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There won't be a new Boss the same as the old Boss

The Boss 

Yesterday ended an era of baseball that is about all I have ever known.  Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner, passed away at age 80.  The Boss was one of a kind.

I grew up a Yankee fan.  The first year I remember was 1972.  The Yankees were mediocre, with a .500 record.  They had a few good players, but were far behind the better teams, including the Red Sox.  In 1973, George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees from CBS for $10M.  Baseball will never be the same again.

Steinbrenner was a fantastic businessman, finding ways to generate revenue and spending more and more money on the team.  It took a few years to win a World Series, but there was a revolving door of managers (20 managers in 23 years including Billy Martin 5 times.  This instability matched Steinbrenner's bluster and bravado.

Steinbrenner made baseball into a big business as other teams tried to keep up with the Yankees.  He wasn't a great baseball man, but he had huge passion for baseball.  He loved the game and he loved to win.  And, after his second suspension as an owner, he stayed more in the background and let his baseball team won things.  That has led to a fantastic Yankee era which continues today.

Steinbrenner made baseball interesting and kept the Yankees in the headlines.  Red Sox fans should appreciate Steinbrenner as he epitomized what they hated about the Yankees.  He was the Evil Empire.  Without Steinbrenner, the modern anti-Yankee sentiment wouldn't have run as deep.  And, the Yankee success challenged the Red Sox to step up their game, too.

Most importantly, Steinbrenner's philanthropy has been highlighted with his passing.  That should be a key part of his legacy.  On Boston sports talk radio today, one of the hosts said that for every charitable event, even the Red Sox own Jimmy Fund in Boston, Steinbrenner showed up with the biggest check.  Inside his bluster and bravado was a huge, compassionate heart. 

He will be missed.


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