Reaction to the death of George Steinbrenner

In this Feb. 17, 2004 file photo, New York Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner waves to fans after watching the news conference introducing Alex Rodriguez as the newest Yankee, on television at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa, Fla. The Yankees acquired Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers. Major League Baseball owners approved the shift of control of the New York Yankees from George Steinbrenner to his son, Hal, Thursday Nov. 20, 2008. ((AP Photo/Chris O'Meara))

July 14, 2010 3:13:38 AM PDT
Players, public officials and fans are reacting to the death of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.Here is some of the reaction:

"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." - Yogi Berra

"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." - Cubs manager Lou Piniella, who also played for and managed the Yankees.

"I will always remember George Steinbrenner as a passionate man, a tough boss, a true visionary, a 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." - Joe Torre, former Yankees manager and current Dodgers manager

"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." - Dodgers Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda

"I am deeply saddened to hear the news of George Steinbrenner's passing. 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. I will miss him very much and extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Joan, and all the members of the Steinbrenner family." - Dodgers Hitting Coach and former Yankee Don Mattingly

"George Steinbrenner was the first owner to contact me to congratulate me when I purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers. From that day forward we built a strong and meaningful friendship. He was a larger than life owner who cared deeply about winning. George helped shape the game of baseball during his incredible stewardship of the Yankees. My deepest sympathies go out to his wife, Joan and his four children, Hal, Hank, Jennifer and Jessica and the entire Steinbrenner family." - Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt

"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." - Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire Steinbrenner family. This is a sad day not only for Yankee fans, but for our entire City, as 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. George invested his heart and soul into the Yankees, and his competitive fire helped usher in new eras of Yankee greatness, reclaiming the team's long tradition of excellence and its position as the most successful franchise in the history of American sports. He was a champion who made New York a better place, and who always gave back to the city he loved. He has left an indelible legacy on the Yankees, on baseball, and on our city, and he leaves us in the only way that would be appropriate: as a reigning world champion. We will be lowering the flags in City Hall Plaza today in honor of his achievements. George was a larger than life New York figure whose passion and drive to succeed will forever be missed." - Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"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 Governor Mario Cuomo.

"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.
"My wife, Sue, and I pass on our deepest sympathies to the Steinbrenner family, to the New York Yankees and to all of his friends. We will miss him, especially tonight when the baseball family will be gathered at Angel Stadium for the All-Star Game." - MLB Commissioner Bud Selig

"Today we lost a great person, a great leader and a great American. There will never be anyone like George Steinbrenner. He was a winner." - Randy Levine, Yankees president

"Today I join 1.4 million Bronxites, and Yankee fans across the world, in mourning the passing of a great man, 'The Boss,' George Steinbrenner. During his tenure as owner of the New York Yankees, Mr. Steinbrenner did everything in his power to create his own winning tradition in the Bronx, an effort that resulted in seven World Series championships. While other baseball fans were jealous of this success, Yankee fans, like myself, loved him for it. Both the Bronx and New York City have lost a giant today - in baseball and in charity -and my deepest condolences go out to the Steinbrenners and the entire New York Yankees family." - Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

I have known and worked with him down through the years and though we did not always agree we developed a very healthy and cordial relationship and we both took ironic pleasure in the fact that his granddaughter Haley and my daughter Dominique performed in a play together and became roommates. Since then they haven't left each other's side and are mutual best friends. George Steinbrenner allowed Dominique to affectionately call him "Bumpa" which is a name that only his grandchildren called him. Haley called Dominique early this morning before it went public and we share in the personal pain of the Steinbrenner family. - Reverend Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network

"George Steinbrenner's passion for the game of baseball helped revive one of the game's most storied franchises, and in the process ushered in the modern era of baseball business operations. Mr. Steinbrenner understood and embraced the power of the players, and he put this knowledge to good use in establishing the Yankees as one of the sports world's most iconic brands." - Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

"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 owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

"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. George will be greatly be missed but his legacy will carry on in the hearts and minds of all baseball fans." - former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

"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. On behalf of the Orioles organization, I extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Joan, and the members of his family." - Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos.

"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." - Tom Hicks, the outgoing owner of the Texas Rangers.

"George was a tremendous competitor. His passion for winning motivated all of us in baseball. When George took over the ballclub, he reinvented the Yankees. He did everything within his power to put a championship team on the field. "George was personable, friendly and truly cared about his franchise and the fans. We always admired his drive to be the best." - Michael and Marian Ilitch. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers and Michael and Marian Ilitch are co-owners of the Detroit Red Wings.

