Read an Excerpt
The Ballad of Billy & George
In the beginning, Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner got along swimmingly.
“Their common denominator,” said Martin’s lawyer, Judge Eddie Sapir of New Orleans, “was that every day they won a ballgame the Lord added some life back into each of them. And every day they lost, the Lord took a little life away from them. That was their common denominator: their burning desire to win.”
As owner and manager of the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner and
Billy Martin made beautiful music in their first two full seasons together with two American League pennants and one World Series championship . . . and a lot of noise, a cacophony that reverberated across the baseball landscape and still resonates to this day.
“There was a friendship between them,” said Martin’s son, Billy Martin Jr.
“That friendship would turn sour at times. They were two men with large egos and those kinds of people butt heads. There were times when I know dad wanted to rip George’s throat out. And there were times when he wanted to give the man a hug. I think theirs was the classic love-hate relationship.”