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Sportress of Blogitude

The ‘Steinbrenner Letters’ Are Nice, But How About This 1976 Letter To Billy Martin?

Above is a photo of Mary Jane Schriner, 77, who is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the New York Yankees regarding her desire to publish 19 personal letters the late, great George Steinbrenner wrote to her from 1949-1951 when Steinbrenner obviously had taken a shine to they young Mary Jane.

Schriner, who had the maiden name of Elster way back when the two were both coming of age in the Cleveland suburb of Bay Village (the “Hicksville town we live in,” as Steinbrenner once referred to it as in one of the letters to Schriner), does not understand why anyone affiliated with the Yankees or Steinbrenner’s family would have any problems with the publishing of these sweet letters which revealed a softer side to the blustery personality baseball fans worldwide have come to love (or hate), but team spokesperson Alice McGillion has indicated in an e-mail to the AP that “[t]hese are personal letters from George,” and that “[t]hese are not letters than we want published.”

Further, Schriner has nothing but the kindest words regarding the love of her youth (via AP):

“He just was very, very nice. I can’t think of a mean thing to say about him,” she told The Associated Press by phone. “He just couldn’t have been nicer. He was over at our house all the time. That said, in the letters, in one of them, he apologized for being such a pest and thought my parents might get sick of seeing him.”

To me, this all seems to be much ado about nothing. They are sweet letters written by a young man in the passion of his youth and only shed light on who the legend became the man he turned into. More so, in light of a very personal, very provocative correspondence which came into my possession via the covert operations of the Sportress’ many minions, the innocent letters to Mary Jane Elster are child’s play.

Read on, if you dare. Troubling issues are raised regarding the man, the myth, the legend, The Boss.

While I am keeping the authentic letter under lock and key in a safety deposit box at an area bank, what follows below is a transcript of the  disconcerting letter Steinbrenner sent to Martin in 1976 prior to spring training after the two spent a weekend retreat at Steinbrenner’s cabin in upstate New York to discuss the upcoming season:

March 5, 1976

Dear Billy,

Last night with you was bliss. I fear my orgasm has left me a cripple. I don’t know how I shall ever get back to work.

I love you madly,

George.

P.S.: Love the cabin.

Right. Like I wasn’t going to bust out a Seinfeld “The Cheever Letters” reference in light of this story. It would have gone against my nature.

Letters reveal Steinbrenner personality in youth [AP]