"The Boss" is gone. George Steinbrenner, 80, died of a massive heart attack today. He will forever be remembered as being one of the proudest, most outspoken sports figures of all-time. The principal owner of the New York Yankees even said once that, "Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa."
Back in 1973, when the Yankees franchise was struggling, Steinbrenner was part of a group that purchased the team for $10 million dollars. His initial investment was actually only $168,000, but over time he bought out his partners' shares, and transformed the "Bronx Bombers," into an organization that is now worth over $1.5 billion.
Whether you love or hate the Yankees, one thing is for sure: the Steinbrenner name is synonymous with winning. George was 'the Boss' for seven of his team's record 27 World Series Championships, and had a reputation for spending whatever it took to get the player he wanted, either through free-agency or a trade. As a result of this, his Yankees are notorious for having the highest payroll in Major League Baseball, year after year.
Steinbrenner was also known for clashing with players and coaches working beneath him, but almost every argument stemmed from his desire to win. He once said, "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing...Breathing first, winning next." And he meant it. He was not afraid to publicly chastise his team after poor showings in the playoffs, and repeatedly declared that any season that ended without a World Series Championship should be considered a disappointment. The Yankees won their 27th title in the last season Steinbrenner lived to see.
Today, outside Yankee Stadium, some mourners gathered near the main entrance, however powerful rains kept most of them away.