George Steinbrenner and Lou Piniella had the greatest relationship of all the players that were ever Yankees during the Steinbrenner era. In 1974 Lou Pinella got traded from KC to the Yanks in Spring Training.
Lou walks into George’s office to introduce himself and make it known he was there a day early.
George said I’m glad you’re here a day early that will give you an opportunity to get that long hair of yours trimmed.
Lou told George Jesus Christ was the greatest man ever to walk this earth and he had long hair…
George said you are correct, shook his hands, and said follow me.
George then led him over to the Tampa Country Club and pointed to the large swimming pool and said if you can walk across that pool of water you can wear your hair however you like.
I guess you can imagine who got a haircut.
Lou Piniella without a doubt was and is one of the greatest people that I have ever known. During my years as a batboy, I always felt that Lou was and still is like an uncle to me.
On my first road trip with the Yanks in 1974, we went to Chicago. That was a very important trip for me because my Mothers brother Uncle Kino had been shot seven times and left for dead in a robbery at a bar that he owned. The Boss arranged it for me to go with the team so that I could see my uncle. When we got there, Lou came with me to see my uncle and told him what a great kid I was and that he should be proud of me. This meant the world to me. This was Lou being Lou. This is why Mr. Steinbrenner loved him so much.
I guess that’s why to the world he is known as Sweet Lou.