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Sports Then and Now

George Steinbrenner Changed The Role Of Sports Owners

Posted on July 22, 2010 by Kevin Freiheit

George Steinbrenner changed the role of ownership across all sports.

As a Boston Red Sox fan, I have never been fond of the New York Yankees Organization. Growing up in Buffalo, NY, I was surrounded by Yankees fans all the time.

Before I even began to get interested in baseball, my good friend, Frank Bundy, brain washed me into becoming a Sox fan.

I’ve always been sick of the Yankees winning.

After all, the Yankees 2010 payroll is over $206 million, so shouldn’t they be winning the World Series every year? That’s over $40 million more than any other team.

But when I heard the news that George Steinbrenner passed away, being a Red Sox fan didn’t matter.

It was immediately a sad day for baseball fans and beyond. What George Steinbrenner had accomplished and done within the Yankees organization can only be looked at with appreciation and respect.

The death of Steinbrenner is a huge loss, not only for Major League Baseball, but for all of sports. Steinbrenner built the Yankees empire, and was willing to win, no matter what the cost.

In his 37 years as owner, Steinbrenner led the Yankees to seven World Series Championships, 11 American League Pennants, and 16 Division Titles.

“The passing of George Steinbrenner marks the end of an era in New York City baseball history,” rival Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz said on Fanhouse. “George was a larger-than-life figure and a force in the industry.”

Especially after the death of Bob Sheppard a couple of days earlier, this is an extremely sad week for baseball. Not many people may have had a larger impact than Steinbrenner did with the Yankees. He revolutionized all of sports with his determination to win.

Even Fenway Park paid tribute to "The Boss."

“I remember my first year,” said Derek Jeter. “I was on third base and got doubled off on a line drive in the infield and we won the game. After the game he was yelling at me for, ‘Don’t ever get doubled off again.’ We won the game, but he expected perfection, and that rubbed off. And whether it was the players, the front office, the people working at the stadium, didn’t make a difference. He expected perfection.”

When asked for his formula for success Steinbrenner stated, “Work as hard as you ask others to. Strive for what you believe is right, no matter the odds. Learn that mistakes can be the best teacher.”

The Evil Empire’s leader no longer remains, but I am still saddened by the loss of Steinbrenner.

As much as I hate the Yankees, I do not wish death upon anyone and I can only hope that others feel the same way.

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