Who Owned the Yankees Before Steinbrenner?

George Steinbrenner owned the New York Yankees from 1973 until his death in 2010. Prior to Steinbrenner, the team was owned by CBS from 1965 to 1973.

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Pre-Steinbrenner Ownership

Prior to George Steinbrenner’s purchase of the Yankees in 1973, the team was owned by CBS from 1965 to 1973. Before that, the Yankees were owned by Dan Topping, Del Webb, and Larry MacPhail from 1945 to 1964. These ownership changes coincided with some of the most successful periods in Yankees history.

Del Webb

The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team based in the Bronx, New York City. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City, the other being the National League’s (NL) New York Mets. The Yankees began play in the 1901 season as the Baltimore Orioles (no relation to the current Baltimore Orioles team), moved to New York in 1903 and assumed their current name eight years later.

Thedel Webb Corporation was an American construction company specializing in major league baseball stadiums, domed stadiums, hotel-casinos, and golf courses, founded by California businessman W. Averell Harriman and later owned by Ruport Murdoch’s News Corporation.

Webb was responsible for building Yankee Stadium (original), Busch Stadium, Oakland Coliseum and Anaheim Stadium.


The Yankees were owned by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) from 1965 to 1973. Under CBS ownership, the Yankees experienced mixed results on the field. They won the AL pennant in 1976, but lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. In response to the team’s poor performance, CBS hired George Steinbrenner to serve as the Yankees’ principal owner in 1973.

Steinbrenner’s Purchase of the Yankees

George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees from CBS in January of 1973 for $10 million dollars. He was not the first owner of the team, but he is the most well-known. Who were the Yankees owners before Steinbrenner? Let’s take a look.

Steinbrenner’s group

In 1973, a group of investors led by George Steinbrenner purchased the New York Yankees from CBS for $10 million. Steinbrenner, a shipping magnate from Cleveland, became the principal owner of the team. He would go on to become one of the most controversial and successful owners in Major League Baseball history.

The purchase price

$8.7 million

Post-Steinbrenner Ownership

Since George Steinbrenner’s death in 2010, the Yankees have been owned by a partnership led by his widow, Joan Steinbrenner. George Steinbrenner’s sons, Hank and Hal, are also part of the ownership group. The Steinbrenner family has controlled the Yankees since 1973.

George Steinbrenner’s death

On July 13, 2010, George Steinbrenner died of a heart attack at the age of 80. He had been in failing health for some time, and his death ended an era in Yankees history. In the years since his death, the Yankees have been owned by a limited partnership led by his son Hal Steinbrenner.

George Steinbrenner was not the first outside owner of the Yankees — they were previously owned by CBS — but he was the first to have sole ownership of the team. He bought the Yankees from CBS in 1973 for $10 million, and he quickly began to make changes. He fired general manager Lee MacPhail and replaced him with Al Rosen. He also fired manager Ralph Houk and replaced him with Billy Martin.

These changes helped lead to a resurgence in the Yankees’ fortunes, as they won the American League pennant in 1976 and went on to win the World Series. The team would win two more World Series titles under Steinbrenner’s ownership, in 1977 and 1978.

In addition to his on-field successes, Steinbrenner was also known for his controversial behavior. He was frequently involved in fights with players, managers, umpires, and reporters. He was also suspended from baseball several times, most notably for hiring a gambler to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield.

Despite his controversies, there is no doubt that Steinbrenner was one of the most successful owners in baseball history. Under his ownership, the Yankees won 11 American League pennants and seven World Series titles. His impact on the franchise cannot be overstated, and he will always be remembered as one of the greatest figures in Yankees history.

Hal Steinbrenner

Hal Steinbrenner became the principal owner of the New York Yankees in 2008 following the death of his father, George Steinbrenner. George had been the sole owner of the team since 1973, when he bought it from CBS for $10 million.

Under Hal’s ownership, the Yankees have won one World Series championship (in 2009), and they have made the playoffs five times (in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017, and 2018). The Yankees’ payroll has also continued to be among the highest in MLB; in 2019, their payroll was $223 million, which was second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ payroll of $246 million.

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