NPR logo George Steinbrenner Gave To A GOP President But Won Only Under Democrats

George Steinbrenner Gave To A GOP President But Won Only Under Democrats

Those who have an opinion about politics usually have an opinion about baseball.  And it's fair to say that those who have an opinion about both have lots to say about George Steinbrenner.

The Yankees owner died this morning of a heart attack; he had just turned 80 earlier this month.

Back in 1974, Steinbrenner pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions to President Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign, a crime that got him suspended for 15 months.  But even though he gave money to a Republican president — and, it should be noted, was pardoned by a Republican president (Ronald Reagan in 1989) — it became clear that the Yankees under Steinbrenner could only win a World Series with a Democratic president.

Since Steinbrenner bought the team in 1973, the Yankees have gone to the Fall Classic 11 times.  They won championships in 1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009 — each time a Democrat was in the White House.

Conversely, the Yankees lost the World Series in 1976, 1981, 2001 and 2003 — all under a Republican president.

Here's the Boss' World Series record since he took over the team

1976 — LOST, beaten by the Reds (Gerald Ford president)

1977 — WON, defeated the Dodgers (Jimmy Carter)

1978 — WON, defeated the Dodgers (Carter)

1981 — LOST, beaten by the Dodgers (Ronald Reagan)

1996 — WON, defeated the Braves (Bill Clinton)

1998 — WON, defeated the Padres (Clinton)

1999 — WON, defeated the Braves (Clinton)

2000 — WON, defeated the Mets (Clinton)

2001 — LOST, beaten by the Diamondbacks (George W. Bush)

2003 — LOST, beaten by the Marlins (Bush)

2009 — WON, defeated the Phillies (Barack Obama)