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Sports Then and Now

George Steinbrenner Changed The Role Of Sports Owners 1

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. Read the rest of this entry →

George Steinbrenner Dead at Age 80 1

Posted on July 13, 2010 by Don Spieles

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him;
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones.
And so it is with…

George Steinbrenner passed away on Tuesday morning in Tampa, Florida, after suffering a massive heart attack, ESPN is reporting. The bombastic and often boorish owner of the New York Yankees had recently turned the reins of the franchise over to his sons and had been in failing health the last few years, preventing him from making more than a few appearances at Yankee Stadium.

Steinbrenner passes away with the true love and admiration of the Yankee fan base. It must be said, in all fairness, that George Steinbrenner did everything within his power to make the Yankees winners during his tenure. No other owner in any sport has exhibited the fervor, an almost psychotic obsession with excellence, much less delivered on the premise. He took perhaps the most famous franchise in sports history and actually made it exponentially bigger and better. His $10 million investment in 1973 is now worth over $1.3 billion!

2 May 1997: New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner watches pensively at the 123rd Kentucky Derky at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

"The Boss", circa 1997.

As with so many great leaders of men, Steinbrenner’s success was not without its negative side. When you mention “The New York Yankees”, people think domination, 27 World Series titles, dynasties, and pinstripes. On the other hand, when you say “George Steinbrenner”, most people conjure up very different images. Public rants and fights with managers. Involvement with shady business characters. There were suspensions by the league and, most prevalent in the memories of baseball fans, it was George Steinbrenner who ushered in free agency, turning baseball into something very different than it had been up to that point. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

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