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Thoughts on a Baseball Icon: George Steinbrenner

A look back at the life of George Steinbrenner and some thoughts around the world of sports.

The sports world was rocked yesterday morning as the news of the passing of New York Yankees long time owner George Steinbrenner hit the air ways.

Baseball lost an icon when Steinbrenner suffered a massive heart attack at his Tampa, Florida home on Tuesday morning. Yankees fans all across the country talked about their memories of the long time team owner who brought them seven World Championships.

Steinbrenner, known across the sports world as, The Boss, is the greatest owner in sports history. Never before have we seen an owner mean so much to his team and its sport. I’m not sure we ever will see another quite like Mr. Steinbrenner.

ESPN and every other sports talk show I heard yesterday was all about George Steinbrenner. That includes The Nosebleeds with myself and Travis Williams. Travis and I were joined by Lisa Latino, The Yankee Princess, as we talked about our memories of The Boss. Click here to listen to our thoughts.

George Steinbrenner led an incredible life. One full of pursuit of perfection. Filled with hard work, The Boss never settled for less. You can read all about his life in the latest book about him, Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball. You can purchase the book by finding it on the right side of this website.

Double G Sports also reached out to fellow baseball writers, asking for their reactions or thoughts on the passing of a great baseball icon.

Many Yankees fans like Andrew Corselli from Yanks Go Yard were thankful for what George meant to the Yankees.

“RIP Mr. Steinbrenner, thanks for the five World Series titles and seven pennants (in my lifetime). Yankee fans will never forget all you’ve done for the organization,” Andrew said.

Corselli also added a little joke that I have heard a few times today. “Somewhere in heaven Billy Martin just got fired.” Of course this is referring to the constant fued between Steinbrenner and Martin which resulted in mutliple firings.

I keep telling everyone that you can love the guy, you can hate the guy, but no matter what, you have to respect what he did for the Yankees and the sport of baseball.

Kate Conroy of Lady Loves Pinstripes says, “Being able to make fun of yourself is what defines a great man, this makes a man authentic and enables people to relate. This was signature of the Boss, Mr. George Steinbrenner.”

Another Yankees blogger, Lenny Neslin who runs lenNY’s Yankees, remembers Steinbrenner as an intriguing man.

“From his appearances on Seinfeld to his picture in the tabloids, George Steinbrenner was the greatest owner in sports history and a baseball icon. Seen by most as a grumpy, crazy old man, he was just doing his job and wanted to be feared. He was really an extremely generous man.”

Most know him for his work with the New York Yankees. What many don’t know is how much charitable work Steinbrenner actually did.

Peter Schiller of Baseball Relfections talked a little bit about that. “As a Red Sox fan I was glad to hear how charitable Mr. Steinbrenner was as I found out that he regularly made HUGE donations during the annual WEEI & NESN Jimmy Fund Telethons. That provided me with a renewed respect for George Steinbrenner, the man as compared to what I thought of George Steinbrenner, the owner of the Yankees.”

A true sign that George Steinbrenner was so huge for baseball is when you hear some comments from fans of other teams. The respect they show for this man is remarkable.

Here are some comments about George Steinbrenner:

“I didn’t give much thought to George Steinbrenner, but I always wished he owned the Astros.”  ~ James, Astros County.

“George was an incredibly complex, polarizing, and fascinating person to watch, cheer, and jeer through the years. He returned glory to his franchise and will be sorely missed by many, but it is comforting to know he lived to see “The House that George Steinbrenner Built” finally completed,” said Mat Germain of Jays Journal.

Bill Ivie of i70baseball summed up The Boss by saying, “George Steinbrenner was a hard nosed, egotistical man that ran all over Major League Baseball for years.  He spat in the face of salary cap, luxury taxes, and pleas of smaller clubs to spend less money.  He did everything humanly possible to win and did not concern himself with the effect he may have on his competition.  And baseball is better for it.”

Daniel Shoptaw from C70 At The Bat added, “Being a fan in flyover country and a follower of a National League team, I only saw George Steinbrenner from afar. I never really thought he was bad for baseball, though sometimes I wasn’t sure he was good for the Yankees. However, his passion and dedication to winning was never questioned. We’ll likely never see his kind again.”

Even a few writers of the cross town New York Mets had some respectful things to say about the Yankees late owner.

“I am a Mets fan but I have always had respect for the Yankees organization. George Steinbrenner is the main reason why. There is not a sports fan out there who wouldn’t want an owner to invest the money back into the team and have an appreciation for the fans. George Steinbrenner did just that,” said Kerel Cooper of On The Black.

Michael Ganci from The Daily Stache says, “Even though I have spent most of my years as a fan hating the Yankees, George brought a commitment to winning that I have never seen before. No matter how much it takes, or how many mistakes happened, George wanted to win, and he’s a major reason why the franchise has been so successful.”

Possibly one of the most interesting responses I got back from my fellow writers was the one from Fantasy Girl, Andrea LaMont. This Boston Red Sox fan had an interesting take on her rival owner.

Andrea said:

“It is quite sad when your villain dies. The death of George Steinbrenner has shown me how much we actually rely on the villain in our lives.

As a Red Sox fan, we don’t spend much time giving thanks to the evil empire. But who would the Red Sox be without them? Who would I be?

Above all, where would the game of baseball be?

Thank you George Steinbrenner for helping me find my passion in life, and thank you for giving baseball fans everywhere the best rivalry in sports history. Rest in Peace”

That truly explains what The Boss did for the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry. Would us fans have this much fun bashing each other when these two teams get together if Steinbrenner was not around? Doubt it.
George Steinbrenner had been suspended from MLB a few times throughout his career as Yankees owner. Is that enough to keep him out of the Hall of Fame? If you answer yes to that, I think you are crazy.

A man that has meant so much to baseball should not be kept from receiving the greatest honor in his sport. A plaque in Yankee Stadium is sure to go up in honor of the greatest owner in sports history but the ultimate plaque this man should have is one in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Aaron Somers from Backyard Baseball agrees, “George Steinbrenner was a Yankee icon. His memory will live with all Yankee and all baseball fans forever. A true legend, he’ll live on with a statue in Monument Park and an eventual plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame.”

George Steinbrenner is just as much baseball as Babe Ruth is baseball. George Steinbrenner, 1930 – 2010. He will be missed!

Once a Yankee, Always a Yankee!

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