New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died Tuesday of a massive heart attack. Often tempestuous but always entertaining, "The Boss" rebuilt the Yankees into a sports empire and became a pop-culture icon in his own right. We look back at some of the best quotes - good and bad – from Steinbrenner and those who knew him.
"I walked in and saw flowers on every desk. Freshly cut flowers. I said, 'What the hell is this? Is it Flowers Day? Is it Secretary's Day?' Somebody said, 'Isn't that wonderful? Mr. Burke does this every day for us.' [Former Yankee president] Mike Burke is a guy who I admired tremendously. He was a real heartthrob type of guy. Everybody liked him. I loved him, but for what I wanted, he didn't fit with me. When I saw the flowers, that was the trigger. I got involved."
– Steinbrenner in an interview with Daily News. He did not plan to get involved in the daily operations of the Yankees when he bought it in 1973.
"Call us babies, call us whatever you want. If you don't treat me with respect, I don't want to work for you."
- Yankee first baseman, Don Mattingly after the Yankees’ third loss in four games to the Mariners, when he lashed out in the locker room for the constant criticism. Mattingly did not specifically mention Steinbrenner though.
“Move over! This is how you play the organ! You go walk around the stadium and see how the sound is and then come back here.”
– Steinbrenner said, startling the organist Eddie Layton who was then shoved aside while practicing at an empty stadium.
Time.com: Top 10 George Steinbrenner Moments
“We all know the history of that. It’s pretty common... He’s the boss. He can say whatever he’s inclined. He signs everybody’s checks, so he’s entitled to it."
– Alex Rodriguez, insisting he wasn’t bothered by Steinbrenner’s public criticism. Steinbrenner was reportedly upset with him for his sloppy play in 2006.
“Wait a minute young lady, what’s this about singles tables? I don’t sit at singles tables. Singles tables are for losers. The Yankees have won 33 pennants and 22 world championships. We’re winners. We don’t sit with losers. And I’ve got an idea. You’re going to go to the party with me.”
– Steinbrenner makes a cameo appearance in "The Invitations" episode of "Seinfeld," and goes out with Elaine.
"I think it's a kiss of death. ... It's George's ball club. If he wants to fire me, OK. All I'm saying is, stop the rumors. This team needs togetherness right now."
- Billy Martin, before Steinbrenner ended his fifth term as Yankee manager.
"I'm a hands-on, involved owner. Let's put it that way. Always have been. You have to believe you do it my way, like Sinatra says."
– Steinbrenner on a CNN interview in 1996.
"I think [Steinbrenner] has mellowed over the last two decades... George is demanding, but I don't think he's the same man who had nasty public feuds with Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield."
– Former Yankee manager Joe Torre wrote in his book, Ground Rules for Winners.
"It's unfortunate that the remark about his weight came out. I knew that everybody would take that and make that the big thing ..."
– Steinbrenner after calling Yankee pitcher Hideki Irabu a "fat toad." The Yankee pitcher had failed to cover first base on a ground ball in a 1999 game in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“We had our outs, but we really are good friends. He’s a nice man. He’s changed a lot, but he still likes to win.”
- Yogi Berra reflected on Steinbrenner, at the opening of the new Yankees Stadium in 2009.
"It was a tough period, because you wonder whether you're all right. ...[But] I don't think it scared anybody in New York. Why were they scared? If I had gone, so I'd be gone. They wouldn't have cared much, I don't think."
- Steinbrenner told Sports Illustrated magazine three months after he collasped at quarterback Otto Graham's funeral.