This Day In History: January 3

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On January 3, 1973, a 12-member group headed by George Steinbrenner purchases the New York Yankees for $10 million from Columbia Broadcasting System, which owned the team since 1964. The group includes CBS’s Yankees president Michael Burke, who briefly serves in that role under Steinbrenner. Known by many as "The Boss," Steinbrenner goes on to become one of the more controversial owners in sports history.

Steinbrenner’s initial investment was actually fairly small: $168,000, which was a little less than a 2 percent ownership stake. However, over the years he wrestled majority ownership of the team from others. Four months after Steinbrenner's purchase, Burke resigned his position. When he died in 2010, Steinbrenner owned 57 percent of the team, Business Insider reported.

READ MORE: Yankees announce purchase of Babe Ruth

Steinbrenner, who made his fortune in the shipping industry, had a football background—he served as a graduate assistant at Ohio State under legendary coach Woody Hayes. 

Like Hayes, Steinbrenner had a bristling personality. As former Yankees general manager Bob Watson once put it, "If things go right, they're his team. If things go wrong, they're your team. His favorite line is, 'I will never have a heart attack. I give them.'"

“The Boss” could be abrasive in the media toward his own players and managers. He hired and fired Billy Martin five times as manager and wouldn’t let players have facial hair below their upper lip. (He was mocked on the TV show The Simpsons for that.)  Steinbrenner was even banned from Major League Baseball for a period of time after pleading guilty to making illegal contributions to the presidential re-election campaign of Richard Nixon.

Over the course of Steinbrenner's ownership, the Yankees won seven World Series and 11 American League pennants. The team is one of the most valuable in sports.

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