On January 3, 1973, a Tampa Bay businessman by the name of George Steinbrenner led a group of investors in purchasing the New York Yankees from CBS for an estimated $10 million dollars. "The Boss" would go onto become one of the most iconic figures in all of Major League Baseball.
Born in Ohio in 1930, Steinbrenner came from a hard working upper middle class family. His father Henry instilled in him a strong work ethic from a very young age. Instead of an allowance Henry would pay his son with chickens and even as a child George had a businessman state of mind. At just 9 years old he started the George Company selling eggs door to door, he was so successful that he passed the business onto his sisters Susan and Judy when he headed to Culver Military Academy in 1944. After graduating from the academy George went to Williams College in Massachusetts, the young Steinbrenner would become a star track athlete as well as the school's sports editor for their newspaper. George was very active in several other areas of the school before earning his bachelor's degree in English in 1952. After he graduated he joined the nations military as a member of the Air Force. When he landed an assignment at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Ohio, Steinbrenner headed up a sports program for the base and started a coffee stand business that grew to six pick up trucks that were all bringing him income.
Steinbrenner was discharged from the military in 1954. He went onto Ohio State, where as graduate assistant to legendary football coach Woody Hayes he attempted to earn his master's degree in physical education. While at Ohio State Steinbrenner took on some assistant coaching duties, which led to similar positions with Northwestern and Purdue universities. In 1957, at the urging of his father, George joined the family business in the shipping industry. The business had been struggling to survive until George came aboard, after helping the company return to profitability, George bought the business from his family, then would lead his company into greater business ventures that turned Steinbrenner into a millionaire.
When he returned from the suspension he helped turn the Yankees into a contender. In 1976 they went all the way to the World Series. and even though they lost to the Cincinnati Reds the people of New York were excited about the Bronx Bombers for the first time in a long time. Through the years some of the best players in all of baseball migrated toward New York, with Steinbrenner signing big names like Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson there was big money to be made in the Bronx. The first time Steinbrenner was a champion as an owner came in the 1977 season, when the Yankees beat the Dodgers in 6 games. It was the 21st championship for the franchise and it was the first time since 1962 the Yankees owned the title of World Champions. Then in '78 the team came back from a 14 1/2 game deficit in mid July, forcing a one game playoff with their biggest rival the Boston Red Sox. After taking care of business with the Red Sox the Yankees went on another championship run, eventually beating the Dodgers in six games, it was back to back rings for Steinbrenner's club and times were good in New York.
While he had his controversies through the years, it's safe to say he was one of the most iconic men to ever own a sports franchise, and not just any sports franchise we are talking about the New York Yankees. While he might have been a little too vocal with the media and at times he even made it look as if he was running a 3 ring circus, he was still very dedicated to the success of his franchise. As of 2012 the $10 million dollar investment Steinbrenner made in 1973 was valued at $1.6 billion dollars. Generations well passed ours will know the name George Steinbrenner, he was an icon and one of the biggest figures in professional sports for more than thirty years.