Results tagged ‘ Joan Steinbrenner ’
The professional sports world in America has not been a men-only province for a long time as the current issue of Yankees Magazine that goes on sale Tuesday will attest. The club’s flagship journal is the first team publication in American professional sports to dedicate an entire issue to women.
Yankees fans will get an up-close look at the females in the organization and those pioneers in baseball and other sports that have changed the landscape of the industry.
The cover of the issue features a photograph of Joan Steinbrenner, widow of the late George M. Steinbrenner III; Yankees vice chairperson Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal; vice chairperson Jessica Steinbrenner and Christina Steinbrenner, wife of Yankees co-chairperson Hal Steinbrenner. The edition includes a feature story about the philanthropic work of the Steinbrenner family and the charitable endeavors of several Yankees players’ wives.
“Where else but with the New York Yankees do you have the opportunity to create history on any given day,” team vice president and assistant general manager Jean Afterman said. “I am proud to participate in the first-ever professional sports team magazine devoted to women. It’s great to be a Yankee every day, and on the day that this issue goes to print, the Yankees will again prove how historic this organization is.”
Jean is among the women featured in the magazine, along with Yankees senior vice president of marketing Deborah Tymon, plus such female icons as tennis legend Billie Jean King, softball pitcher Jennie Finch and soccer star Mia Hamm, among others. Yankees fans who listen to radio voice Suzyn Waldman on WCBS-880AM and watch clubhouse/on-field reporter Kimberly Jones and studio host/Yankees Magazine moderator Nancy Newman on the YES Network will get the chance to know them better. Also featured is a look at the office women behind the scenes who have been fixtures in the organization for more than three decades.
“We are excited to launch such a unique issue of Yankees Magazine, and one that celebrates the contributions of women throughout the sports world,” Yankees director of publications Alfred Santasiere III said. “The Women’s Issue is certain to be a keepsake to Yankees fans and sports fans because it is the first of its kind.”
Yankees Magazine, which has served as the team’s game-day program since its inception in 1980, is available at Yankee Stadium, through 800-GO-YANKS or online at http://www.yankees.com/publications.
Right away Monday, I knew things would be different at Yankee Stadium. As I entered the lobby, I ran into a pair of old friends – Joe Torre and Don Mattingly.
Yes, this was going to be quite a night.
The former Yankees manager and captain were in the new Yankee Stadium for the first time to be part of the ceremony before Monday night’s Yankees-Rays game to honor the memory of the late Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner with the unveiling of a plaque in the middle of Monument Park.
“I wanted to come back here last year for the World Series, but I didn’t do a good enough job,” Torre said, alluding to his Dodgers team’s failure to get past the Phillies in the National League Championship Series.
Last Friday, Joe announced that he was stepping down as Dodgers manager next year and will be succeeded by his bench coach, Mattingly, who will finally fulfill his dream by managing on the major-league level. Donnie gave me a hug and I said, “I can’t call you ‘Cap’ anymore. I’ll have to start calling you ‘Skip’ now.”
There were a lot of years and memories of Yankees greatness in these two figures standing in the Gate 2 lobby where next to the elevators stands a statue of “The Boss.”
Shortly after, Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost came out of one of the elevators and greeted Torre and Mattingly and proceeded to start them on a tour of the two-year-old park. Let’s hope that this is the beginning of a renewed relationship between the team and its estranged icons.
Trost contacted Torre right after his press conference Friday and invited him and Mattingly to the ceremony. Monday was an open date on the Dodgers’ schedule
It must be noted that both men left the Yankees after the 2007 season not on the best of terms, Torre more so than Mattingly. Unable to get a contract extension that suited him, Torre left and went to the Dodgers. Mattingly had been a candidate for the Yankees manager’s job, but it went to Joe Girardi. Mattingly went to Los Angeles to be on Torre’s coaching staff.
“I always expected to come back,” Mattingly said. “I played my whole career here. I love the Yankees. I’m with another storied organization in L.A. now, but it was the Yankees who taught me the game, and I love coming back.”
As for Torre, Mattingly likened his return to the Stadium to when Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, who was also at the Stadium for the Steinbrenner ceremony, returned to the Bronx in 1999 after a lengthy feud with the owner.
“Like Yogi, Joe needed to get back,” Donnie said. “I remember those years when Yogi wasn’t around and thinking his coming back needed to happen. It’s the same with Joe.”
Torre and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman agreed that their relationship was strained after “The Yankees Years,” a book co-written by Torre and Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, characterized them as having opposing views towards the end of Torre’s 12-year run as Yankees manager.
They spoke Monday for the first time since parting ways three years ago.
“It was time to turn the page,” Cashman said. “I was the general manager for 10 of the 12 years Joe was here, and it was a magic carpet ride nearly all of that time. I was disappointed that the majority of our time together was not presented in the book. But we had a good talk, and we’ll move on from there.”
One thing Torre and Cashman were in agreement over was their respect for Steinbrenner. Cashman said those in the front office are still adjusting to running the Yankees without him.
“You have to understand that he did everything with the Yankees,” Cashman said. “No matter what area of business there was, he had the final say. And you always knew when he was in the Stadium. You could just feel his presence once you got two feet into the door. Some would say you could feel it in the parking lot.”
“George is responsible for the best years of my life professionally,” Torre said. “We had some disagreements, but it was a good relationship. You always knew how much George wanted to win, for this city and for this organization. The last time I spoke to him was his 80th birthday. I knew he would get a lot of attention that day, so I actually called him the day before. We spoke for about 10 minutes. He was in very good spirits. It’s a good feeling to get back to this. George belongs not only in Monument Park but also in the Hall of Fame.”
The pre-game ceremony was attended by Joan Steinbrenner, George’s widow, and her four children – sons Hank and Hal and daughters Jennifer and Jessica and their spouses. Other guests included Berra and fellow Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson as well as commissioner Bud Selig, Gene Michael, Roy White, Lee Mazzilli, David Wells and Tino Martinez.
Torre was accompanied by his wife, Ali. Yogi and the Steinbrenner family climbed on to a golf cart and began a procession down the right field line and along the warning track to Monument Park beyond the center field wall. Not surprisingly, the loudest cheers were for Torre and especially Mattingly.
“There has never been a greater group of fans than the fans at Yankee Stadium,” Torre said.
The plaque read:
July 4, 1930 – July 13, 2010
New York Yankees Principal Owner
1973 – 2010
Purchased the New York Yankees on January 3, 1973.
A true visionary who changed the game of baseball forever,
he was considered the most influential owner in all of sports.
In his 37 years as Principal Owner, the Yankees posted a Major League-best .566 winning percentage,
while winning 11 American League pennants and seven World Series titles,
becoming the most recognizable sports brand in the world.
A devoted sportsman, he was Vice President of the United States Olympic Committee, a member of
the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors and a member of the NCAA Foundation Board of Trustees.
A great philanthropist whose charitable efforts were mostly performed without fanfare, he followed a
personal motto of the greatest form of charity is anonymity.
Dedicated by the New York Yankees
September 20, 2010