"We all suffered a huge loss today! Mr. Steinbrenner was a great man, great owner, that did so many amazing things. You will truly be missed!" - Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain, from his Twitter account.

"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.

"His impact on the game is impossible to measure. If you were a Yankee fan there was no better owner because he would do anything at any cost to put the best team on the field." - Rays advisor Don Zimmer.

"The passing of George Steinbrenner leaves a significant void in the fabric of the sports world and New York City. The thoughts and prayers of our organization are with the Steinbrenner and Yankees families. 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." - John Mara, New York Giants president.

"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. George and my father had a special relationship; they were both good businessmen, and George loved the Yankees and my father loved the Giants." - Steve Tisch, New York Giants chairman.

"Like New York and like the Yankees, George Steinbrenner was a champion. He was someone about whom you can truly say that there will never be another one like him. When he bought the Yankees in 1973 the franchise was moribund and he quickly restored them to greatness. I, along with millions of Yankees fans, am thankful for the countless hours of joy we have experienced watching his team at the Stadium or following them on television and radio. He was a true New York icon. My condolences and best wishes go out to the Steinbrenners and the entire Yankee family." - Senator Charles Schumer.

"Today my thoughts and prayers are with the Steinbrenners and the entire Yankees family. George's single-minded drive in the pursuit of excellence and his devotion to family inspired people far beyond the baseball diamond. He will be greatly missed by those in pinstripes and baseball fans in New York and throughout the world." - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

"We have lost a great American in George Steinbrenner. When New York City was in its darkest days, one of its enduring, shining lights was the New York Yankees, led by Mr. Steinbrenner. He was the greatest owner in all of sports, as I once told him, because he had the love and desire of a fan matched with a superior business acumen that produced 11 American League pennants and 7 World Championships. We will always remember him. Our prayers are with the Steinbrenner family." - Bronx Democratic County Committee Chairman Carl E. Heastie.

"It is with great sadness and fond memories that New York says goodbye to George Steinbrenner-a larger than life sportsman and brilliant entrepreneur who presided over baseball's last dynasty and helped revolutionize the business of baseball.
"Mr. Steinbrenner's passion for the game was unmatched. He committed himself and all of the Yankees' resources to one thing and one thing only: winning. And he won quite often. During his 37 years as principal owner, the Yankees won 11 pennants and seven World Series championships. That's more than any other team over the same period. Opposing players and fans may have bristled at his outspoken leadership over the years, but it was only because they wished they had a Steinbrenner of their own.
"Mr. Steinbrenner passing comes on the morning of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, a contest dedicated to the fans and to the glory of the game. This is a fitting tribute, as Mr. Steinbrenner was one of the last owners who felt as much loyalty and kinship with his fans as they felt with his team. So as Americans gather this evening to watch baseball's best-including six of his Yankees-I hope we all take a moment to remember the life and legacy of George Steinbrenner: the owner; the businessman; the husband and father; the Boss.
"On behalf of a grateful city and State, I wish comfort during this difficult time to Mr. Steinbrenner's wife, Elizabeth, and children, Hank, Hal, Jessica and Jennifer. He will truly be missed." - Governor David Paterson

"George Steinbrenner is an American icon and was one of the pre-eminent 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 had the privilege of serving on the National Football Foundation board of directors with George Steinbrenner for many years, and his service and commitment to our organization played a significant role in our ability to touch the lives of countless young student-athletes. From his playing days at Williams College to his coaching days at Purdue and Northwestern, it was clear that George Steinbrenner was a product of the gridiron. We will miss his passion for giving back to our sport, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends." - former NFL quarterback Archie Manning.

"He had a tremendous impact on the Olympic movement in the U.S. He was devoted to sport and the pursuit of excellence and because of that, a generation of Olympic athletes have benefited." U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst.

"Florida joins the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball in mourning the loss of unparalleled baseball icon George Steinbrenner. As the principal owner of the New York Yankees, George redefined the description of a chief executive. During his tenure, the Yankees won 11 American League pennants and seven world championships. He loved his family, his team, New York City and his home in Tampa, where he brought the Yankees to train each spring and his family's shipbuilding business, providing employment to many families.
"While the public face of George Steinbrenner was a demanding owner, he was extremely generous to others. Many acts of kindness were bestowed to those in need, with most of those acts going unnoticed except by those who benefited." - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

"I had the good fortune to call George Steinbrenner both partner and friend," said "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." John W. Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and a former minority owner of the New York Yankees.

"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." - Larry Lucchino, President/CEO Boston Red Sox.




Tune in tonight to an Eyewitness News Special 'Yankee Legend', a look back at George Steinbrenner's life at 7 p.m. on Channel 7.