Dead July 13th, 2010
High of His Life: George Michael Steinbrenner III got to own the Biggest sports franchise in the world, and then he somehow made himself even bigger. He returned the struggling Yankees to greatness, and they are currently the most profitable team in all of sports mainly because of him.
Steinbrenner won not just at the bank, but on the field as well; his Yankee teams brought home 7 World Series Championships during his time as owner, including 2009, the last World Series he’d be alive for.
Most notable, however, should be Steinbrenner’s considerable charity work. He often donated to the families of police officers in the New York area who had lost their lives in the line of duty. He was also a big supporter of the Boys and Girls Club and the Salvation Army, and donated approximately $1 million to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital.
He was also featured prominently in the television series Seinfeld, voiced by Larry David, and got to share a nickname with legendary rock ‘n roller Bruce Springsteen, who despite my request, did not end up playing at The Boss’s funeral.
Low of His Life: Despite the stories of charity and straightforward kindness, Steinbrenner was more well-known as a tremendous dick. He was one of the first sports team owners to garner a reputation for severely meddling with a teams day-to-day affairs, typically in a detrimental way.
Additionally, he pleaded guilty in 1974 for making illegal contributions to Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign and charges of obstruction of justice. For this he was suspended for two years from Major League Baseball, a sentence that seems laughable when one recognzies The Boss actually received a lifetime ban from the game in 1990.
That’s right, the guy most NY sports fans want to be put into baseball’s Hall of Fame, got Pete Rose’d over two decades ago for paying a POS lowlife named Howie Spira $40,000 to spy on then-Yankee Dave Winfield. He was reinstated before the 1993 season, inexplicably, and undeservedly.
Who Sees Him As a Hero: Jerry Jones, Mark Cuban, Daniel Snyder, miscellaneous asshole bosses who enjoy a good power trip.