40 Years

It was 40 years ago today that George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees. While it is portrayed that he rescued the team from mediocrity, that isn’t entirely true.  The Yankees of the early 70’s were not a bad club. In fact the 1970 team won 93 games, but finished 15-games behind the 108-win Orioles. They also consistently ranked in the top half of the AL in attendance.

So Steinbrenner didn’t necessarily rescue a failing franchise, but he did completely transform the way it operated. From 1918 to 1972 the Yankees had a total of eight managers.  Under Steinbrenner Billy Martin alone had five-different stints as manager. Steinbrenner spent without constraint and for the first decade of his tenure it worked as the Yankees won five AL East titles, four pennants and two World Series. But, the lack of a farm system came back to hurt the team and by the late 80’s the club had slipped below .500.  In 1990 Steinbrenner was suspended from baseball by the last real Commissioner, Fay Vincent, and the fans at the Stadium cheered upon hearing the announcement.

At that point, Steinbrenner’s Yankees’ legacy was in tatters.  He was universally hated by the fans for his bullying behavior, terrible trades and constant threats to move the team to New Jersey. But a funny thing happened. His suspension let Gene Michael rebuild the farm system and by the time he returned in 1993 the Yankees were on the rise. They launched another dynasty, won five more titles and Steinbrenner’s legacy was completely transformed.

I wonder what would have happened to the Yankees if George hadn’t bought them in 1973? Would they have won the seven titles? I don’t know, but its interesting to think about.

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Comments

  • blmeanie  On January 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    from the other side it definitely isn’t the same with George gone. You forgot to mention his cameos on Seinfeld all those years. His acting abilities were awesome, who knew he loved calzones so much either…

    • nysportsfanatic  On January 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Did you ever see the outtakes of when he was actually supposed to be on the show? It’s on one of the DVD’s and Larry David said it was a surreal experience having to fire George Steinbrenner.

  • blmeanie  On January 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    nope, never heard about it either. Thought the way they did “him” was good though.

  • blmeanie  On January 5, 2013 at 9:59 am

    what is the eta on yankeesredsox.com ?

  • blmeanie  On January 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    sent you an email, got bounced because it was the yankeesredsox address.

    gonna be in the city Monday and the Celtics are playing in the Garden. I could possibly be persuaded to go…

    • nysportsfanatic  On January 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Do you still have my Yahoo account?

      I would love to, but I start classes that night.

  • blmeanie  On January 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I don’t, send me an email from it, I’ll save it off. No problem on Monday, have a party to go to for the NCAA championship game as my backup

  • blmeanie  On January 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    delete

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