tampa, was
George M. Steinbrenner Field in March 2008 in his honor by his
two sons, with the blessing of the Hillsborough County Commission and
the Tampa City Council. The entrance to the new Bryson Field at
Boshamer Stadium at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
has also been named for Steinbrenner and his family. A life-size
bronze statue of Steinbrenner was placed in front of the stadium in
New York Yankees
New York Yankees owners and executives
* Biography portal
* Baseball portal
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Sam Sheppard lived.
* ^ "MIT gets $1M from Steinbrenner Foundation", New England Sun
Journal , Wednesday, October 15, 2008
* ^ "Steinbrenner Foundation pledges $1 million gift to MIT
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Franz Lidz , Sports Illustrated: "Before the Zoo There Was a
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* ^ 2002-03 Round 4/Game 7/CBC: Stanley Cup Presentation on YouTube
Gary Bettman said when he presented the Stanley Cup
to the Devils: "The owners, Ray Chambers, Lewis Katz, Peter Simon,
George Steinbrenner are committed to this team and to New Jersey."
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NBCSports.com. October 14, 2007.
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Franz Lidz , 08.02.07 - Conde Nast
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Xulon Press .
* ^ Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award Archived April 24, 2011,
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