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Bud Selig: George Steinbrenner is a Hall of Famer

Sep 21, 2010, 8:24 AM EDT

And he's right. After all, the Hall of Fame ain't just for people we like.

See, Bud and I don’t disagree on everything. In this, I’m right there with him:

Baseball
commissioner Bud Selig held court in the back of the press box Monday
night and was asked, among other things, if Steinbrenner deserves a
plaque in Cooperstown in addition to Monument Park. “Of course I do,”
Selig said. “Now I’m sure that will have some controversy, but you asked
me my opinion.”

Told that former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert is not in Cooperstown,
Selig said, “I didn’t have a vote back then and I don’t have a vote
now.”

He could have also added that the Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig teams over which Ruppert presided were more the doing of Ed Barrow than they were Ruppert. In contrast, Steinbrenner was truly a transformative figure, and for all of his flaws, I believe far more deserving of the Hall of Fame than Ruppert was.

Yes, I realize there is an army of Steinbrenner haters out there. I’m no personal admirer myself. But my view of the Hall of Fame is that it’s about history and impact and, ultimately, excellence, and no matter what else you can say about George Steinbrenner, you can’t say that he wasn’t historic, had no impact and did not do things which allowed the Yankees — and baseball as a whole — to excel.

  1. Paper Lions - Sep 21, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    I don’t/didn’t hate Steinbrenner, but his teams were always best when he had the least influence. He was fun, because he would say what was on his mind, and he always made things interesting. But after opening his wallet, he best contributions were to get banned so his baseball people could do their jobs. Still, he wouldn’t be anything like the worst owner in the HOF (a place few owners or commissioners actually belong, just feels a bunch of rich white guys congratulating each other for being rich instead of the quality of job they actually did).

  2. Detroit Michael - Sep 21, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    Not until Marvin Miller goes in, in my opinion, should we seriously think about supporting any more baseball management folks.

  3. BC - Sep 21, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    How many longtime owners are actually in the Hall of Fame? Is Walter O’Malley or Tom Yawkey in there, for instance? I can’t think of an owner who’s in the HOF.

  4. dlf - Sep 21, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Both are in. So are several others whose ownership was in a more active era when the owner operated as what we’d call GM these days like Bill Veeck or Negro Leaguers like Cum Posey.

  5. BC - Sep 21, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Oh, that’s true. I forgot about Veeck. How could anyone who organized Disco Demolition Night NOT be in the HOF?

  6. CYGNUS X-1 - Sep 21, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    so it’s ok for an owner who was a convicted felon and banned from baseball to be in the hall of fame but not a former record setting player?doesn’t matter to me thier crimes were different they both have records and both were banned from the game. but stienbrenner gets in because he was rich enough to sign big name free agents? plus if bud supports it then I am definatly against it.

  7. Old Gator - Sep 21, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    Until Buck O’Neill goes in, I couldn’t give a flying crap about who makes it in and who doesn’t.

  8. murd - Sep 21, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    I concur.

  9. Dustin84v - Sep 21, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    George was born when Connie Mack won his fifth World Series for Philly’s AL team. He certainly belongs in Cooperstown.

  10. Dustin84v - Sep 21, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    I agree that Buck deserves the HOF. Many good players are excluded like George Foster.

  11. YANKEES1996 - Sep 21, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    I think that George Steinbrenners’ legacy is littered with good and bad, but there is no doubt whatsoever that he was generally good for the Yankees and good for the game of baseball. There are owners in every pro sport that are poor and negatively impact the team they own, the good owners are the ones that realize their intrusions and let the people that know best do what they do best. Mr.Steinbrenner was 42 years old when he bought the Yankees and he was a successful ship builder and he was headstrong, no doubt. But as he aged he mellowed and became the owner that lead the Yankees back to success and turned them into the most successful sports team in the world. The business plan that he used to transform the Yankees back into winners was a complete success no doubt about it. Does he belong in the Hall of Fame?, well, I don’t know and to be honest I really don’t care, all I really care about is that I am thankful that he bought the Yankees and restored a very proud franchise and grew that franchise and won some World Championships along the way. From a thankful Yankees fan Mr.Steinbrenner thank you and rest well you did a great job for all Yankee fans!

  12. saftgek1149 - Sep 21, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    It boggles the mind that anyone with a clear view of facts would even discuss the possibility of George Steinbrenner being voted into the Hall of Fame. This individual did more, single-handedly, to destroy baseball (and other professional sports) than anyone in the game’s history. Baseball is what it is today (money-grubbing, ego-laden people) because of Mr. Steinbrenner and those of his ilk.
    No, in my opinion, Mr. Steinbrenner should be vilified – not glorified, and has no business being remembered as anything but a destructive force in (what used to be) the greatest game ever!

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