The Yankees’ ballpark in Tampa Bay, Florida, used for spring training, has been renamed from Legends Field to Steinbrenner Field, after the Yankee’s famous owner, George Steinbrenner.
George Vecsey of the New York Times has some interesting observations about this. He says:
“This gesture runs against the hideous trend of hanging transient corporate names on major league ballparks. It revives the ancient tradition of autocratic owners putting their names on their fields”
With that said, perhaps it’s worth mentioning a few points of note about Mr. Steinbrenner.
Steinbrenner and a group of investors bought the Yankees in 1973 for $10 million. He has owned the team longer than any Yankee owner in history. Under his leadership the team has won 10 pennants and 6 World Series titles.
He’s not been free of controversy. In his first 23 seasons he changed managers 20 times. He was indicted on 14 criminal counts in 1974 for illegal contributions to Nixon’s campaign. He pleaded guilty to the contributions and obstruction of justice. He was suspended from the game for nine months by the commissioner. He was later pardoned by Ronald Reagan in 1989.
He’s been criticized for paying higher prices for star free agents, escalating the price of all players. But there’s no denying his success in creating a super successful ball club. Under his ownership the franchise has grown from a $10 million team into the first billion-dollar team. It’s quite remarkable. He probably deserves his own stadium.
Another Steinbrenner owned baseball season is coming to New York. Be sure to purchase your NY Yankee tickets online.