Open Thread: Is The Boss a HOFer?

Farnsworth out, Pudge in
Hawkins traded to Houston

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George Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees for a mere $10M back in 1973, and has watched the team grow into a $1.2 billion dollar mega-franchise. The most recognizable owner in sports has had his share of highlights, low lights, and all sorts of in-between lights, and remains as recognizable as ever despite handing the reins over to sons Hank & Hal. He’s been suspended from baseball for paying people to dig up dirt on one of his players, he revolutionized a new income stream by being the first owner to sell his team’s television rights to a cable network, he was indicted on 14 criminal counts for improper contributions to Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign, and he’s donated millions of dollars to charities of all shapes and sizes, most of which was done outside of the public eye.

During last weekend’s HOF induction ceremony, both Goose Gossage and Dick Williams shared their thoughts on Big Stein’s HOF candidacy, and that candidacy is what we’re here to discuss tonight. Does Steinbrenner belong to be immortalized in the Hall of Fame?

Many claim that he’s ruined baseball by exploiting his team’s financial advantages, others claim that he’s helped increase the game’s popularity to record highs. He may best be known for his firey temper and a revolving door of managers, but his contributions, particularly to the Tampa community, will leave the longest lasting impression of Mr. Steinbrenner.

What do you think, does The Boss belong in the HOF? Discuss it here, and play nice.

Farnsworth out, Pudge in
Hawkins traded to Houston
  • Jake

    Yes. He not only restored the Yankee luster, but created an empire. He completely changed the economics of the game. He was the first to create a team-owned network and before that, sell TV rights (to MSG). With him, the Yankees are worth over a billion. No question. Sure he has had his off-field antics, but so have other HOFers. Plus, character doesn’t count (see: Cobb, Ty).

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    Ive had some real issues with George over the years (who hasn’t) but I was a fan in the early 70’s who remembers what it was like being a Yankee fan. George restored order created alot of disorder (1980’s), drove the team into the ground in the early 90’s and then redeemed himself. 6 World Championships, 10 pennants, of course he belongs in the Hall.

  • Jake

    Another thing to add: If Comiskey is in the HOF, then no question George is in.

  • Rob

    Absolutely. 100% Without a doubt. The money was always there. The difference is he pumped it back into players where the rest of the owners were putting it in their pockets. George and the free agent era wouldn’t have been the same without each other.

    • Ivan

      Yeah, George change the game once he had Reggie signing on the dotted line.

  • Aaron

    Steinbrenner has completely revamped the way that we look at ownership in sports today. Despite whether he is loved or hated, he is arguably the most recognizable owner in sports today. He’s given owners a face, where before the owner of any team was rarely in the spotlight like Steinbrenner has been.

    Look at free agency. While he’s criticized for overspending and destroying the market with over-the-top contracts, he’s been a large influence in one of the game’s most influential changes.

    You can’t deny his impact on the game. He certainly belongs in the HOF. The two die-hard Red Sox fans in the room with me happen to agree and they hate the man.

    • Ivan

      Him and Bill veck made Owners household names in today’s world.

  • Rob

    He also belongs in the business HOF. Turning $10M into $1.2B over 30 years is a pretty nifty trick, too.

  • stuart

    Yes for all the reasons given above.. The yanks are a monster because of Geroge’s desire to win at all costs.. What more can a fan of a team want then a owner that cares as much as they do about winning..

  • Baseballnation

    Yes! And for what it’s worth, Latroy Hawkins was dealt by the Yankees to Houston.

    • A.D.

      Well if anyone gave up a prospect for him, it would be the ‘Stros

  • A.D.

    Transformed free agency, and didn’t just hold the money these franchise hold. They’ve put rules into place to try and curb Big Stien’s spending, which hasn’t done that much and made other teams stronger.

    Not to mention he was the owner that revamped the most storied franchise in the sport.

    You can disagree with some of his methods, but his impact on the game, and what he’s done with the Yankee is undeniable.

  • E-ROC

    Yes, The Boss should be in the HOF. He was or is the closest thing to a diehard fan owning a team; a truly diehard fan. I don’t think the Mark Cubans of the world would exist without The Boss.

  • Joey

    I don’t think this should be much of a debate. The Hall is about the the best players/managers etc… and the HISTORY of the game, and who has had a greater impact on the course of it than George Steinbrenner? He increased publicity and changed how the game was run, and for better or worse depending on who you talk to, he changed it nonetheless and deserves a plaque

  • leo

    the thing is, you cant measure owners in terms of championships won, or pennants contested but simply, as many people have articulated, their impact on the game. think about it: men like Larry MacPhail, Branch Rickey and Bill Veeck are absolutely immortal for their innovations to this beautiful game. Mr. MacPhail for night baseball, Mr. Rickey for integration and Mr. Veeck for his many valuable additions. Mr. Steinbrenner should equally be immortalized for his network innovation. His decision; to establish an exclusive rights television station dedicated to a major league baseball team, has popularized baseball to a level comparable to its debut on radio. That network’s success has allowed him to exploit* the Yankee brand and raise its profile, and with it, Major League Baseball, to unprecedented levels. (*Note- I mean exploit in the manner of making something profitable and not in the sense of taking advantage of someone/thing) He has undoubtedly been a boon to the game, if only for the financial advantage of having a $1.2 billion cog in a 30 part machine. And the most amazing thing is that he is a man who believes in not only investing in his team, but also its infrastructure. He has overseen “the renovation,” as well as the building of a new park. let me reiterate that this is a man who has made the modern era of free agency and baseball the powerful economic force it is today. A man who, for all his bombastic stylings, revolutionized the game of baseball. Let us celebrate the career of Mr. Steinbrenner and place him the Hall of Fame.

  • Ron Rivera

    Many claim that he’s ruined baseball by exploiting his team’s financial advantages, others claim that he’s helped increase the game’s popularity to record highs. He may best be known for his firey temper and a revolving door of managers, but his contributions, particularly to the Tampa community, will leave the longest lasting impression of Mr. Steinbrenner.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I like an owner who puts the money into the team. I don’t know how the Twinkie fans can stand their owner pocketing the revenue sharing.

    George may have done some really stupid things and signed some really stupid/questionable people but overall his impact has been unbelievable. HOF for Mr. S.

  • Anus

    Listen, he’s the best owner right now and probably the best ever in baseball. Aside from that, he’s also one of the best and smartest businessmen ever… Look at what he bought the team for and what he’s turned it into-A FUCKING EMPIRE….. Yea he’s prob done some stupid moves in signing and not signing guys over the years, but all that doesn’t matter, cause he’s the man and the Yankees rip shit up because of him. Seeing him cry at the all-star game was freakin emotional because you see what this franchise and what this team is to him-it’s his life… George is a hall of famer

  • http://godfather

    the hall doesn’t exist for me, but for those who sanctify it, of course george does, as or course marvin miller does; the idea that rose isn’t a hall of famer is ludicrous as well…this isn’t about character, it’s about those who were at gthe wheel driving the best game ever; think about it: sportswriters whose identities are important only to them deciding whether the boss is important…get over yourselves and your posturing

  • pat