Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Steinbrenner death a great loss for Yankee fans

I feel like someone in my family just died.

My immediate reaction this morning when I first saw the news about George Steinbrenner's death was shock, followed by many tears. I shouldn't have been at all surprised because the Boss has been unwell for years now, but it was both stunning and personally devastating. For true fans of the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner was the overarching presence in our lives for many reasons, but mostly for restoring the Yankees to greatness.

One of the few comforts of death is that it gives people an opportunity to share their experiences about the person they've lost. All day we've heard some wonderful stories about Steinbrenner's interactions with players and managers, both the good and the bad. Willie Randolph chuckled several times in recalling his experiences with the Boss, including that Mrs. Steinbrenner stopped speaking to her husband for weeks for letting Randolph leave the Yankees.

We've also gotten to see clips of his infamous television appearances, with my favorite being the Miller Lite beer commercial he did with Billy Martin where he ends up firing the Yankees manager for daring to disagree with the Boss about why the beer was so great.

Coming just two days after the passing of Bob Sheppard, Steinbrenner’s death is another harsh blow to a distraught team and fan base. People will have serious disagreements about his legacy and place in baseball history. But no one can question that he made the Yankees both interesting and relevant and he created a dynasty for us younger fans that pays tribute to the great Yankee teams of the past and for that I am incredibly grateful to him.

Rest in peace, Boss!

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