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Steinbrenner at 80: Billy out, Billy in

George Steinbrenner  turns 80 on July 4. We've been looking back at some interesting moments during his tenure.

The strangest story took place on Saturday, July 29, 1978 at Oldtimers Day when he  rehired manager Billy Martin less than a week after firing him over the manager's infamous ``one's a born liar, the other's convicted,'' comment in reference to Reggie Jackson and Steinbrenner. Martin had initially denied making the remark. 

With Joe DiMaggio. Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and other players in Yankee Stadium,   public address announcer Bob Sheppard  stunned the crowd of 46,711 by saying that then-manager Bob Lemon would take over as general manager in 1980 ``and taking over in 1980 and we hope for many years to come, No. 1 Billy Martin!''  Martin ran onto the field amid thunderous applause. 

Afterward, Steinbrenner said, ``I told [Martin] that in my gut as much as we had gone both ways, that I didn't feel what had happend was right...He said he was sorry for what he said and admitted that he had committed an indiscretion by denying it.'' 

Martin responded, ``I am very proud at this moment at the wonderful thing he has done for me. This is the home where I want to be. This is the only managing job I ever wanted...I know that when I do come back our friendship will be tremendous.''

Martin was brought back for the last 95 games of 1979.  Of course, it didn't last.




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