Sadness has fallen over the Bronx and throughout the whole baseball world as New York Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner III, the greatest owner in the history of “all” sports, has passed away at age 80.
Now, within two days of the passing of legendary Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard (1910-2010), who passed away on July 11th at age 99, the New York Yankees Universe and Family has lost two of the most iconic figures of the past century, not just in baseball, but in all sports and parts of our society.
“An era of greatness has ended” !!!
It is a sad time for all Yankee fans. But, also, a fitting send-off for these two iconic giants, leaving this great earth on their journey into eternal life in Heaven during Baseball’s All-Star break, and just a week before the Yankees organization celebrates their annual Old-Timers Day at Yankee Stadium this upcoming Saturday, July 17th.
The Boss leaves us all as a winner [which he was his whole life], as his New York Yankees are defending their 27th World Championship this season, getting off to a great start heading into the All-Star break in first place in the AL East.
There are many wonderful memories and great things that can be said about Mr. Steinbrenner. And, I am sure we will all enjoy reading and viewing these stories and reports today, and in the days and weeks ahead.
For me, my memories began when I first started following the New York Yankees in 1967, as a young boy, during the Horace Clarke days and CBS ownership era. Mickey Mantle was at the end of his Hall of Fame career; Phil Rizzuto was in the broadcast booth always talking about the great Yankees history and tradition; and, the next “Mickey Mantle”, Bobby Murcer, my favorite Yankee player of all-time, was just beginning his great Yankee career.
The Yankees had many losing years and teams during my early days as a life-long, die-hard Yankees fan in the late 1960’s. But, it was the great New York Yankees “history” and “tradition” of “winning” with Hall of Famers: Ruth, Gehrig, Dickey, DiMaggio, Berra, Mantle, Ford, and many other great players throughout the years, that created the foundation of support by many fans [including myself] of the Yankees during those days.
Then in 1973, a little known ship builder from Cleveland, Ohio, George Steinbrenner, purchased the New York Yankees franchise, and brought the awesome Yankees tradition back to life, which had been dormant for many years since their last World Series appearance in 1964.
And the rest is history …
“Thirty Eight” years as owner [and, still owed by the Steinbrenner family].
“Thirty Two” Winning Seasons.
“Nineteen” Playoff appearances, including …
“Sixteen” AL Division Titles and “Three” Wild Card berths.
“Eleven” American League Championships.
“Seven” World Championships.
Which all enhanced the great history of the New York Yankees …
Increasing their World Championships to 27 !!! [and, counting].
Also, Mr. Steinbrenner was a very generous and charitable person, helping and supporting many different people and causes throughout the years.
From “The House That Ruth Built” to “The House That George Built”, Yankee Stadium is “The Home of Champions” and “Home of Championships” !!!
George M. Steinbrenner III is truly one of the greatest of any Yankee in their history !!!
I look forward to the tributes that will be given in honor of Mr. Steinbrenner and Mr. Sheppard at this year’s All-Star Game and Yankees Old-Timer’s Day celebrations.
But, the greatest honor I look forward to seeing George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard receive, is when both are enshrined into Baseball’s “Hall of Fame”. This is an honor that is long overdue for both these great icons. And, the Hall of Fame will not be complete until both George M. Steinbrenner III and Bob Sheppard grace the sacred walls of the “Hall” in Cooperstown, New York.
Thank you, Mr. Steinbrenner !!!
Thank you, Mr. Sheppard !!!
May God always bless you, and reserve a very special place in Heaven in which you will both enjoy eternal life, peace, and happiness !!!
Jimmy Curran, “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life …”