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New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner dies

George Steinbrenner
Steinbrenner had a number of clashes with Yankees managers

George Steinbrenner, the owner of the famous New York Yankees baseball team, has died at the age of 80 after suffering a heart attack.

Steinbrenner, who bought the franchise for $10m in 1973, was taken to hospital in Florida after falling ill overnight.

"He was an incredible and charitable man," a statement from his family read. "He was a visionary and a giant in the world of sports."

The Yankees won 11 pennants and seven world series during his 37-year reign.

Steinbrenner, the son of a Cleveland shipping merchant, went on to become the longest-serving owner in Major League Baseball.

As well as success on the field, he turned the franchise into a formidable business after becoming the first owner to sell television rights to a cable company.

"He took a great but struggling franchise and turned it into a champion again," the family statement added.

Steinbrenner spent heavily to lure the best players available and his desire to have a say in team affairs led to fall-outs with several general managers and managers, including Billy Martin, whom he hired and fired five times.

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One of the sport's great personalities, Steinbrenner, who was known as 'The Boss', once compared owning the Yankees to owning the Mona Lisa.

With his health deteriorating in recent years, Steinbrenner became less involved in day-to-day business and handed over control to his sons Hal and Hank in 2007.

He made an appearance at the final game at the old Yankee Stadium in 2008 and attended a game at the team's $1bn new home in April this year.

Following the announcement of his death on Tuesday, flags were lowered to half-mast at Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees' spring training complex.

The sad news came two days after Bob Sheppard, the team's stadium announcer for 50 years and so-called 'Voice of the Yankees', died at the age of 99.



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see also
Yankees lose new stadium opener
17 Apr 09 |  Baseball
Yankee Stadium bows out with win
22 Sep 08 |  Baseball
Yankees cop criticism from owner
28 Jun 05 |  US Sport


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