Yankees general partner and co-chairperson, Hank Steinbrenner, passed away today in his Clearwater, FL residence, after a long illness. He was 63.
Steinbrenner came onto the scene – along with his younger brother Hal – in 2007, after his father George started to show signs of illness. He was involved with the Yankees for a few seasons, showing the bluster of his father, but ultimately taking less of a public role in the organization in recent years.
However, he still was involved with the team, along with his brother and two sisters, Jennifer and Jessica. He was assumed the role of co-chairman after his father passed away in 2010.
“Hank was a genuine and gentle spirit who treasured the deep relationships he formed with those closest to him,” said the Steinbrenner family in a statement. “He was introduced to the Yankees organization at a very young age, and his love for sports and competition continued to burn brightly throughout his life. Hank could be direct and outspoken, but in the very same conversation show great tenderness and light-heartedness. More than anything, he set an example for all of us in how comfortably he lived enjoying his personal passions and pursuits. We are profoundly saddened to have lost him and will carry his memory with us always.”
Although Hal was the public face of the club, he always made sure to remind the media that the club was owned by the four siblings and Hank remained involved in the business side of the club, including overseeing all areas of the club’s business and baseball operations, and was directly involved in player negotiations, long-term player recruitment goals and overall club strategy.
He also started Hank’s Yanks charity, which was suggested by his father and Yankee advisor Ray Negron, which was a program to teach baseball to inner city children.
He also was involved in raising competitive race horses, serving as a Vice President and Director of Bay Farms Corporation since 1985 and as a longtime member of the board of the Ocala Breeders Sales Company.
In recent years, he joined his son, George M. Steinbrenner IV, in the world of competitive auto racing, with George IV racing with the Harding Steinbrenner racing team in the Indy Series.
He is survived by four children, daughters Jacqueline and Julia, and sons George Michael IV and John, one granddaughter, Anabel, and his siblings, Jennifer, Jessica and Hal, and their families.