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Kapstein remembers Steinbrenner fondly

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  July 13, 2010 12:48 PM

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Jeremy Kapstein, the Red Sox' senior adviser for baseball projects, was saddened by the news of the death of his long-ime friend, George Steinbrenner.

Kapstein, campaigning as a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in Rhode Island this afternoon, had a relationship dating back to 1976 with Steinbrenner who signed Kapstein's free agent lefthanded pitcher Don Gullett to a big deal when Kapstein was a major baseball agent.

"We had a great relationship, total trust for one another," Kapstein said. "George was easy to negotiate with because of that respect and trust. He was a wonderful man who did extraordinary things for people without fanfare or notice.

"He cared so deeply about the families of those firefighters and police who had lost their lives in the call of duty before and after 9/11," Kapstein said. "That's what made him a true champion in my eyes. But he loved the game of baseball. He cared so much about winning and championships and the results speak for themselves."

Kapstein said when he became CEO of the San Diego Padres, Steinbrenner was a constant source of support for him. After Kapstein sold the Padres, Steinbrenner offered him a chance to work for the Yankees, but Kapstein had started his Homeless Outreach mission in San Diego and wanted to continue on that path.

Steinbrenner remained close with Kapstein and his brother Dan, who worked along side Jeremy in the agent business for many years. When the Steinbrenners dedicated a track at MIT, his special guests were Kapstein's parents, Sherwin and Gladys.

"It's a sad for our family," Kapstein. "We have lost a dear friend and a giant in baseball, a Hall of Famer in every way, in all aspects of his life."

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