As you might imagine, reaction has been pouring in all day -- and is still pouring in -- on the death of George Steinbrenner. A sampling:
Yogi Berra: "This is a very sad day for me and Carmen and all of baseball. My sympathies go out to the Steinbrenner family. George was The Boss, make no mistake. He built the Yankees into champions and that’s something nobody can ever deny. He was a very generous, caring, passionate man. George and I had our differences, but who didn’t? We became great friends over the last decade and I will miss him very much."
Lou Piniella: "George was like a father figure to me. He treated me well, he treated me fair and he gave me a wonderful opportunity to play and manage the game we all love."
Al Leiter: "You couldn’t ask for a better owner than George Steinbrenner. He always provided everything you needed to win a championship. His passion, intensity and his attention to detail were legendary, and he expected nothing but the best from you. No one outworked him, and no one wanted to win more than he. He had a unique aura, a unique presence about him. When he walked into a room, his presence was felt immediately. I thoroughly enjoyed my times with the Yankees. It was, and is, a sports franchise like no other. Mr. Steinbrenner will be terribly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Steinbrenner family."
Don Mattingly: "I am deeply saddened to hear the news of George Steinbrenner’s passing. His vision, passion and commitment to winning, recharged the New York Yankees and revolutionized the game. I remember a man driven to succeed. He was the owner, “The Boss” and number one fan of the Yankees. Our relationship was built on mutual respect. I will never forget and always be grateful for how he treated me and my family both during my playing days and after I retired. I will miss him very much and extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Joan, and all the members of the Steinbrenner family.
Red Sox owner John Henry, also a former minority owner of the Yankees: “I had the good fortune to call George Steinbrenner both partner and friend. I had the privilege to watch George as he built a system that ensured his beloved Yankees would have a strong foundation for sustained excellence. And then we fiercely competed in the American League. George Steinbrenner forever changed baseball and hopefully some day we will see him honored in baseball's Hall of Fame as one of the great figures in the history of sports."
Commissioner Bud Selig: “On behalf of Baseball, I am very saddened by the passing this morning of George Steinbrenner. George was a giant of the game and his devotion to baseball was surpassed only by his devotion to his family and his beloved New York Yankees. He was and always will be as much of a New York Yankee as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and all of the other Yankee
Tommy Lasorda: “George was a friend who I admired very much. He was a giant in our game and he built an empire. All he was was a winner. He wanted to give the fans a winner, and that's exactly what he did.”
MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of George Steinbrenner. George Steinbrenner’s passion for the game of baseball helped revive one of the game’s most storied franchises, and in the process ushered in
the modern era of baseball business operations. Mr. Steinbrenner understood and embraced the power of the players, and he put this knowledge to good use in establishing the Yankees as one of the sports world’s most iconic brands.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Steinbrenner family, his friends
and the entire Yankees baseball family.”
Jets Chairman and CEO Woody Johnson on passing of George
Steinbrenner: "George Steinbrenner is an American icon and was one of the preeminent owners in all of sports. A true champion with his own unique style, he held his team to
the highest standards and demanded a title for Yankees fans each and every season. I will remember him as a winner whose passion and enthusiasm became part of the fabric of New York City. He was an inspiration and represented the essence of leadership."
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg: "Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire Steinbrenner family. This is a sad day not only for Yankee fans, but for our entire City, as few people have had a bigger impact on New York over the past four decades than George Steinbrenner. George had a deep love for New York, and his steely determination to succeed – combined with his deep respect and appreciation for talent and hard work – made him a quintessential New Yorker. George invested his heart and soul into the Yankees, and his competitive fire helped usher in new eras of Yankee greatness, reclaiming the team’s long tradition of excellence and its position as the most successful franchise in the history of American sports. He was a champion who made New York a better place, and who always gave back to the city he loved. He has left an indelible legacy on the Yankees, on baseball, and on our city, and he leaves us in the only way that would be appropriate: as a reigning world champion. We will be lowering the flags in City Hall Plaza today in honor of his achievements. George was a larger than life New York figure whose passion and drive to succeed will forever be missed.”
Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark: "George Steinbrenner served the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Directors with great commitment and enthusiasm for the last 12 years since his election as a director in 1998. He shared his vision, kindness, love for the game and his generosity in so many ways as a key figure in the Board’s leadership. His impact on the Museum’s ability to preserve baseball history is felt at so many levels in the organization. Our sympathies are with the Steinbrenner family. He will be greatly missed in Cooperstown.”
Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson: “I have great respect for George, a man from whom I learned so much about leadership, motivation and accountability during my tenure with the ball club as media relations director from 1989-93. His overriding objective was to win, the sign of a true sportsman. You have to give him credit for always having the best interest of Yankee fans at heart, which was bringing a World Series winner to the Bronx, something he accomplished seven times. He bought a wilting franchise in 1973 and turned it into a worldwide brand through his vision, work ethic and overall Yankee ingenuity. He was a true friend of the Hall of Fame, and the history he helped create will always be preserved in Cooperstown.”