George Steinbrenner, the iconic owner of the New York Yankees who was nicknamed “The Boss,” died on Tuesday, July 13, 2010. He was as controversial as he was successful. Even his purchase of the franchise was debatable. He bought the franchise back in 1973 for about 8.7 million dollars. Today the franchise is worth well over a billion dollars. Interestingly, he put in less than two hundred thousand dollars of his own money, and the other investors put in the rest. Incredibly, Steinbrenner became the principal owner and the major investors took a back seat. Some would argue that this demonstrates that he was a brilliant businessman, while other would say this is just another sweat heart deal which only insiders like Steinbrenner receive.
Steinbrenner’s reign was indeed controversial. In 1974, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspended Steinbrenner for two years, but the suspension was later reduced to nine months. Steinbrenner pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions to the late Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign.
In July 1990, The Boss was banned from baseball for life. He was banned by Commissioner Fay Vincent for paying $40,000 to a gambler named Howie in return for damaging information about former Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield. The ban was lifted by Commissioner Vincent in March 1993, and Steinbrenner resumed his role as general partner.
After buying the franchise, Steinbrenner turned the Yankees into World Series champions in just five years. The Boss built a modern dynasty by signing numerous free agents while developing his own players. Under Steinbrenner, the Yankees won 11 American League pennants, and seven World Series Championships. One of his best teams is known as the “Bronx Zoo” era. From 1977 to 1981 this team appeared in the World Series three times and won twice. The back-to-back World Series victories over the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977 and 1978 was the first Yankees consecutive titles since 1961 and 1962. In 1981, the Yankees also opposed the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. This time they lost and The Boss found this unacceptable. Steinbrenner issued a public apology to the city of New York for the defeat.
Loved by Some
Yankee captain Derek Jeter said he as a father figure to everyone in the organization because he took care of his players. He went out of his way to take care of anyone who played for him. Chicago Cubs Manager also said he was a father figure.
Source: Bryon Hoch, Steinbrenner, iconic Yankees owner dies, www.chicago.cubs.mlb.com.