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Sports world remembers George Steinbrenner

5:55 PM, Jul 13, 2010   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: George Steinbrenner 1930 - 2010

Here are some quotes on the passing of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who died Tuesday at age 80:

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"On behalf of baseball, I am very saddened by the passing this morning of George Steinbrenner. George was a giant of the game and his devotion to baseball was surpassed only by his devotion to his family and his beloved New York Yankees. He was and always will be as much of a New York Yankee as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and all of the other Yankee legends.

"I have known George ever since he entered the game in 1972. He was my dear friend for nearly four decades. Although we would have disagreements over the years, they never interfered with our friendship and commitment to each other. Our friendship was built on loyalty and trust and it never wavered. We were allies and friends in the truest sense of the words.

My wife, Sue, and I pass on our deepest sympathies to the Steinbrenner family, to the New York Yankees and to all of his friends. We will miss him, especially tonight when the baseball family will be gathered at Angel Stadium for the All-Star game." - baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

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"George was 'The Boss,' make no mistake. He built the Yankees into champions and that's something nobody can ever deny. He was a very generous, caring, passionate man. George and I had our differences, but who didn't? We became great friends over the last decade and I will miss him very much." - Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra.

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"George invested his heart and soul into the Yankees, and his competitive fire helped usher in new eras of Yankee greatness, reclaiming the team's long tradition of excellence and its position as the most successful franchise in the history of American sports. He was a champion who made New York a better place, and who always gave back to the city he loved. He has left an indelible legacy on the Yankees, on baseball, and on our city, and he leaves us in the only way that would be appropriate: as a reigning world champion.

"We will be lowering the flags in City Hall Plaza today in honor of his achievements. George was a larger than life New York figure whose passion and drive to succeed will forever be missed." - New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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"George Steinbrenner's passion for the game of baseball helped revive one of the game's most storied franchises, and in the process ushered in the modern era of baseball business operations. Mr. Steinbrenner understood and embraced the power of the players, and he put this knowledge to good use in establishing the Yankees as one of the sports world's most iconic brands." - Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

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"George was a friend of mine for over 30 years. He was truly the most influential and innovative owner in all of sports. He transformed baseball and sports broadcasting with the YES Network and brought New York seven World Series. Beyond that, he made the Yankees a source of great pride in being a New Yorker. George Steinbrenner's Yankees represent the will to overcome all odds which is precisely the will New Yorkers display when meeting every challenge they face. George will be greatly be missed but his legacy will carry on in the hearts and minds of all baseball fans." - former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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"I admired his willingness to promote and support all sports at all levels. I appreciated his understanding of the invaluable asset of involving his family in the management of the Yankees. I took pride in calling him a friend, an advisor, an inspiration and later, a business partner.

"We have lost a true leader in sports - someone who not only saw the big picture but helped create the scene on the canvas." Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

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"George was like a father figure to me. He treated me well, he treated me fair and he gave me a wonderful opportunity to play and manage the game we all love. George will be remembered as one of the most influential and renowned owners of a franchise in sports history. He leaves a legacy of winning and an unwavering passion for success. My wife Anita and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the Steinbrenner family and the Yankees organization. George was very special to me and I loved him." - Cubs manager Lou Piniella, who also played for and managed the Yankees.

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"George was a friend who I admired very much. He was a giant in our game and he built an empire. All he was was a winner. He wanted to give the fans a winner, and that's exactly what he did." - Dodger Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda.

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"I will always remember George Steinbrenner as a passionate man, a tough boss, a true visionary, a great humanitarian and a dear friend. I will be forever grateful that he trusted me with his Yankees for 12 years. My heart goes out to his entire family. He will be deeply missed in New York, Tampa and throughout the world of baseball. It's only fitting that he went out as a world champ." - Dodger manager and former Yankees manager Joe Torre.

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"I am deeply saddened to hear the news of George Steinbrenner's passing. His vision, passion and commitment to winning, recharged the New York Yankees and revolutionized the game.

I remember a man driven to succeed. He was the owner, "The Boss" and number one fan of the Yankees. Our relationship was built on mutual respect. I will never forget and always be grateful for how he treated me and my family both during my playing days and after I retired. - Dodger hitting coach and former Yankee Don Mattingly.

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"George Steinbrenner was too complex a person to adequately describe in a short statement, but he was a great friend of mine and he will be missed. His impact on the game cannot be denied." - Chicago White Sox ownerJerry Reinsdorf.

