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Cashman remembers Steinbrenner's will to win

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman attends a wake

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman attends a wake for Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard in Baldwin. (July 14, 2010) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Brian Cashman stood outside the Fullerton Funeral Home and left no doubt that "winning one for The Boss" was not just a one-year pursuit. When George Steinbrenner died Tuesday morning, he left behind more than a multibillion dollar empire and a new castle in the Bronx. He also left a charge for this team.

"The only way to honor anybody's legacy is to win for George," Cashman said Wednesday. "Always, that's the legacy he always left. He wanted to win at everything, it didn't matter what it was, that's the way he was wired."

Cashman was in Baldwin paying his respects to longtime Yankees public-address announcer Bob Sheppard, who died Sunday at age 99. Cashman arrived alone at 2:25 and stayed inside the funeral home for 36 minutes before taking questions from reporters and putting Steinbrenner's life in perspective.

"Certainly there'll never be another George Steinbrenner, there'll never be anybody close to that," Cashman said. "What he was able to accomplish was truly amazing. But his kids have inherited a great deal from him in terms of work ethic and dedication to this franchise and willingness to win, and I think they proved that already last year by delivering a championship for their dad and for the city of New York. And so they will do everything they can to continue the legacy, no doubt about it."

Cashman started with the Yankees in 1986 as an intern and looked to Steinbrenner as a mentor.

"He outworked everybody, his passion and will to win, and he loved to fight," Cashman said. "He loved to get up every day and get after it and conquer the world. And he did it. So, I had the pleasure of growing up in this organization under him and learning from him. And everything I am today is because of him, and I think there's a lot of people that can say the same thing."

Cashman and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani saluted a man of big quotes, a massive checkbook and a super-sized personality.

"George revived the Yankees, made them great again," said Giuliani, an unabashed Yankees fan. "And I was so happy the last couple of days that the Yankees won a World Series for him last year. I mean, one of his crowning achievements, the new Yankee Stadium, which is the most magnificent ballpark in baseball, gets christened with a Yankee championship."

Giuliani stayed at the funeral home for about 13 minutes. He said his final goodbyes to Sheppard, dubbed "the Voice of God" for his crisp, precise pronunciations that boomed throughout the old Stadium from 1951-2007. Sheppard's funeral is Thursday at 10:45 a.m. at St. Christopher's Church in Baldwin.

"Every time you were at Yankee Stadium listening to him announce the baseball players," Giuliani said, "it was as if there was something very monumental about every player coming to the plate.''

Said Cashman: "We've lost some legends."

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