Tuesday, July 13, 2010

George Steinbrenner dies at age 80

This morning at 6:30am, New York Yankees majority owner George Steinbrenner died of a massive heart attack. Steinbrenner's health had been declining in the past couple years. He was one of the most iconic and influential figures in the history of American sports. In 1973 he bought the Yankees for $8.7 million and turned them into the third most valuable sports franchise in the world, with an estimated value of $1.6 billion. He turned around a team that had fallen from its status as world champions and brought them back to relevance. He won 16 division titles, 11 AL pennants, and 7 World Series as an owner. He changed the way teams were build and run not just in baseball, but across the board. His fiery and confrontational attitude was notorious. That, combined with his hands on methods of running his organization, got him into frequent arguments with his rotating cast of managers and the media. There was another side to Steinbrenner though. He was known for taking care of his employees and their families, even after they parted ways. He would often keep staff members on the payroll as "scouts", paying them well past their tenure so that they could support their families or put their child through college. He is a legend of the game, and his legacy will never be matched. Rest in peace, George.

"Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next" - George Steinbrenner (1930-2010)

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