Boss: 'This one is especially sweet'
In statement, Steinbrenner lauds Yanks, devoted fans
NEW YORK -- Deep into the early-morning hours at Yankee Stadium, as the wild champagne celebration in the clubhouse had started to spill out into the streets, the large video screen still glowed from center field with five very significant words: "Boss, This Is For You."
The Yankees' 27th World Series title was dedicated to George M. Steinbrenner, whose relentless thirst for victory had fueled the organization's charge since his purchase of the franchise in 1973. It had been eight years since the last title, and frankly, that had been far too long. Finally, it has been quenched.
"The Steinbrenner Family and the Yankees organization are extremely proud of the members of the 2009 New York Yankees for bringing a 27th World Championship to New York City and our fans, the greatest fans in the world," Steinbrenner said on Thursday in a statement. "Every World Series victory is special, but this one is especially sweet coming in the first year in our new home."
To raise the championship trophy over a stage at second base in the new Yankee Stadium, the Yankees had to win 11 postseason games, following up on a 103-victory showing in the regular season.
Joe Girardi's squad swept the Twins in the American League Division Series before going coast-to-coast against the Angels in a hard-fought six-game AL Championship Series.
Destined to meet the Phillies in the World Series, New York dropped the first Fall Classic game played at the new Yankee Stadium before winning three of the next four contests, setting up the Game 6 clincher in the Bronx.
"The 2009 New York Yankees proved that we are the best in baseball," Steinbrenner said. "We beat truly worthy opponents in the American League Division Series, the American League Championship Series and the World Series.
"As we did all season long, we fought hard, never lost focus and gave a true team victory. Our players have a lot to be proud of. This group will become legendary -- similar to the 26 World Championship teams that preceded them."
When Girardi took the managerial post before the 2008 season, he selected the uniform No. 27, knowing it would serve as a daily reminder of Steinbrenner's desire to provide the organization's fans with the ultimate goal.
"Joe Girardi and his team deserve great credit for racking up wins over a long, tough season," Steinbrenner said. "We are so grateful to our fans. They have never wavered in their faith or enthusiasm through the good and bad years. This World Series belongs to them and to all Yankees, past, present and future."
And as Steinbrenner savored the sweetest victory one day after watching the clincher from his Tampa, Fla., home, he offered a reminder that the next charge to the top is only a few short months away.
"We'll enjoy this win," Steinbrenner said. "And the quest for number 28 begins."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.