In Memoriam: George Steinbrenner

Today, I learned that Mr. George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees, had passed away. Here is the statement that I released to the press today.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2010

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. George Steinbrenner today. My sincere condolences go to Mrs. Steinbrenner and the entire Steinbrenner family.

When I was a young boy and budding baseball fan growing up in Saint Louis, everybody knew of the great New York Yankees. Even when they were your opponent, they were a team to be admired and respected.

That is why it was such a great joy to have been invited by Mr. Steinbrenner to join him in his box for the grand opening of the new Yankee Stadium in April 2009, as well as for a World Series game last October. They were experiences I’ll never forget. Mr. Steinbrenner and his family were very warm and welcoming to me, the new kid in town.

I’ve since learned that such acts of kindness were very much in keeping with the Steinbrenner tradition, and Catholic agencies here in New York and in Florida were often the beneficiary of his and the Steinbrenner family’s generosity. Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti this past January, the Steinbrenners and the New York Yankees responded immediately, with a $225,000 donation to Catholic Relief Services.

Of course, the Archdiocese of New York will never forget Mr. Steinbrenner’s tremendous goodness in arranging for Yankee Stadium to welcome Pope John Paul II in 1979 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 for the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

George Steinbrenner will have a special remembrance in my Masses and prayers.

Cardinal Egan also released a statement on the passing of George Steinbrenner. You can read it here.

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