Via Cindy Adams…yeah…Cindy Adams…I know…
Coming at us from HarperCollins — although they might not even have bound copies yet — is an unauthorized biography of our adored, beloved, king of the hill G. Steinbrenner. Title: “George Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball.”
Starts with his early days in Cleveland, years as a shipping magnate and the fact that he was and is a champion horse breeder. Pokes into his politics, like the few pages on his being a Nixon fund-raiser.
And then come the Yankee years. He bought the team in 1973 for $10 mil. Today The House That Ruth may have begun but that George built is valued at, according to this biography, a billion bucks — give or take a few — and its payroll has been $200 mil. It’s the team his father tried to discourage him from buying, saying that to own a sports franchise is “just a hobby.”
Author Bill Madden’s a sportswriter who’s covered major league baseball 30 years, calls the Boss “irascible” and, as usual, cites “hundreds of sources,” including personal interviews with anyone who had a love/hate relationship for his subject. That includes locker-room types, fired bat boys, front office personnel.
He cites the “epic” battles with Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield. He writes that George’s “ruthless free-spending tactics” made him a “lightning rod for controversy,” but they sure as hell paid off. The New York Yankees? The Gold Standard in baseball. In all of sports. In all the world.
Should be a good one.