No owner has changed the landscape of sports more than New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. From the moment he bought the team in 1973 for $10 million, Steinbrenner's monomaniacal pursuit was to restore the most fabled franchise in baseball history to its former glory. Today the New York Yankees are worth more than $1 billion and are once again world champions.
Award-winning sportswriter Bill Madden traces Steinbrenner from his early days in Cleveland through his years as a shipping magnate, a Nixon fund-raiser, and a champion horse breeder to the fateful moment when he bought the Yankees, even though his father disparaged George's desire to own a professional sports team as a "hobby".
Over the next four decades, Steinbrenner's tumultuous reign included his epic battles with Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, even beloved Yankee captain Derek Jeter. His ruthless and free-spending tactics made him a lightning rod for controversy, but they also paid off: Steinbrenner's Yankees have won seven championships and remain the gold standard in all sports. In the last few years, with his health declining, the Boss ceded control of the team to his sons, but not before lording over the team's historic transition from the House That Ruth Built to the House That George Built.
Throughout his three decades of covering the Yankees, Bill Madden has cultivated hundreds of sources at every level in the organization, from the many managers and front-office personnel Steinbrenner has fired to the bat boys who are ever present in the locker room. All of them have colorful stories about the man with whom they have enjoyed a love-hate relationship, but it is the Boss himself whose voice rises above the rest. And when Steinbrenner decided to give his final print interview, he spoke to Madden to set the record straight on his extraordinary life and career.
©2010 Bill Madden (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
This is a 3.5-3.75 rating for me. I read this in print and listened to it on audio concurrently, due to the book's length.
This was an interesting and comprehensive (sometimes a little too comprehensive in the amount of minute detail) look at Steinbrenner's life. There were some parts that seemed to skip around, or jump ahead in time without explaining how someone arrived at the Yankees, and some parts were a bit repetitive. Overall, though, Steinbrenner was an interesting personality and I enjoyed his story. He was quite polarizing, quick to anger and ridicule, yet generous with others. I also learned a few things about baseball that I didn't know before, such as how free agency started.
Extremely well-written and narrated, I was especially impressed with its objectivity. Steinbrenner was a complicated person, and this book treats him as such. Well done Madden and McCue!
Good reading/listening for sports fans and those who normally couldn't care less. This very well communicated book offers insight into a person, who in spite of fame and fortune was deeply affected and mixed by the father and son ego conflict which frequently resulted in self destructive behavior in a lifelong pursuit to be liked. Although most were love/hate relationships, everyone seemed to admire him greatly. I enjoyed listening so much while excising that couldn’t wait for each session.
This will be the first book in years that I will not finish. This is not a biography of Steinbrenner. This is a rant by the author. It is choke full of Steinbrenner's horrible communications skills. Every turn is a Steinbrenner rage. Perhaps, that is all Steinbrenner ever did. But, an individual reaches fame & fortune by some means of good decisions. The first 2/3 of this book explains none of that. I am not a Yankees fan. As a matter of fact, I always root against them. I simply like biographies about what made successful people successful. You will not find it here.
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