For many New Yorkers, one of the truly dominant figures of the city of the '70s through the '80s is now gone. If you haven't yet heard, George Steinbrenner has died, following a massive heart attack last night. He was 80.
And I know I'm jumping way ahead her, perhaps absurdly so -- and forgive me -- but for "Seinfeld" fans, Steinbrenner was a key, vital and central figure, too.
And long after the baseball lore, long after the tributes, it is this portrayal that will survive in the minds of millions. Steinbrenner, of course, appeared rarely on screen, and was voiced by Larry David. However, he did appear on occassion, or at least in one instance.
A trivia question: Who out there knows who played Steinbrenner on "Seinfeld?" (If you know the answer, than you one of the world's greatest "Seinfeld" fans, a master of your Seinfeldian domain, someone who could ace the "Seinfeld" "Jeopardy" category in an instance . . . Answer at bottom of this post . . .
Below, a series of some classic moments. The last clip is the time LD appeared on "Letterman" and joked about the time he "fired" Steinbrenner . . . Six or so minutes in . . .
Also, my colleague, editor and "Seinfeld" expert extraodinaire, Andy Edelstein, collected some best-of moments for a "Take Five" story a couple of years ago . . . those follow . . . And if I can legally post a copy of "The Calzone," will do so at the earlist convenience.
SHARE YOUR MEMORIES: Tell us your favorite Steinbrenner moments
PHOTO: George Steinbrenner at George Steinbrenner Field April 1, 2009 in Tampa, Fla.
Best of Steinbrenner on "Seinfeld"
Episode: "The Secretary" (1994)
Setup: George Costanza is trying to get a raise, when Steinbrenner begins reminiscing about the time he was hitchhiking and was picked up by a bakery truck. That leads to a major digression.
Quote: "Sure, I like a cupcake every now and then, like everybody else. You know I like it when they have a little cream on the inside. It's a surprise. That's good. Plus the chocolate ones are good, too. Sometimes I just can't even make up my mind. A lot of times I'll mix the two together, make a vanilla fudge."
Episode: "The Bottle Deposit 2" (1996)
Setup: Steinbrenner is trying to figure out Co- stanza's erratic behavior.
Quote: "Let me ask you something, George. You having any personal problems at home? Girl trouble, love trouble of any kind? . . . What about drugs? You doing some of that crack cocaine? You on the pipe?"
Episode: "The Calzone" (1996)
Setup: Costanza and Steinbrenner are discussing lunch. Costanza suggests his employer broaden his dining options.
Quote: "Nope. I find something I like, I stick with it. From 1973 to 1982 I ate the exact same lunch every day: turkey chili in a bowl made out of bread. Bread bowl, George. You'd eat the chili, then you'd eat the bowl. Nothing more satisfying than looking down after lunch and just seeing a table."
Episode: "The Caddy" (1996)
Setup: Steinbrenner has just told Frank Costanza that his son is dead. Frank ignores the news to berate the Boss about why he traded prospect Jay Buhner to Seattle.
Quote: "Well, Buhner was a good prospect, no question about it. But my baseball people loved Ken Phelps' bat. They kept saying 'Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps.'"
Episode: "The Millennium" (1997)
Setup: Costanza is trying to get fired from the Yankees, so he puts on and then soils an authentic Babe Ruth uniform. Instead of being angry, Steinbrenner is pleased.
Quote: "[Ruth was] nothing more than a fat old man, with little-girl legs."
AND FINALLY, the actor who played Steinbrenner. . . Lee Bear.
Congratulations. You were correct.