There was nothing George Steinbrenner wouldn’t do for his beloved Yankees, who collected seven World Series titles during a tumultuous reign that stretched for nearly four decades.
The Boss finally can attain the one honor that has eluded him — the Hall of Fame — on Sunday in what will be his fourth try when the Today’s Game committee renders its verdict on Steinbrenner, who died in 2010.
The 16-member panel, which is composed of former players, executives and media members, will discuss a ballot that also includes Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel, Lou Piniella and Lee Smith.
A candidate must receive 75 percent of the vote for enshrinement in Cooperstown. The last time Steinbrenner was up for consideration, in 2016, he earned fewer than five votes (the exact total is not revealed when it falls below that threshold).
“I think he is a Hall of Famer whether he’s been inducted yet or not,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said last month. “I think it’s important. I believe that committee and the people who have the votes would be hard-pressed not to acknowledge this was a transformative figure in all of sports, not just baseball.”
The flip side is that Steinbrenner twice was suspended from the sport. His combative style rankled fellow owners along with the commissioner’s office. They also were irritated by his Midas-like spending in free agency, a practice that helped net him 11 American League pennants but drew the ire of smaller-market clubs.
“I believe he deserves to be in,” his son Hal, the Yankees’ managing general partner, said last month. “I think a lot of other people do too. I think it’s just a matter of time. I’m not completely in tune with what the politics are in this particular year. It may very well happen. But we’ll see. But there’s certainly a lot of people, including a lot of writers, that [think] it’s absolutely a no-brainer at some point.”