A Tribute To The Best Owner In Baseball
George M. Steinbrenner III
7-World Titles, 11-Pennants, 14-Divisional Titles
One of the best things about owning and running this website is, I get to express my feelings to the world as a FAN, and not a journalist. Because I can come out and say that right off the bat, I have the unique opportunity to "write from the heart" and say exactly what I feel. Over the years, I always have wanted to "tell the world" how much a diehard Yankee fan appreciates having Mr.George Steinbrenner run baseball's most storied franchise. This website now gives me the opportunity to do that, and the praise you are about to read here has been well-earned by a man who has always tried to put a winner on the field for fans like myself. Since day one, George Steinbrenner has put his heart and soul into this team, and the results over the last 33 years are a testament to how the hard work has paid off.
When you look at the Yankees under Mr. Steinbrenner's stewardship, the success is staggering. In his tenure with the "Bronx Bombers", his teams have won 6 world championships, 10 American League pennants, and 13 (8-straight) Eastern Divisional titles. As a Yankee fan since 1967, all I can say to Mr. Steinbrenner is, "thank you". Things have certainly changed since the late 60's and early 70's in Yankee Land and the "Boss" is the main reason for that change.
For fans who were not around in 1973, the Yankee franchise was quite different than it is today. In 1972 and 1973, the Yankees finished in fourth place in the Eastern Division. The franchise was in decay and attendance was down -- way down. In 1972, the New York Yankees only drew 966,328 fans into Yankee Stadium. People had no interest in this once storied franchise, and the teams in those years were as lackluster as the fan's interest. The owner of the Yankees at that time was CBS and they couldn't wait to dump the Yankees on someone. Luckily for us fans, the man CBS "dumped" the Yankees on was Mr. Steinbrenner.
When Steinbrenner took over the Yankees, he had a plan to turn the team around. With some bold moves and using the new free agency rule to his advantage, Mr. Steinbrenner returned the Yankees to glory in only three years, as the 1976 Yankees won the American League Pennant for the first time in 12 years. Attendance soared in 1976 to 2,012,434. It marked the first time the Yankees hit 2-million in attendance since 1950. 1976 started the Yankees back on their winning ways as they captured the World Championship in 1977 and 1978. The Yankees were back on top and many critics did not like this. Soon, Mr. Steinbrenner was ripped in the press for being a "hands on" owner.
The First Payoff Of The Steinbrenner Era. Chris Chambliss Wins The 1976 Pennant For The Yanks
Well, the tag of "hands on" owner was just fine with me. You see, once Mr. Steinbrenner started running the show, the Yankees suddenly mattered again. It all started on New Year's Eve, 1974. That day, the Yankees announced the signing of "Catfish" Hunter. That move showed the baseball world that the new Yankee owner was going to be a force. It was an accurate indicator of things to come. Over the years, this owner has given us, Reggie Jackson, Rich Gossage, Dave Winfield, Tommy John, Wade Boggs, David Cone, Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, Hideki Matsui, Randy Johnson, Gary Sheffield, and Alex Rodriguez. Because he invests his money back into his team, he allowed the team to keep stars like Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, and Mariano Rivera. As a full-season ticket holder and Yankee fanatic, I can't ask for anything more than that.
The Owner Has Always Given Us The Stars
The "hands on" owner is doing a fine job making the turnstiles spin at Yankee Stadium too. In 2005, the New York Yankees drew a staggering 4, 090,692 fans to Yankee Stadium.. It marked the first time the Yankees hit the 4-million mark in attendance and it was the 7th straight time the team has drawn over 3-million fans to the "House-That-Ruth-Built. Mr. Steinbrenner has made the Yankees and going to Yankee Stadium an event. It's a far cry from 1973 when Mr. Steinbrenner actually had to pay to put the Yankees on WMCA radio.
Has he made some mistakes? You bet. But tell me of one owner in any business who hasn't made mistakes? This man has been on the "hot-seat" for 33 years and has performed magnificently. He took control of the Yankees in 1973 when he purchased the team for $8.7-million. The team's current value in nearing $1-billion. To his critics out there, I guess the man knows what he's doing.
Yes, I've also heard the stories about how hard Mr. Steinbrenner is to work for. But did you ever wonder who is telling these stories? During the 1997 playoffs at Yankee Stadium, I sat near a woman who worked in the Yankee office. All this person was doing for the first few innings of the game was complain about her job to her friend. She said that Steinbrenner was "tough to work for". She was mad because Steinbrenner had screamed at an employee because he didn't have a tie and dress pants on. From what I heard, the men who work in the ticket office have to wear dress paints and ties. When you take the job, you are told these are the rules. This particular person seemed to keep tabs on the boss and figured Steinbrenner was out of town so it was "safe" to break the rules and wear jeans and a sweat shirt. Steinbrenner wasn't out of town, and when he went to Yankee Stadium that day, he found this ticket person sloppily dressed. "Oh, imagine that", this woman said. "He was supposed to be out of town, was he checking up on us?" When I heard that story, I almost turned to her to tell her what I thought. I decided not to because some people can't be reasoned with. Here was this woman who thought the owner had no right to check things out. Instead of being outraged at Mr. Steinbrenner, she should have been outraged at her sneaky co-worker who, instead of doing his job, was preoccupied on "where the boss was".
There is more to this man than just baseball. Over the years, the Yankee owner has donated millions to various charities throughout the world. He has devoted time to the U.S. Olympic Committee, been selected as "Outstanding New Yorker", and was voted the "Most Powerful Man in Sports" by the Sporting News in 2002. Anytime disaster strikes, this man steps up and helps out.
To me, the most enduring quality Mr. Steinnbernner has, is his constant passion for winning. At various times over the years, we have seen him get upset with losses and lack of good play. He doesn't hide his emotions, and as a paying customer, I'm thrilled that the owner I'm paying my money to and investing my time in, wants his team to win as bad as I do. I can't believe it's been 33 years since he took over. What a ride it has been, and I hope it continues for years to come with Mr. Steinbrenner leading the charge.
Summary Of New York Yankee Ownership Over The Years
January 9, 1903 - Frank Ferrell and Bill Devery purchase the Baltimore franchise for $18,000 and move the team to New York.
January 11, 1915 - Col. Jacob Ruppert and Col. Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston buys the Yankees for $460,000.00
May 21, 1922 - Ruppert buys Huston's out for $1.5 million
January 13, 1939 - Ruppert dies and his estate owns the Yankees
January 25, 1945 - Dan Topping, Del Webb and Larry MacPhail buys the Yankees from Ruppert's estate for $2.8-million
November 2, 1964 - CBS purchases 80-percent of the Yankees for $11.2 million and later on buys the other 20 percent
January 3, 1973 - Mr. George Steinbrenner III heads a partnership the buys the Yankees from CBS
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