The Judge and George Steinbrenner


 It could have happened differently for Lou Schiff.

Schiff could have been a Yankee, instead of Your Honor.

Lou Schiff:  A Robe Instead of Pinstripes


It was the summer of 1976 and Schiff was in the second year of a dream summer college internship working in the public relations office of the Fort Lauderdale Yankees.  That was the minor league Yankees that played here before big league ball hit South Florida.

During the internship from the University of Florida’s journalism school, Schiff became friends with Henry “Hank Steinbrenner, who was in Fort Lauderdale that summer to learn the business his father owned.  His father, of course, was George Steinbrenner.

When Steinbrenner died this week, Schiff recalled his summers with the Yankees and a weekend with the Yankees boss.

Papa Steinbrenner regularly flew into town to see his son and watch the baby Yankees, as they were nicknamed. One weekend, Steinbrenner invited his son and Schiff to fly to New York to see the Old Timers game at Yankees Stadium.

Schiff ended up staying in Steinbrenner’s Manhattan brownstone house. They talked about the future over meals.

“He asked me if I wanted to come to New York and work for the Yankees,  Schiff recalled.

For Schiff, a dedicated baseball fan who now has season tickets to the Marlins, it was tempting. His father talked him out of it.

“My father said, ‘You just got into law school.  You can always go back to the Yankees after law school,’ Schiff said.

It never happened.

Schiff went on to be elected to the Broward county court in 1996 with the help of the legendary judicial campaign consultant Anthony “Tony G Gargiulo.  His courtroom today is in the north Broward courthouse.

Schiff had one more meeting with Steinbrenner, at a Marlins-Yankees game in the late 1990s. He was at the game with his father and Gargiulo when he spotted Steinbrenner sitting several rows in front.

“Tony said, ‘You always say you know Steinbrenner.  Go talk to him,’ Schiff said.

The judge passed a message to Steinbrenner through a security guard and suddenly the old man turned around and signaled him over.

“We sat for half an inning talking, Schiff said.

And Gargiulo, the unflappable ex-New York City cop and Yankee fan who had seen just about everything by that stage in his life?

 “Tony was really impressed.  

2 Responses to “The Judge and George Steinbrenner”

  1. Mr. Courthouse says:

    The judge made the right choice. He is a welcome addition to the Broward courts.

  2. Baseball Fan Too says:

    And a welcome fan at the Marlins games as well.