“The Boss” Deserved Induction

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor 

Las Vegas-  The Baseball Winter Meetings are supposed to begin with more rumors and speculation but Sunday night as executives of teams assembled at the Mandalay Bay Casino on the strip the talk again was Hall of Fame.

But the Hall of Fame again for George Steinbrenner will not be a part of his legacy. The late Yankees owner was denied enshrinement again. The third time was not a charm for enshrinement with a 16-person board, ‘Today’s Game Era Committee’ of current  Hall of Famers, executives, and baseball historians.

“It’s not fair, why did they do this to him again,” the words of contributing columnist Ray Negron. He, the well known and chronicled Yankees’ bat boy, who Steinbrenner rescued as a troubled youngster in the Bronx, was a loud voice in this last attempt to see his “Boss” get enshrined with the legends of baseball.

Cry or not, George Steinbrenner had the positives. He revived the Yankees into a revenue machine that evolved and took the game of baseball to a different era.  He also had the enemies, also well known, the Yankees became the “Evil Empire.”

So why was George Steinbrenner denied the highest honor? He wasn’t an angel, and to many not all the time. Indictments of illegal campaign contributions, conspiring to make Dave Winfield the enemy, suspended by Major league Baseball for severe infractions. And Steinbrenner was a so called dictator that had employees bowing down to a so called King.

Perhaps those were some of the deciding factors that keep George Steinbrenner out of the Hall and  with left with one huge enshrinement at the cathedral of a new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. A huge portrait of “The Boss” is evident out in the right center field bleacher area in the cathedral he built for the fans.

But, despite the flaws and debates about an owner not belonging in the Halls up in Cooperstown, there are the positives about George Steinbrenner.

And every crosstown Mets fan can relate to that word “Win” and that  mandate for every Yankees team that George Steinbrenner had under his watch. Winning to “The Boss” was about the tradition even if it was the only thing on his mind.  In other words, spending money opened the revenue streams and other owners for the most part saw that work.

“ It’s not fair, not fair,” That was all Ray Negron could say. He may be correct in this not being the proper statement to honor a baseball owner that made a difference.  However, the voting and how it is done, criteria, and a whole bunch of other things are left for another day.

Hall of Fame and the vote is always a subject to debate.  Leave that to those who get to vote and determine who is in and who is not.

But this one they got wrong. And for the final time George Steinbrenner was denied that greatest honor. However there is that line of thought, and this is justified, George Steinbrenner made an impact impact and more than any other owner in professional sports.

And that impact lives on today, all you have to do is ask Ray Negron. His tears are not with sorrow but with joy. In the Baseball Hall of Fame, George Steinbrenner won’t have that honor but his impact on others to them was Hall of Fame.

Updates from the Winter Meetings this week here. Listen also to daily podcasts live from Las Vegas also seen live on Facebook Watch and other social media platforms.

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