George Steinbrenner (Owner – New York Yankees) . . . in the bowels of Yankee Stadium, having secured buy-in from key executives of the club to purchase our EDGE 1.000 performance tracking and data base management system, two colleagues (Tom Black, Don Leopold) and I presented the system to Steinbrenner for final approval. This was the technology we had created with assistance from Apple, DEC, Hayes and Corvus that would make Moneyball possible a few years later. (The Oakland A’s had been our first customer)
He interrupted my opening comments, pulled out an envelope with ten handwritten questions on it regarding our system, saying the Yankees would buy it if I answered “yes” to all ten. I answered “yes” to the first nine and, with some trepidation, “no, but . . .” to the last. He smiled and nodded at me, turned to his VP Finance, said “buy it”, then abruptly stood up and left the room, others following in his wake, walkie talkies at the ready to warn others elsewhere that he was coming their way.
Side-stepping its telecast and radio broadcast benefits, the Yankees focused on our system’s performance management elements and tools – game tactics planning, player performance evaluation, amateur/professional scouting data base management, draft/free agent selection and trade planning. (The Chicago White Sox, with Tony LaRussa’s encouragement, and the Houston Astros followed).