The name George Steinbrenner was involved with the New York Yankees since 1973 until 2007, when he was too ill to remain in control.
He died in 2010, but his legacy as an MLB owner will last forever: the Yankees won consecutive World Series championships in 1977 and 1978, just four years after a group in which Steinbrenner was in acquired the team.
He wasn’t afraid to hand out big contracts to bring the very best players to town, he had a strict no-facial hair policy, and he loved winning.
Let’s go back to those days in the seventies in which the Yankees’ fortunes changed.
CBS had acquired the Yankees in 1965, but by the early-1970s, they wanted to sell.
One Of Baseball’s Most Famous Owners Was In Command Since 1973
A group of investors purchased the Yankees from CBS in early 1973, on January 3 to be exact.
Steinbrenner was one of those investors, alongside minority partner and team president E. Michael Burke, James Nederlander, Lester Crown, John DeLorean, Nelson Bunker Hunt, and Marvin L. Warner.
The acquisition price, according to reports, was $10 million.
Today In 1973: George Steinbrenner and a group of investors buy the New York #Yankees for the bargain price of $10,000,000! George's name doesn't make the headlines, but that won't last for long! #MLB #History pic.twitter.com/lZTjKSSjXJ
— Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) January 3, 2022
Burke’s role diminished a few months later after he was upset about a decision to bring in another executive who would reduce his authority.
Over the years, Steinbrenner bought most of the other investors’ stakes, and his influence on the team’s decisions was immediate.
Let’s go back, however, to the cost of the investment: $10 million is obviously a lot of money in a vacuum, but it was more than fair value for a franchise such as the Yankees.
For reference, the Yankees are worth over $5 billion today.
Per Statista, the Bronx Bombers’s $5.25 billion value easily trumps the second-ranked team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, worth $3.57 billion.
Even after adjusting for inflation, the $10 million that the group invested was nowhere near what an MLB franchise is currently worth today.
It was a very good price for the most valuable and well-known brand in baseball: for reference, the Wrigley family sold the Chicago Cubs to the Chicago Tribune in 1981, for about $20 million.
The Cubs are very valuable ($3.3 billion today, ranking fourth in MLB), but not as valuable as the Yankees.
The Boss Built Quite A Legacy
As the decision-maker of the Yankees, Steinbrenner would go on to have highs and lows, but the former were much more frequent than the latter.
He won six World Series as the active head of baseball of the Yankees, more than any other team in baseball: 1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000.
By the time the Yanks won their last Fall Classic, in 2009, Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, George’s sons, were leading the charge.
Steinbrenner was always a sharp business man, and the price he paid for the Yankees back in the day is the perfect proof of that.
He didn’t pay it all himself, in addition, as the other investors put a significant chunk of the money.
Overall, fans love Steinbrenner because he was always determined to have the best roster, no matter the cost.
They often criticize Hal, the current owner, and compare him to his father.
Asked specifically today how he felt about his father’s approach, Hal Steinbrenner stated that he’s his own man and that his father’s rash moves often didn’t work and drew criticism. But he doesn’t run from the comparisons, he simply acts in a more measured way.
— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) July 1, 2021
In any case, George will not be forgotten among Yankees fans.NEXT: Giancarlo Stanton Vs. Aaron Judge (Who Is Better?)