Originally Published: Jul 13, 2010 5:16 PM CDT
George Steinbrenner was brash, arrogant, and oftentimes obnoxious. But he was a terrific owner, a trailblazer and the kind of guy players loved playing for.
Listening to players like Derek Jeter speak of him todayhours after his death at 80 from a severe heart attackit is clear that they thrived playing for someone with high expectations who knew what buttons to push with them and when.
Like many perfectionists, The Boss did not enjoy winning very long. His Yankees won seven World Series titles, but he apparently did not savor the winning very long. Players today spoke of Steinbrenner talking about winning the next season the day after taking titles.
Talk about a businessman, The Boss was second to none. It helped that he understood entertainment and television and was able to take advantage of the boon that was evolving in the early seventies. He turned a 1973 investment of $8.3 million dollars into a billion dollar enterprise.
I used to ask the late Bobby Murcera Yankee player and broadcaster under Steinbrenner for some 35 yearsabout The Boss. He would always just smile and say that he had high expectations of everyone in the organization, but if you produced, you were rewarded.
Sports has lost a man who contributed a lot more than championships. But championships are where it started and ended for George Steinbrenner.