Steinbrenner: What they are saying
Reaction to the death of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner:
"George was The Boss, make no mistake. He built the Yankees into champions and that's something nobody can ever deny. He was a very generous, caring, passionate man. George and I had our differences, but who didn't? We became great friends over the last decade and I will miss him very much."
- -- Former Yankee Yogi Berra
"On behalf of baseball, I am very saddened by the passing this morning of George Steinbrenner. George was a giant of the game and his devotion to baseball was surpassed only by his devotion to his family and his beloved New York Yankees. He was and always will be as much of a New York Yankee as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and all of the other Yankee legends. I have known George ever since he entered the game in 1972. He was my dear friend for nearly four decades. Although we would have disagreements over the years, they never interfered with our friendship and commitment to each other. Our friendship was built on loyalty and trust and it never wavered. We were allies and friends in the truest sense of the words.:
- -- Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig
"I will always remember George Steinbrenner as a passionate man, a tough boss, a true visionary, great humanitarian, and a dear friend. I will be forever grateful that he trusted me with his Yankees for 12 years. My heart goes out to his entire family. He will be deeply missed in New York, Tampa and throughout the world of baseball. It's only fitting that he went out as a world champ."
- -- Former Yankee manager Joe Torre
- -- Former Yankee Al Leiter
"George was like a father figure to me. He treated me well, he treated me fair and he gave me a wonderful opportunity to play and manage the game we all love. George will be remembered as one of the most influential and renowned owners of a franchise in sports history. He leaves a legacy of winning and an unwavering passion for success. My wife Anita and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the Steinbrenner family and the Yankees organization. George was very special to me and I loved him."
- -- Former Yankee player and manager Lou Piniella
"His vision, passion and commitment to winning, recharged the New York Yankees and revolutionized the game. I remember a man driven to succeed. He was the owner, "The Boss" and number one fan of the Yankees. Our relationship was built on mutual respect. I will never forget and always be grateful for how he treated me and my family both during my playing days and after I retired."
- -- Former Yankee Don Mattingly
"He didn't want to lose at all. A [player] had to come in there and want to win, know how to win, and lay it all on the line. Otherwise, they were in trouble ... they'll have to look at him as one of the top owners in sports."
- -- Former Yankee Dave Winfield
"He was 'The Boss.' He wanted to win and I admired him for that. He might not have done things the way people expected them to be done, but he wanted to win. It's one of the main reasons why I wanted to come to New York, because he made sure his teams had an opportunity to win."
- -- Former Yankees outfielder Tim Raines
- -- Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Michael Weiner
"Everyone involved in the game had great respect for what the Yankees accomplished during his tenure, both on and off the field. George Steinbrenner shared the players' competitive drive: his goal was for his team to win. I also had the privilege to work with him on matters involving America's Olympic athletes. He was extremely well regarded for his efforts on their behalf over the years. I am glad that I had a chance to be a part of baseball while George Steinbrenner was on the scene."
- -- Former MLBPA executive director Donald Fehr
"I had the good fortune to call George Steinbrenner both partner and friend. 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."
- -- Red Sox principle owner John W. Henry
"George Steinbrenner was a formidable opponent and baseball's greatest rivalry will not be the same without him. 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."
- -- Red Sox chairman Tom Werner
"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. 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."
- -- Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino
"The passing of George Steinbrenner marks the end of an era in New York City baseball history. George was a larger-than-life figure and a force in the industry. The rise and success of his teams on the field and in the business marketplace under his leadership are a testament to his skill, drive and determination."
- -- New York Mets ownership group (Fred and Jeff Wilpon)
"George was a friend who I admired very much. He was a giant in our game and he built an empire. All he was was a winner. He wanted to give the fans a winner, and that's exactly what he did."
- -- Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda
"Who else could be a memorable character on a television show without actually appearing on the show? You felt George even though he wasn't there. That's how huge a force of personality he was."
- -- Comedian Jerry Seinfeld
"I met the real George Steinbrenner on only one occasion when he actually came and played himself on an episode of "Seinfeld." He seemed to really enjoy himself. I did not get to know him but the fact that he allowed himself and his beloved team to be satirized on our show is an indication to me of his true character. He was certainly a legend and I am pleased to have been associated with him, even if only in fiction."
