New York Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner dies aged 63 after battle with lengthy illness
New York Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner, died at the age of 63 on Tuesday, April 14, after a long battle with an illness. Reports state that his death was not related to COVID-19. Hank, the eldest son of late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, died at his home in Clearwater, Florida, surrounded by his family, according to the New York Post.
The Steinbrenner family released a statement, saying: "Hank was a genuine and gentle spirit who treasured the deep relationships he formed with those closest to him. 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, who attended Culver Military Academy and Central Methodist College, left behind four children and a granddaughter.
After George Steinbrenner stepped down from routine operations in 2007, Hank and his brother Hal became co-chairmen of the famous baseball team. The brothers have two younger sisters, Jessica and Jennifer, who are general partners and vice-chairpersons at the firm. Their father passed away in 2010. Although Hank, known for his bold approach similar to his father's, initially took on a leading approach, he later stepped back as Hal, managing general partner and co-chairperson, handled more of the daily operations and became the public face representing the team.
Hank, over the recent years, had mostly worked at the team's office in Florida. The Yankees, during Hank's reign, reached postseason at least nine times, even winning the World Series in 2009.
The family statement added: "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."
The 63-year-old's demise comes over a year after his mother Joan Steinbrenner passed away at the age of 83. George, at the time he married Joan, was an assistant football coach at Northwestern and Purdue. He later joined his family's transit company, and eventually bought the Cleveland Pipers of the ABL in 1960 before buying the Yankees for nearly $9 million in 1973 from CBS. During George's tenure with the Yankees, the franchise reportedly won seven World Series titles and 11 pennants.
Hanks, in 2009, founded an amateur baseball program called the Hanks Yanks, which assisted several players in getting drafted by MLB teams. He later joined his son, George Michael IV, to form Steinbrenner Racing in 2016. The company, nearly two years after participating in the Indy Car development program, partnered with Harding Racing. Reports stated that 2019 was the first season when the partnership competed on the Indy Car circuit. Nearly two races into the venture, Harding Steinbrenner Racing won the Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas on March 24, 2019. George Michael IV, after the company's success, became the youngest owner to win a race in the history of IndyCar Series.