Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Goodbye Mr. Steinbrenner...And Thank You.

On a horse farm nestled in a quiet section of Ocala, Florida sits a house that I have worked in many times as a telephone repairman. Inside this house, there is a refrigerator upon which a photograph is displayed. In the photograph is a man that is smiling and surrounded by his grandchildren. Every time I would look at picture it would make me smile as well. That picture was of George M. Steinbrenner III. Not "The Boss", not the head of the so called "Evil Empire", but a man like any other man, enjoying the company of the family he knew and loved.
In that moment, when that picture was taken, I have to imagine that all the other things happening in life didn't matter to him. One moment frozen in time, a time to be geniunely happy.

I have talked to many people on the farm over the years, and one thing rings true in all their comments. He could be a hard boss to work for, but if you worked, you were rewarded. He expected nothing less than what he himself would give. He could be cold and mean, but he could be warm and gentle as well. He gave to you what you gave to him.

For over 30 years, he helped build the Yankees into the Dynasty you see today. Did he do it by being a saint? Of course not, but rarely does anything get done in business that way. George did it his way. As the great song by Frank Sinatra goes:

"For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has not.
To say the words, he truly feels,
and not the words, of one who kneels,
the record shows, I took the blows...
and did way."

Everything that we, the loyal fans of the Yankees have experienced with the team over the past 3 decades is due in large part to him. I can't imagine what the Yankees, or even baseball for that matter would have looked like without Mr. Steinbrenner. For that I thank him, as we all should.
I have read many articles over the past day and while most of them point out the good that he did for the game, and for people in need, some point out the negative. It is when I read articles like those, that I go back to that single picture hanging on that refrigerator here at Kinsman Stud in Ocala, Fl, and I remember that no matter what, good or bad, George M. Steinbrenner III was a man like any other man, and had faults like we all have faults. But throughout his life, he balanced them better than most could have.

So in closing, Thank you George, for being "The Boss" and the Darth Vader of our "Evil Empire". I don't think there is a Yankee fan alive that would have wanted it any other way. Rest in Peace.

blog comments powered by Disqus