The Yankees' New Owner
In 1973, Steinbrenner entered into the business venture for which he was to become best known. That year, he became head of a group of 17 investors that bought the New York Yankees from the CBS television and radio network. At the time, the team was down on its luck, not having made it to a World Series game since 1964. The sale was reported at $10 million. By 2002, the team was said to be worth $730 million. Kaufman called the mere $10 million Steinbrenner paid for the Yankees "astonishing," especially considering that the City of New York foot the bill for a more than $1 million parking lot to go with it, making Steinbrenner's effective purchase price even lower.
Steinbrenner has admitted that he has been tempted to sell the team to realize the enormous profit. "But," he told Kaufman, "athletics are in my blood, and being a successful team owner gives you prestige you can't get anywhere else."
At the time of the Yankees deal, Steinbrenner was an unknown businessman from the Midwest, so nervous at meeting the legendary chairman of CBS, William Paley, that he could hardly eat breakfast that morning. The two met in Paley's office, and verbally agreed on the deal. Steinbrenner spoke at a press conference soon after and promised to end the Yankees' losing streak within four years.
- George Steinbrenner - Related Biography: Television Executive William Paley
- George Steinbrenner - Success In Business
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