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"The Orioles are saddened to learn of the passing of George Steinbrenner. As an active participant in the organizational direction and operations of the New York Yankees, his name is as synonymous with that franchise as any of the legendary athletes who have played in pinstripes. On behalf of the Orioles organization, I extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Joan, and the members of his family." - Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos.

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"In his own unique style, George Steinbrenner built one of the finest Major League Baseball teams in the league, and he did it with tenacity as well as total allegiance and commitment to put the Yankees in a position to compete every year for a championship. I know the franchise and especially New York baseball fans will miss him greatly. He promised them a winner, and he delivered." - Tom Hicks, the outgoing owner of the Texas Rangers.

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"George was a tremendous competitor. His passion for winning motivated all of us in baseball. When George took over the ballclub, he reinvented the Yankees. He did everything within his power to put a championship team on the field.

"George was personable, friendly and truly cared about his franchise and the fans. We always admired his drive to be the best." - Michael and Marian Ilitch. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers and Michael and Marian Ilitch are co-owners of the Detroit Red Wings.

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"We all suffered a huge loss today! Mr. Steinbrenner was a great man, great owner, that did so many amazing things. You will truly be missed!" - Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain, from his Twitter account.

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"He was 'The Boss.' He wanted to win and I admired him for that. He might not have done things the way people expected them to be done, but he wanted to win. It's one of the main reasons why I wanted to come to New York, because he made sure his teams had an opportunity to win." - former Yankees outfielder Tim Raines.

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"George Steinbrenner was a dynamic personality in sports and in business. He was the ultimate competitor in both worlds. All of us in the business of sports want to win; that is the objective. George personified that ambition. He and his good works will be missed dearly. George and my father had a special relationship; they were both good businessmen, and George loved the Yankees and my father loved the Giants." - New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch.

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"George Steinbrenner is an American icon and was one of the pre-eminent owners in all of sports. A true champion with his own unique style, he held his team to the highest standards and demanded a title for Yankees fans each and every season. I will remember him as a winner whose passion and enthusiasm became part of the fabric of New York City. He was an inspiration and represented the essence of leadership." -New York Jets owner Woody Johnson.

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"I had the privilege of serving on the National Football Foundation board of directors with George Steinbrenner for many years, and his service and commitment to our organization played a significant role in our ability to touch the lives of countless young student-athletes. From his playing days at Williams College to his coaching days at Purdue and Northwestern, it was clear that George Steinbrenner was a product of the gridiron. We will miss his passion for giving back to our sport, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends." - former NFL quarterback Archie Manning.

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"He had a tremendous impact on the Olympic movement in the U.S. He was devoted to sport and the pursuit of excellence and because of that, a generation of Olympic athletes have benefited." U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst.

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"Florida joins the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball in mourning the loss of unparalleled baseball icon George Steinbrenner. As the principal owner of the New York Yankees, George redefined the description of a chief executive. During his tenure, the Yankees won 11 American League pennants and seven world championships. He loved his family, his team, New York City and his home in Tampa, where he brought the Yankees to train each spring and his family's shipbuilding business, providing employment to many families.

"While the public face of George Steinbrenner was a demanding owner, he was extremely generous to others. Many acts of kindness were bestowed to those in need, with most of those acts going unnoticed except by those who benefited." - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

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"Like New York and like the Yankees, George Steinbrenner was a champion. He was someone about whom you can truly say that there will never be another one like him. When he bought the Yankees in 1973 the franchise was moribund and he quickly restored them to greatness. I, along with millions of Yankees fans, am thankful for the countless hours of joy we have experienced watching his team at the Stadium or following them on television and radio. He was a true New York icon." - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), who will offer a resolution commemorating the life and work of Steinbrenner.

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"The sports world and Tampa community have lost a legend and a friend. George was one of the most consequential and colorful executives in sports history. He helped restore his proud franchise to its unique place in sports and society. However, his greatest contributions weren't those that graced the sports page. He was a caring, gentle giant in our community." -The Glazer family, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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"He loved the game of football. He played. He coached, and he believed in the scholar-athlete ideal and the lessons learned on the gridiron. George stood for everything that the NFF represents, and it was truly special to have him on the board because he loved the game so much." - National Football Foundation President & CEO Steve Hatchell.

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"His impact on sports supersedes baseball and the New York Yankees. His work on behalf of the U.S. Olympic Committee and in particular U.S. Olympic athletes continues to affect the way the USOC conducts business today. The Steinbrenner report in 1989 revolutionized the USOC's sport performance philosophy, and a generation of Olympians have benefited as a result." - U.S. Olympic Foundation President and former USOC President Bill Hybl

From USA TODAY staff and wire reports. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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