Now Commenting On:

Steinbrenner mourns passing of old friend

Steinbrenner mourns passing of old friend

George Steinbrenner issued a public statement on Wednesday in reaction to the loss of an old friend and colleague. Steinbrenner, the principal owner of the Yankees who has receded from the spotlight in recent years, issued a statement regarding the passing of Dick Kraft, a friend since their shared tenure at Williams College and a former Yankees executive who spent a decade with the team.

Kraft, who started his Yankees tenure as an administrative assistant, progressed all the way up to vice president of community relations. Kraft left that position in 1994, but Steinbrenner remained close with him all the way up to his passing.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of Dick Kraft, who was my great friend for 60 years," Steinbrenner said. "We were roommates at Williams College and played together on the football team. He was a strong, tough lineman, who we called 'Pusher' for his driving abilities on the line of scrimmage."

Kraft, a seasonal resident of Tampa , Fla., passed away Monday at the age of 79.

"Dick worked for the Yankees beginning in 1984 as an administrative assistant," said Steinbrenner. "He retired in 1994, and ever since had worked with me closely during spring practice in Tampa. Dick was -- and always will be -- a champion to me, and my loyal friend, who I will miss dearly. I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife, Emily, and their daughters, Debbie and Pam, and his entire family."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español