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Yankee Owner Steinbrenner Falls Ill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) _ New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was hospitalized for the second time in three years after becoming ill while watching his granddaughter perform in a play.

Steinbrenner was taken by paramedics to UNC Hospitals on Sunday, The Daily Tar Heel reported Tuesday. Steinbrenner was released Monday morning and returned to Tampa, Fla., spokesman Howard Rubenstein said.

``He was pale, and his eyes were closed _ it looked like he had fainted,'' sophomore Emily Riehl, who was two rows behind Steinbrenner, told The Daily Tar Heel.

Steinbrenner fainted at a memorial service for football great Otto Graham on Dec. 27, 2003, was hospitalized and then released the following day. Since then, he has taken an increasingly less public role, limiting his public comments.

Steinbrenner, 76, and his family were watching his granddaughter, junior Haley Swindal, perform the lead role of Sally Bowles in ``Cabaret'' on Sunday at the Playmakers Theatre on the University of North Carolina campus.

According to The Daily Tar Heel, a call was placed to the Department of Public Safety saying a man had chest pains. After paramedics arrived, the remainder of the performance was canceled, Danny Coles, assistant music director for the production, told the paper.

``George felt ill during the performance, which was held in a Revolutionary War auditorium with no air conditioning and the windows closed tight _ it was very hot,'' Rubenstein said in a statement Tuesday. ``An ambulance was called, and it took George to the hospital where he was examined head to toe. George stayed overnight in the hospital and was released on Monday morning, at which time he flew home.''

Rubenstein said Steinbrenner ``is quite feisty'' and was in contact with team president Randy Levine and chief operating officer Lonn Trost. But Steinbrenner was not at Legends Field on Tuesday, workers at the team's spring training complex said.

``I was disappointed that I couldn't watch Haley's full performance on Sunday,'' Steinbrenner was quoted as saying in Rubenstein's statement.
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