There are things that most people don’t know about George Steinbrenner. He’s been very generous in supporting charities. I know that a soup kitchen burned down in New York not too far from the stadium, and nobody knew about it. I found out that he sent a big check to them and put them back in business. He was good for baseball. He put together the best teams in baseball, he bought the best team in baseball, and they have it right now.
I didn’t know him real well. I was voted Pride of the Yankees one year, and he made the presentation to me on opening day. That was the first time I met him. He and Yogi (Berra) were walking in the tunnel at Yankee Stadium, down to the clubhouse, and Yogi said, "Hey Rich, you know George Steinbrenner?" And I said, "No, why don’t you introduce me?" And he goes, "Well, this is him." That was my introduction to him, and we just greeted each other. I met him a couple other times, and we always had friendly conversation.
His best friend was my best friend. Clyde King and I had been super-close friends for all these years, and Clyde was sort of his right hand. The stories that I’d hear were always so positive because Clyde thought the world of him, and George really took good care of Clyde and his family. Everything I knew about him was always so good.
Richardson, an eight-time Yankee All-Star second baseman, was MVP of the 1960 World Series.
— As told to Ryan Fagan