A Yankees Courtship: How George Steinbrenner Tried to Win Back Buck Showalter

The Yankees owner fired Showalter in 1995 and hired Joe Torre as manager. Then angry fans weighed in, and Steinbrenner ended up in the Showalters’ living room trying to reverse everything.

Comments: 11

  1. More proof that Steinbrenner was a bull in his own china shop.

  2. Steinbrenner was a jerk that often threw people under the bus. There was little grieving at his passing.

  3. Thank you for such a telling article. As a die hard Yankee fan, you made my day.

  4. First rate sports writing, Mr Pennington. Not a Yankees fan so I only watched this one from a distance. To me the most interesting aspect of this story is that Steinbrenner just couldn't grasp the concept of the meaning of a handshake/a man's word type commitment. A few years later the pitcher David Wells and Steinbrenner had a handshake agreement for Wells to stay with the Yankees as he went into his free agent year. But instead Wells signed with Toronto for more money and, when asked about his already public commitment to the Yankees, he responded... oh, that was just a handshake, nothing on paper... In this case at least, what went around did indeed come around for the imperious George Steinbrenner. Thank you

  5. The firing of Billy Martin in 1988 when they were 40-28 was an equally bad decision. Sure Billy had his issues but how you fire a manager with that record is beyond me. Steinbrenner did however take care of many people he fired. Billy was made a lifetime advisor and was a very good talent scout. I was very sad when he died on Christmas day in upstate NY.

  6. I was born in 1956 at Bronx Lebanon Hospital, lived on the Grand Concourse until 1966, played LL at Macombs Dam Park, attended countless Yankees' games (50 cent bleacher seats, dinner at the Roxy, desert at Addie Vallins) and suffered through the Horace Clarke/Jerry Kenney years. Yet, it is irrefutable that the great Yankees' success from 1976-1981, then from 1995-2004, was generated by first, Gabe Paul, then by Gene Michael. Both periods were the direct result of Steinbrenner's dual suspensions from baseball operations. Steinbrenner was a bully, a sadistic uninformed meddler who drove away Reggie Jackson after the 1981 season for the likes of Dave Collins, resulting in more than a decade of disastrous teams reminiscent of the fallow 1965-1974 period. It sickens me that "revisionist" history has somehow hallowed Steinbrenner in the years after his death. His roustabouts with Billy Martin, his disastrous trades and signings stained the Yankee image. It cannot be overstated: the great years of Yankee success only came about once he was suspended and away from everyday operations.

  7. I am a year older than you and remember the Steinbrenner years exactly as you do. He was impetuous and a bad judge of talent and character. Everybody could see Billy Martin has serious behavior problems. Except Steinbrenner. George was a constant source of turmoil. I actually stopped rooting for the Yankees in 81. I couldn’t stand supporting the team because he owned it. I came back only after being given tickets for Game 2 of the 95 playoff series against the Mariners. It was such a scintillating game it rekindled my love for the Yankees. P

  8. @Steve Cohen I've lived in Mass. for 45 years, remained a Yankees fan (albeit begrudgingly), attended the Oct. 2, 1978 Yankees-Sox playoff, and like you, was disenchanted after the 1981 season. (I actually rooted for the Sox against the Mets in the 1986 WS. The 1995 playoffs also rekindled my Yankee fandom and my two sons became avid Yankee fans along with their great success in the ensuing era. Their "understanding" of Steinbrenner was the buffoon as depicted on Seinfeld...not the imperious martinet who forced employees to work on Xmas day.

  9. After this debacle I sent my Yankees cap, via snail mail, to Mr. Steinbrenner with a note asking simply, “Have you no sense of loyalty and accomplishment?”

  10. How refreshing a man who kept his word, even though there was no commitment in writing. that is called real ethical sportsmanship. Our politicians would do good to follow Showalter's example

  11. Steinbrenner and Trump. Birds from the same nest.