You've probably heard that George Steinbrenner passed away this morning at the age of 80. I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts from being able to meet and interview him over the years to just being able to hear how he impacted so many people's lives, including my own.
I met Mr. Steinbrenner some 20 years ago, first as a player and then as a broadcaster.
He was always nice, respectful, and down to earth. He always made me feel better about myself after spending some time with him.
My very good friend and radio partner for many years, former Rangers and Red Sox manger Kevin Kennedy said his favorite memory after winning the American League East Division was the note he received shortly after. It was from Mr. Steinbrenner, congratulating him on the win.
No matter what you may, think Steinbrenner was always a class act.
The late owner of the Reds, Marge Schott, loved Steinbrenner and always asked George for advice - like the time she traded for Deion Sanders; she first consulted Mr. Steinbrenner, who told her to ask the veteran players what they thought, then go get him. She did, and Deion was one of my favorite teammates.
My former manager, Lou Pinella, who is known for arguments with umpires, told me that George told him when he managed the Yankees that if you are going to argue, make it more entertaining for the fans!
My former GM, Bill Bergesch, who I saw at Old Yankee Stadium, was still on the Yankee payroll, still had his company car and parking spot, and was still welcome in the owner's box.
Many people have told me nothing but amazing stories about Mr. Steinbrenner. Yes, I'm sure you will also hear some negative stories, but my father always taught me to treat everyone the way you would want to be treated; and thats's exactly how I will remember Mr. Steinbrenner - with nothing but love and respect because that is how he treated me.
I will miss him very much, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family.