George Steinbrenner turns NY Yankees over to son Hal

November 20, 2008

Hal SteinbrennerNew York (ChattahBox) — George Steinbrenner colorful owner of the New York Yankees for 35-year’s has sort of come to an end as he has passed control of baseball’s most famous franchise to his youngest son, Hal. Major League Baseball said George Steinbrenner requested the change in control be made, and the Yankees said Hank Steinbrenner voted in favor of it. Baseball owners unanimously approved the change in control during a meeting Thursday. George Steinbrenner retains his title as the team’s chairman and his wife, Joan, is a vice chairperson along with their daughters, Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal and Jessica Steinbrenner.

Before Hal, each son-in-law of the owner emerged as heir apparents, only to divorce the owner’s daughters and depart the team. “I realize it’s a great responsibility,” said Hal Steinbrenner, who turns 40 on Dec. 3. “My dad is, needless to say, a tough act to follow.”

George Steinbrenner, now 78, headed a group that bought the club in January 1973 for an $8.7 million net price and became one of the most high-profile owners in all of sports. He dominated the back pages of New York’s tabloids, earning the nickname “The Boss” as he spent lavishly on players and changed managers 20 times during his first 23 years as owner, feuding with Billy Martin, Yogi Berra and Dave Winfield.

The Yankees regained their former glory, winning six World Series titles and 10 American League pennants from 1976-2003. They also transformed themselves into a sports empire that owns a cable television network and food concession company and is preparing to move into a $1.3 billion new Yankee Stadium next year.

The elder Steinbrenner has gradually withdrawn from the Yankees’ day-to-day operations in recent years as his health faded, and brothers Hal and Hank were appointed co-chairmen in April. Steinbrenner was baseball’s longest-serving current owner, but has cut back his role with the team following fainting spells that required hospitalization in December 2003 and October 2006. His speech in public has been halting and weak since the second fall, and he has needed assistance when walking. From a golf cart, he delivered the balls for the ceremonial first pitches at July’s All-Star game at Yankee Stadium, then stayed home in Florida to watch the 85-year-old park’s final game on television in September. “George is still going to be involved,” Yankees president Randy Levine said. “This is really just a codification, with the commissioner’s help and input, of what’s been going on the last several years.”


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