- -- Comedian Jason Alexander
"George was a friend of mine for over 30 years. He was truly the most influential and innovative owner in all of sports. He transformed baseball and sports broadcasting with the YES Network and brought New York seven World Series. Beyond that, he made the Yankees a source of great pride in being a New Yorker. George Steinbrenner's Yankees represent the will to overcome all odds which is precisely the will New Yorkers display when meeting every challenge they face."
- -- Former New York City major Rudy Giuliani
"Everyone knows George Steinbrenner went from loser to legend by taking a second division team with a struggling franchise in 1973 and turning it into a champion again. But he was much more than a winner and a celebrity. There was no falseness in him. He did everything with his heart: His family, his friends, his team, his nation and his community. I'm not surprised that in the end he died by wearing it out."
- -- Former New York governor Mario Cuomo
"Few people have had a bigger impact on New York over the past four decades than George Steinbrenner. George had a deep love for New York, and his steely determination to succeed combined with his deep respect and appreciation for talent and hard work made him a quintessential New Yorker."
- -- New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg
"George's energy and his commitment and devotion to the Yankees were unmatched, and he was as generous and charitable a person as has ever been in sports. His was a unique, special and unforgettable presence."
- -- New York Giants president John Mara
"George Steinbrenner was a dynamic personality in sports and in business. He was the ultimate competitor in both worlds. All of us in the business of sports want to win; that is the objective. George personified that ambition. He and his good works will be missed dearly."
- -- New York Giants chairman Steve Tisch
"George Steinbrenner is an American icon and was one of the preeminent owners in all of sports. A true champion with his own unique style, he held his team to the highest standards and demanded a title for Yankees fans each and every season. I will remember him as a winner whose passion and enthusiasm became part of the fabric of New York City. He was an inspiration and represented the essence of leadership."
- -- New York Jets owner Woody Johnson
"I admired his willingness to promote and support all sports at all levels. I appreciated his understanding of the invaluable asset of involving his family in the management of the Yankees. I took pride in calling him a friend, an advisor, an inspiration and later, a business partner. We have lost a true leader in sports -- someone who not only saw the big picture but helped create the scene on the canvas."
- -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
"The Orioles are saddened to learn of the passing of George Steinbrenner. As an active participant in the organizational direction and operations of the New York Yankees, his name is as synonymous with that franchise as any of the legendary athletes who have played in pinstripes."
- -- Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos
"George Steinbrenner was too complex a person to adequately describe in a short statement, but he was a great friend of mine and he will be missed. His impact on the game cannot be denied."
- -- Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf
"In his own unique style, George Steinbrenner built one of the finest Major League Baseball teams in the league, and he did it with tenacity as well as total allegiance and commitment to put the Yankees in a position to compete every year for a championship. I know the franchise and especially New York baseball fans will miss him greatly. He promised them a winner, and he delivered."
- -- Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks
"Today we mourn the loss of one of this country's most iconic sports figures. His impact on sports supersedes baseball and the New York Yankees. His work on behalf of the U.S. Olympic Committee and in particular U.S. Olympic athletes continues to affect the way the USOC conducts business today. The Steinbrenner report in 1989 revolutionized the USOC's sport performance philosophy, and a generation of Olympians have benefited as a result. His influence on the U.S. Olympic Movement, his devotion to sport and the pursuit of excellence will forever be remembered."
- -- Statement from U.S. Olympic Committee (Larry Probst, Bill Hybl and Harvey Schiller)
"The sports world and Tampa community have lost a legend and a friend. George was one of the most consequential and colorful executives in sports history. He helped restore his proud franchise to its unique place in sports and society. However, his greatest contributions weren't those that graced the sports page. He was a caring, gentle giant in our community. George will be sorely missed."
- -- Statement from The Glazer family (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
"He did ownership right. He loved what he did and did things the way he loved to do them.."
- -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes and The Associated Press is included in this report.
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