Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yanks Honor Boss' Memory With Win

Yankees 8, Strays 6. Magic Number to clinch Playoff berth: 5; to clinch AL East, 12.

The George Steinbrenner Monument was unveiled at Monument Park last night:

GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER III
July 4, 1930 - July 13, 2010
New York Yankees Principal Owner
"The Boss"
1973 - 2010

Purchased the New York Yankees on January 3, 1973.
A true visionary who changed the game of baseball forever,
he was considered the most influential owner in all of sports.
In his 37 years as Principal Owner, the Yankees posted a Major League-best .566 winning percentage,
while winning 11 American League pennants and seven World Series titles,
becoming the most recognizable sports brand in the world.

A devoted sportsman, he was Vice President of the United States Olympic Committee, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Board of Directors and a member of the NCAA Foundation Board of Trustees.
A great philanthropist whose charitable efforts were mostly performed without fanfare, he followed a personal motto of the greatest form of charity is anonymity.

Dedicated by the New York Yankees
September 20, 2010

Among the Yankee greats on hand to honor George were Hall-of-Famers Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson, plus Joe Torre and Don Mattingly, each making their first visit to a Yankee Stadium since they left after the 2007 season.

And then the Yankees honored the Boss in the way he would have wanted it: They won.

Curtis Granderson hit 2 home runs to help the Yankees overcome a rough start for Ivan Nova, and while Mariano Rivera allowed a 9th-inning run for the second day in a row, and the go-ahead runs were on, he did finish it off.

A bit of a nail-biter, but it counts as a W every bit as much as the kind of game the owner who built the first Yankee Dynasty, "Colonel" Jacob Ruppert (who owned the team from 1915 until his death in 1939), would have liked: "When the Yankees score eight runs in the first inning, and then slowly pull away."

Ruppert was honored with a plaque -- they don't call it a "monument" even though it is of different shape and size from the other "plaques" in Monument Park -- on Opening Day 1940, about a year after his death. I get the feeling that the Colonel and the Boss would have liked each other. So long as neither tried to run the team while the other was owner, that is.

Tonight, Phil Hughes vs. James Shields. Let's take this one, too. The Boss would have wanted it that way.

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