(Originally published here, Moshe asked me to repost here. You may completely hate me for this post, but I think the topic is worth consideration)
Photo via friend of the blog Amanda Rykoff
How would you remember George Steinbrenner?
The question has been asked and answered, and for many, the monument that now graces Monument Park behind center field in Yankee Stadium, would seem fitting and appropriate as a tribute to a man who was, in many ways, larger than life.
Ask a similar, but very different question:
How would George remember George Steinbrenner?
The answer becomes not quite so clear.
Steinbrenner, we know, was a man who spared no expense when it came to the Yankees, willing to do anything to bring a winning baseball team to New York City–and seven Word Series titles later, he most certainly did– seemingly regardless of the consequences it may have wrought.
Yet Steinbrenner was also a man whose community involvement is something we can only wish to emulate, and this Hal Steinbrenner quote about his father, from the article linked above, says volumes:
“He always told us that America is supposed to be the land of milk and honey, and there are too many people left behind,” Hal Steinbrenner says. “And he taught us if two or more people know you are doing it, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.”
Does that come across as a man who’d want a giant, bombastic monument that overshadows those of Ruth, Huggins, Gehrig, Mantle, DiMaggio and the victims of 9/11 (among others)?
Of course, only George himself knew what he would have wanted, so perhaps it’s wrong to say that the monument is too big or a noble effort but misguided.
@emmaspan tweeted that “it would be kind of inappropriate if Steinbrenner had a tasteful, understated, modest remembrance,” and my co-writer at You Can’t Predict Baseball @jordan_smed told me, “I think George wouldn’t have wanted a giant monument, but it was still the right thing to do…because the guy he was demanded it.”
There is certainly some truth to these notions, but I’m still left wondering if Steinbrenner was about the monuments and the tributes so much as he was the cause, be it the Yankees or helping out the underprivileged wherever he could.
Don’t mistake this for hagiography–Steinbrenner wasn’t a saint, and I doubt he’d enjoy classification as such, but that’s kind of the point.
Our society still bears traces of those that came before, of the idea that bigger is better (a sociologist or anthropologist would probably love to examine the root causes of this notion), that the more gold, the heavier trophy, the bigger monument you get, the more important you were.
In the postgame, Derek Jeter was asked about it and commented, ““It was big,” Jeter said. “Probably just how The Boss wanted it. The biggest one out there.”
Jeter, unlike me, would be in a position to know, and yet it’s hard to reconcile his comment with the notion of the man who thought the highest form of charity was that done anonymously.
It’s hard to argue that any one person was more important to the Yankees than the Boss in his prime, since he held the purse strings and thus the keys, but does that make Steinbrenner more important than the Yankee name, brand, legacy or ethos?
More importantly, did Steinbrenner see himself as such?
The monument is there, and by all rights and purposes one should be there, but when it was unveiled the great reaction–via IM, Twitter, correspondence from those at the game–was one agog at how big the monument was, more than anything else.
I never knew Mr. Steinbrenner, so I can’t answer the question with any certainty, but I wonder…
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees