Early this morning Yankees principal owner George M. Steinbrenner III passed away after suffering a massive heart attack Monday night. He was 80 years old.
“The Boss” led a group of investors that purchased the Yankees for about $9 million in January of 1973. According to Buster Olney, the amount that Steinbrenner paid for the team at the time, less than $200,000, would get you four season tickets behind home plate at new Yankee Stadium in this day and age. Talk about building an empire, the team is now worth over a billion dollars.
A statement from the Steinbrenner family:
It is with profound sadness that the family of George M. Steinbrenner III announces his passing. He was an incredible and charitable man. First and foremost he was devoted to his entire family — his beloved wife, Joan; his sisters, Susan Norpell and Judy Kamm; his children, Hank, Jennifer, Jessica and Hal; and all of his grandchildren. 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.
Since Mr. Steinbrenner took control, the Yanks have won seven World Series titles and 11 American League pennants. As much as he was known for winning, he was also known for his temper. GMS canned 12 managers from 1974 through 1996. Plus, he was suspended twice by MLB; once for paying gambler Howie Spira $40,000 to get dirt on Dave Winfield in 1990.
Love him or hate him you can’t deny the impact he’s had on the game of baseball.
Sox president Larry Lucchino:
(Steinbrenner is) one of the most important people in the history of the game.
Yankee legend Yogi Berra:
This is a very sad day. George was the Boss, make no mistake. He built the Yankees into champions, something nobody can ever deny…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.
Breathing first, winning second.
I will never have a heart attack. I give them.
I’m really 95 percent Mr. Rogers and only five percent Oscar the Grouch.
Giants president John Mara:
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.
Somewhere in heaven Billy Martin just got fired. RIP Mr. Steinbrenner, Yankee fans will never forget the great things you have done for the team. There will NEVER be another owner in sports quite like you. We’ll all miss you dearly.