Edward Sidney Rosenthal, a minority owner of the New York Yankees who died July 9 in Pepper Pike, was remembered by his grandson, Michael Waxman as “a character, kind of larger than life.” Rosenthal was 88.
“He loved to walk into a room and make friends with everyone in the room,” Waxman said. “It was a kind of strategy he used. I was talking to people at his shiva about (that) he was a people person, but think he realized wearing his World Series rings out in public, which he always did, as gaudy as they were, in many ways, they were a great conversation starter and really compelled strangers to go up and start talking to him, which he liked.”
Both Waxman and his mother, Diane Waxman, one of Rosenthal’s daughters, said the Yankees were a large part of his life. But initially, in the early 1970s, Rosenthal was part of a group of local investors trying to buy Cleveland’s baseball team, along with George Steinbrenner. That sale did not happen, but in 1973, the Yankees were put up for sale and Rosenthal was again part of the group buying the team, with Steinbrenner as its principal owner. Rosenthal earned seven World Series championship rings as a minority owner for the Yankees, as New York won the championship in 1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009 while Rosenthal owned part of the team.
“He tried to watch almost every game,” said Michael Waxman. “Especially in his later years, he wouldn’t leave the house without multiple pieces of Yankees garb. He was very proud to be part of the Yankees.”
The Waxmans said Rosenthal earned his money through the steel industry, including with a company called Manchester Steel and then later with a company called Northern Stamping. Diane Waxman said two of her sisters are Yankees fans because of her father and some of her favorite memories with him involve baseball.
“Baseball season was a much more fun season than the rest of the year,” Diane Waxman said. “When I was growing up, we’d go to spring training; I was older and would make friends with a lot of the players.”
Another of Rosenthal’s daughters, Carrie Rosenthal Edmonds of Chagrin Falls, said the Yankees were Rosenthal’s “pride and joy,” besides his children and grandchildren. She said her dad was also a fan of horses and she rode horses growing up, but Rosenthal would never miss one of her horse events. But she said the Yankees were a huge part of his life.
“He loved watching baseball,” Rosenthal Edmonds said. “He passed away watching the All-Star Game. He died during the All-Star Game in Cleveland and also during the horse show in Cleveland (the Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic) that he was always very involved in.”
Rosenthal Edmonds also said Rosenthal remained proud of Baltimore, where he was born. She and her sister, Diane Waxman, said he moved to the Cleveland area in 1957 after he got married.
“He literally was the best person ever,” Rosenthal Edmond said. “My dad was literally one of a kind.”
Rosenthal is survived by his daughters, Diane (Gary) Waxman of Cleveland, Lynn (Darryl) Corrado of Baltimore, Amie (Ryan) Gillmore and Carrie Rosenthal Edmonds of Chagrin Falls; grandchildren, Michael, Adam and Jennifer Waxman, Jack Corrado, Sidney and Finn Gilmore and Avery Edmonds; great-grandchild, Abigail Waxman; a sister, Nancy (Marc) Shrier of Philadelphia, and brother and Louis (Charlotte) Rosenthal.
Services were held July 12 at Berkowitz-Kumin-Bookatz Memorial Chapel in Cleveland Heights. Interment was at Mayfield Cemetery in Cleveland Heights.