I just got an email from a friend in Maryland. The subject was “George S” and the message said, “Sucks for the Yankees. What’s the mood like around New York?”
In case you haven’t heard, Yankees owner George Streinbrenner died this morning
of a heart attack at the age of 80. As for the mood of the city, I have no idea. I haven’t been outside (or listening to talk radio) much lately, and I’ve only attended one game this season at Yankee Stadium.
I shouldn’t say much about “The Boss” because a) I never met him and b) this isn’t the time to be negative, but basically, from what I’ve gathered from being a diehard baseball fan living in New York City for more than three decades, the man was feared and not well liked, but respected for building a winning team.
Personally, I’m more affected by the recent death of Bob Sheppard
, the Yankees’ longtime public address announcer. Once again, I won’t say much because it’s all been said by other people, but basically, every time I stepped inside the old Yankee Stadium, it felt like I was entering enemy land. My stomach would actually churn. That’s how stressful it was to attend games there (and how it still is at the new stadium, times ten). Sheppard’s soothing and dignified voice made it bearable. In fact, it was something to look forward to. It was a link to the past, to previous generations, to the Golden Age of baseball — something I wish I had gotten to experience.
Although I’ve never rooted for the team in the Bronx, my heart goes out to the families of George Steinbrenner, Bob Sheppard, and all members of the Yankee family.