George Steinbrenner Speaks for Himself

George Steinbrenner, known as much for his feuding and acid-tongued volatility as for the orchestration of the New York Yankees’ renaissance, died today, just a few days after his 80th birthday. Under George Steinbrenner, the Yankees won 11 American league pennants and seven World Series victories, including the team’s 27th title in November. When he purchased the team in 1973, Steinbrenner vowed to be an absentee owner, but managed to become one of baseball’s most prominent figures, appearing in commercials, front-page news stories, and–as portrayed by Larry David–many memorable episodes of Seinfeld. He will be remembered for his outbursts, his impulsiveness, and his 35-year commitment to his team and the city that loves it. In memory of the Boss–his nickname among both friends and foes–and his undeniable way with words, we give you five of the best things he ever said:


1. “Sometimes–as much as I don’t want to–I have to inflict pain. But I also inflict some joy.”


2. “I don’t want to see Yankees with long hair. I don’t go for that crap.”


3. “They say I’m tough to work for. Well, I am, but I’m not trying to win any popularity contest. I know only one way and that is to work my butt off and demand everybody else do the same.”


4. “New Yorkers are strong people. They’ve got to fight in the morning to get a cab. They go to a lunch place at noon, they gotta fight to get a table or a stool off the counter. You have to give the city a team that’s filled with battlers.”

5. And finally, Steinbrenner once called White Sox owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn “those two pumpkins” and “the Katzenjammer twins.” The result?  A $5000 fine.