4
| News |

George Steinbrenner almost bought the Colorado Rockies -- the other Colorado Rockies

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who died today, was among the most colorful characters in all of sports -- so much so that the satire of him perpetrated by the folks at Seinfeld sometimes seemed less loony than the genuine item.

But did you know Steinbrenner almost wound up as the owner of the Colorado Rockies? It's true. But the Rockies we're talking about didn't play baseball.

Long before there was a Colorado Rockies baseball team, Denver was the home of a National Hockey League franchise of the same name. As noted by our friends at Wikipedia, the team played here between 1976 and 1982, but without great success either financially or in terms of on-the-ice performances; they only made the playoffs once.

By 1982, owner Peter Gilbert, who'd purchased the team a little over a year earlier, was looking to unload it -- and Steinbrenner was among those who considered purchasing the Rockies and relocating the squad back east. But no: According to a May 26, 1982 United Press International piece, Steinbrenner subsequently withdrew from bidding, declaring that the $30 million pricetag Gilbert had affixed was "much too steep for that particular club.''

In the end, New Jersey's John McMullen bought the Rockies and reinvented the team as the New Jersey Devils. And Steinbrenner? He continued to delight and frustrate the fans of New York for another 28 years, before finally heading to the Great Beyond.

Where George won't be the boss -- although give him time.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.