He ruled a real-life “Evil Empire,” buying championships with his limitless resources and taunting the home team when he beat them to yet another big money free agent.
Generations of Boston Red Sox fans have been raised to despise New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
Steinbrenner died Tuesday at the age of 80.
The Boston Red Sox issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
“The Boston Red Sox deeply mourn the passing of George M. Steinbrenner III this morning at the age of 80. Principal Owner John W. Henry extended sincere condolences on behalf of the organization to Joan Steinbrenner, George’s wife of 54 years, his children, his grandchildren, the entire Steinbrenner family, and the New York Yankees organization.
“I had the good fortune to call George Steinbrenner both partner and friend,” said Henry, a former minority owner of the New York Yankees. “I had the privilege to watch George as he built a system that ensured his beloved Yankees would have a strong foundation for sustained excellence. And then we fiercely competed in the American League.
“George Steinbrenner forever changed baseball and hopefully some day we will see him honored in baseball’s Hall of Fame as one of the great figures in the history of sports,” said Henry.
“George Steinbrenner was a formidable opponent and baseball’s greatest rivalry will not be the same without him,” said Tom Werner, Chairman. “As the longest tenured owner, he left an indelible mark on the game. I worked with George in my position as the owner of two Major League franchises and saw first-hand his passionate leadership style, his zeal for winning, and his love for the game. Above all, I knew George as a competitor and today Red Sox Nation lost a person who truly relished the prospect of facing the Red Sox and doing all he could to make sure his beloved Yankees would come out victorious.”
“George Steinbrenner was one of the most important people in the history of the game, and his impact touched all aspects of the business of baseball,” said Larry Lucchino, President/CEO. “His vision for the Yankees turned around a once struggling franchise and manifested itself in the form of seven World Series Championships and 11 American League pennants. My respect for George went beyond the baseball field because of his sincere and longstanding commitment to charity, and to people in need. He had a giant heart, often well hidden from public view. Part of his legacy here in Boston will be the profound kindness he showed to numerous local philanthropic causes, especially as a regular and generous contributor each year to the Jimmy Fund of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.”
The Red Sox will observe a moment of silence in Steinbrenner’s memory on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at Fenway Park before the club’s matchup against the Texas Rangers at 7:10 p.m.”