Praise him or curse him, George Steinbrenner accomplished what he set out to do when he purchased the New York Yankees the year I was born. His fiery, hands on approach helped lead the Bombers to 11 pennants and 7 World Championships during his tenure. He holds the record for the most years as owner of a franchise. Early this morning, The Boss succumbed to a massive heart attack.
Mr. Steinbrenner was, for better or worse, responsible for turning the team around after it was struggling under the ownership of CBS. During his 37 year ownership, it has been well publicized about the revolving door of managers. He changed 20 times in his first 23 years including the five time dismissings of Billy Martin.
Also memorable is the grooming policy for the team. Hair length and facial hair were closely monitored. Goose Gossage’s beard which turned into his trademark thick moustache; Don Mattingly’s mullet (which was lampooned on the classic Simpsons’ episode, “Homer at the Bat”). When Johnny Damon was acquired from the Red Sox, I often wondered the price the outfielder was payed to clean up.
In 2006, George turned the day to day operations over to his son who seems to have inherited the same fire and approach. So, it would appear that the Steinbrenner Empire will continue.