Steinbrenner Collapses at Memorial Service

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner (search) collapsed Saturday at a memorial service for a former athlete but was alert by the time medics arrived, an emergency official said.

Steinbrenner, 73, who lives in Tampa, was attending the service for football great Otto Graham (search), a longtime friend who died Dec. 17 at the age of 82.

Paul Dezzi of the Sarasota (search) County Fire Department told The Associated Press that Steinbrenner was hospitalized in stable condition.

"He fainted. When we arrived, he was alert and oriented," Dezzi said. "He was very talkative in the ambulance. Right, now he's doing fine. There's nothing obvious from our side."

Steinbrenner was given oxygen, an electrocardiogram test and intravenous fluids on the way to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Dezzi said.

Based on the preliminary tests, "Everything showed up fine," Dezzi said.

Hospital spokeswoman Lynn Cassan would not comment, citing patient confidentiality.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune columnist Doug Fernandes said he was about 20 feet away when Steinbrenner fell during a slide show presentation that featured pictures of Steinbrenner and Graham together.

"He went to reach for a chair but he missed, and he went face-first into the carpet," Fernandes said. "People were stunned. They started loosening his tie and his collar. He was out for a few seconds. By the time they wheeled him out, his color had returned."

Temperatures were normal for this time of year, in the mid-70s. The reception room was full.

Yankees spokesman Rick Cerrone said he had no information on Steinbrenner. Team president Randy Levine had no immediate comment, and Steinbrenner publicist Howard Rubenstein did not immediately return telephone calls.

Steinbrenner has owned the Yankees since 1973.

Steinbrenner grew up in Cleveland, and later became friends with Graham, the Browns' star quarterback from 1946-55. They were golfing partners, attended banquets together and helped each other with charity events.