UPDATE: Here is the official statement from the New York Yankees organization.
As a Red Sox fan, you’d probably expect me to not care about the death of George Steinbrenner. I’ve spoken to a few people this morning who feel that way and I don’t understand why. No matter what team you support, you have to admit, he knew how to build a winner.
Until the past year or two, George Steinbrenner was the visible leader of the Yankees organization. He brought in the talent needed to win a number of World Championships. He was loved by some, and hated by many.
But he always did what he thought needed to be done to win, and the baseball world has lost one of its most regognizable faces and the game will not be the same without him! I wonder what George Costanza is thinking today :)
RIP George Steinbrenner.
From the New York Times:
George Steinbrenner, who bought a declining Yankees team in 1973, promised to stay out of its daily affairs and then, in an often tumultuous reign, placed his formidable stamp on 7 World Series championship teams, 11 pennant winners and a sporting world powerhouse valued at perhaps $1.6 billion, died Tuesday morning, the team announced. He was 80 and lived in Tampa, Fla.
“He was an incredible and charitable man,” the family said in a statement.
“He was a visionary and a giant in the world of sports. He took a great but struggling franchise and turned it into a champion again.”
Mr. Steinbrenner’s death came nine months after the Yankees won their first World Series title since 2000, clinching their six-game victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at his new Yankee Stadium, and two days after the team’s longtime public-address announcer Bob Sheppard died at age 99.
From the Wall Street Journal:
George Steinbrenner, the 80-year-old owner of the New York Yankees, died in a Tampa hospital after suffering a heart attack early Tuesday morning.
“It is with profound sadness that the family of George M. Steinbrenner III announces his passing. He passed away this morning in Tampa, Fla., at age 80,” the family said in a statement released to ESPN.
Steinbrenner’s health has been declining in recent years, and he had reportedly given up daily control of the team to his children.
From USA Today:
Here are some of our favorite quotes from George:
On whether he liked owning race horses more than controlling the Yankees: “I like horses better, because they can’t talk to sportswriters.”
On his personality: “I’m like Archie Bunker. I get mad as hell when my team blows one.”
Reacting in 1978 to commissioner Bowie Kuhn’s criticism that he paid too much for players: “I don’t agree with free agency, but it wasn’t my leadership that created it.”
On baseball players: “(They) should be the happiest guys in the world. They’re getting paid magabucks for playing a kids’ game.”
His plan when as president of the American Shipbuilding Company, he bought the Yankees in 1973: “We plan absentee ownership. I’ll stick to building ships.”
His self-parody, on Saturday Night Live, in 1990: “Where is it written that if you don’t get results right away you fire somebody? . . . Only a jackass would do that.”