"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Boss...

Boss: a person who employs or superintends workers; manager.

Many of you, probably all of you, reading this piece are aware of the passing of one George Michael Steinbrenner III, owner of the New York Yankees, two days ago at the age of 80 years old. 

Like many of you, I never had the privilege, or the honor, to meet one of the greatest owners in professional sports. And like many of you, my perception of "The Boss" wasn't always a good one. Words like meddlesome, mean spirited, arrogant and poor sport came to mind.

Mr. Steinbrenner liked to say, and he said it on "60 minutes", "Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser." Strong words from a strong man. 

A very strong and opinionated man indeed.

I could write, inadequately I might add, for weeks about George Steinbrenner and his accomplishments and never do the man justice. With that being said, let me share just a few of his "early" accomplishments:

  • Culver Military Academy graduate.
  • Played the piano and was the halfback on the football team his senior year.
  • Received a BA from Williams College in Massachusetts in 1956
  • Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.  
  • Completed a post graduate study from The Ohio State University earning a master's degree in physical education.
  • Graduate assistant to the legendary coach Woody Hayes at The Ohio State University.
  • Served as assistant football coach at Northwestern and Purdue. 
I could go on, but the list is simply too long. George Steinbrenner was truly a great man with a drive and tenacity that was second to none. 

But the thing that really got my attention concerning the boss was how many good deeds he did behind the scenes.He simply did them out of the goodness of his heart, wanting no one to make a big deal about his tremendous acts of kindness.

Like I said, many of the "kind and generous" things Mr. Steinbrenner did was out of the spotlight. Many people simply didn't know how many lives he touched.

I know I didn't have a clue of his generosity and kindness.

It wasn't until an article that I read outlining his involvement with the most decorated Olympic figure skater, Michelle Kwan, in US history that I realized that he was a special man. Michelle was only 13 at the time that her parents received a helping hand from Mr. Steinbrenner in the tune of $10,000. They didn't have the money, he did...and with his support Michelle Kwan went on to fulfill her dream of becoming an Olympic figure skater. It would be years later before she would be an international figure skating superstar and Olympic champion, but at the age of 13 Mr. Steinbrenner stood in the gap and made a difference in a little girl's life.

Yogi, the Boss & Billy Martin.
1976 AL Champions (his 1st of many)

Standing in the gap is something Mr. Steinbrenner made a habit of doing throughout his lifetime. When Olympic swimmer, Ron Karnaugh, lost his father during the opening ceremonies of the Barcelona Olympics, it was George Steinbrenner that went to his room to notify him. He also promised him and his mother, on the spot, that he would pay, in full, for him to complete medical school that he was beginning later that fall.

He did and now Ron Karnaugh is an internist in New Jersey.

Could "The Boss" be difficult, rude and arrogant? Yes. Could he be impatient and rule with an iron fist? Yes. He also could, and did on many of occasion, meet people right were their need was without wanting any attention and or fanfare for doing so.

Few could argue that Mr. Steinbrenner was a champion on the field; few realized that the boss was also a champion, a true champion, off the field. So fate, or destiny, would have it that on the day that Major League Baseball celebrates it best and brightest, George Michael Steinbrenner III would be honored, remembered and celebrated as one of the best owners their game has ever known (he made baseball relevant when know body cared about baseball)...and one of the best owners that professional sports has ever seen.

He truly was an All-star.

July 4, 1930 - July 10, 2010

sbb  15.7.2010   (New York, New York  .  Frank Sinatra736


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