FBI Docs: How George Steinbrenner Helped Kill Off Baseball's Last Real…

On July 30, 1990, MLB commissioner Fay Vincent "banned" George Steinbrenner from baseball and brought a close to one of the more sordid chapters in the sport's history. Steinbrenner had paid $40,000 to Howie Spira, a Bronx gambler with mafia ties, for dirt on Yankees outfielder Dave Winfield, with whom Steinbrenner… » 2/28/12 10:23am 2/28/12 10:23am

Transcripts From The Steinbrenner-Vincent Hearing

On July 5-6, 1990, George Steinbrenner appeared before MLB commissioner Fay Vincent to discuss his association with Bronx gambler Howie Spira, who helped Steinbrenner dig up dirt on Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield. MLB later made a transcript of the hearing public. We've re-transcribed excerpts below. They contain… » 2/28/12 8:00am 2/28/12 8:00am

FBI Docs: The Story Of The 6-Foot-8 Redneck Ex-Con Who Terrorized…

Ah, Tampa. The balmy breeze. The sandy white beaches of acceptable granularity. The lingering fury of the most dyspeptic owner in baseball history. I speak, of course, of George Steinbrenner. Welcome back for another edition of "The Boss Files," our document-driven retrospective of Steinbrenner's life in Tampa in the… » 1/26/12 10:06am 1/26/12 10:06am

FBI Docs: How George Steinbrenner Made An Ass Of The FBI Director

The year was 1989. A group of luminaries had gathered to schmooze aboard the USS Intrepid, the World War II-era aircraft carrier on the west side of Manhattan. Among them: Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and then-FBI director William Sessions. The two men couldn't have been more dissimilar. Steinbrenner was a… » 1/04/12 8:11pm 1/04/12 8:11pm

FBI Docs: The Sad Story Of The FBI Agent Who Was Ordered To Unclog…

On Thursday, we described the FBI's internal investigation into Steinbrenner's curiously close relationship with the bureau's Tampa field office. We will now commence with the presentation of amusements and oddities found in the nearly 700 pages of new Steinbrenner records the FBI turned over to us. » 12/23/11 2:15pm 12/23/11 2:15pm

FBI Docs: George Steinbrenner Thought The FBI Was The "Nearest Thing To…

When we published my October profile of Howie Spira, the gambler who tangled with George Steinbrenner and wound up in prison, I knew the story wasn't over. In the course of my reporting, I'd submitted a few Freedom of Information Act requests to the FBI. These things can take a while for the federales to process. Lots… » 12/22/11 5:25pm 12/22/11 5:25pm

This Evening: Howie Spira Swings By Our Office To Gaze At Howie Spira

Your p.m. roundup for Oct. 27, the day we wish we hadn't seen a shirtless Regis Philbin. Wondering who Howie Spira is? Read this. Now. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors. » 10/27/11 7:05pm 10/27/11 7:05pm

The Howie Spira Audio Archive

At nearly every turn in Howie Spira's tangled and antagonistic history, there was a phone call. And on the phone calls, he had his tape recorder. Howie's cassettes captured his rift with Dave Winfield, his conniving with George Steinbrenner, and his turn against Steinbrenner. They captured threats from the mob. Here's… » 10/26/11 3:46pm 10/26/11 3:46pm

The Last Act Of The Notorious Howie Spira

Howard Spira appeared in the Gawker offices one summer day as if summoned from the beyond, which in some sense he had been. He just stood there, anxiously clutching a black plastic bag, his enormous green eyes sweeping the room. His skin had the hue of a life spent mostly indoors and in poor health. His shoulders were… » 10/26/11 3:45pm 10/26/11 3:45pm

Coming Tomorrow: The (Mostly) True Story Of The Guy Who Got George…

Remember Howie Spira? He sold dirt on Dave Winfield, extorted George Steinbrenner, and got the Yankees owner banned from baseball. The mob wanted to kill Spira. The FBI kept him alive. Now, almost 30 years later, Spira has given us the full story about his role in one of the most shameful events in Yankees history,… » 10/25/11 8:00am 10/25/11 8:00am