Yogi Berra climbed the stairs to Monument Park first. Joe Torre and Reggie Jackson soon followed, leading a stream of Yankees icons. Together they represented the span of George Steinbrenner’s 37-year reign as the club’s principal owner, a bombastic, colorful and often successful era that was honored Monday night with the unveiling of a monument to him.
After commemorating Steinbrenner in a brief ceremony in July, the Yankees paid a more formal tribute before their 8-6 victory against Tampa Bay. Knowing Steinbrenner, he would have derived more pleasure from the sum of the evening, the range of contributions — two home runs by Curtis Granderson, including a three-run blast in the sixth; another strong outing from the rookie Ivan Nova; two runs by Derek Jeter, vaulting him into a tie with Mickey Mantle for third place on the franchise list — that bumped the Yankees’ lead in the American League East to one and a half games.
“Grittiness. Tough innings. Tough at-bats. Both teams playing hard,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. “I think this is something he would have really liked.”