George: The Poor Little Rich Boy Who Built the Yankee Empire ハードカバー – 2009/4/13
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The biography of one of the most controversial figures in sports: New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner
For 34 years, he berated his players and tormented Yankees managers and employees. He played fast and loose with the rules, and twice could have gone to jail. He was banned from baseball for life—but was allowed back in the game. Yet George Steinbrenner also built the New York Yankees from a mediocre team into the greatest sports franchise in America. The Yankees won ten pennants and six World Series during his tenure. Now acclaimed sportswriter and New York Times bestselling author Peter Golenbock tells the fascinating story of "The Boss," from his Midwestern childhood through his decades-long ownership of the Yankees–the longest in the team's history.
- Draws on more than a hundred interviews with those who have known George Steinbrenner throughout his life to tell the complete story of "The Boss" and his long tenure as owner of the New York Yankees
- Gets inside Steinbrenner’s countless manager hirings and firings, from Billy Martin to Joe Torre; the legendary feuds and hard feelings involving famous figures such as Yogi Berra and Dave Winfield; and the ever-spiraling players' salaries
- Covers the astute business deals that transformed the Yankees from a $10 million franchise into a powerhouse worth over $1 billion today
- Written by Peter Golenbock, one of the nation's best-known sports authors and the author of five New York Times bestsellers, including Number 1 with Billy Martin and The Bronx Zoo with Sparky Lyle
Packed with drama, insight, and fascinating front-office details, George is essential reading for baseball fans and anyone who loves a terrific story well told.
Peter Golenbock is one of the nation's best-known sports authors. He has written some of sports' most important books, including five New York Times bestsellers: The Bronx Zoo with Sparky Lyle, Number 1 with Billy Martin, Balls with Graig Nettles, Idiot with Johnny Damon, and Personal Fouls. He is also the author of the bestselling book on NASCAR, American Zoom, and he has written books about the Mets, and most recently 7: The Mickey Mantle Novel. His collaboration with Tony Curtis, American Prince, reached number seven on the New York Times bestseller list. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.
While Steinbrenner has been in the headlines for more than 30 years for his egotistical and demanding ways, it would be a mistake to think that you know everything about the man.
Author Peter Golenbock spends more than 100 pages describing Steinbrenner's life before he purchased the Yankees in 1973. It helps explain his actions the past 30-plus years.
One of the most interesting chapters in the book involves Steinbrenner's ownership of the Cleveland Pipers in the National Industrial Basketball League in the early 1960s. He exhibited all the undesirable traits that he would as the owner of the Yankees.
Steinbrenner was described as "incapable of leaving well enough alone. He was a compulsive meddler who had to be in complete control over every aspect of the organization, and his most detrimental flaw was that he always thought that because he had once been a coach, he knew more about the sport than his coaches. The other part had to do with his narcissism, the personality disorder in which the one suffering from it is convinced that he is better than everyone else, is smarter than every else, and knows better than everyone else.
"His second-guessing was constant and annoying, and his meddling often counterproductive and sometimes downright hurtful to his team."
Although Steinbrenner's actions with the Yankees have been well chronicled, they are more disturbing when read collectively. Golenbock describes Steinbrenner as "an ego-driven sadist." His mistreatment of players, managers, coaches and front office personnel is legendary. Steinbrenner hates those who succeed, particularly those in his own organization. He must take credit for everything.
Despite all the negatives, Steinbrenner does have a generous side, helping high school athletes and supporting causes. It still doesn't make him a likeable person.
This is a good book to read if you want to know more about George Steinbrenner, certainly one of the most impactful personalities in baseball history.
As noted by other reviewers, Golenbock does seem to suffer from "brain freeze" when it comes to a number of facts. Most any baseball fan knows that Roger Maris isn't in the Hall of Fame and Denny McLain (who retired in 1972) didn't lead the Detroit Tigers to a 35-5 start in 1984. These are just a couple of the factual mistakes.
There is a large part of the Book where Mr. Golenbock seems to be more venting about his problems with George than keeping to information about George. It vaguely reminded me of Selenea Roberts tone at times about A-Rod in her book. This bothered me, but not enough to stop reading.
After reading this book (I have not read the more recent book about George) I had a better feel about who he was. The book goes over good detail, detail I left out as to not spoil it or bore you. I would probably recommend the other book (Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball), it did get an overall better rating. If you do not like the newer one, this one does have adequate information well put together, until it gets bogged down by Peter trying to portray George more poorly than he already is viewed.