TAMPA — A small group of people milled around the 10-foot banner hanging on the wall next to a coffee shop in International Plaza mall Wednesday.
Each person held a marker and searched for an empty space to leave condolences for the family of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
One day after the Tampa philanthropist died, more than 100 fans signed the banner. It will be presented to his widow and children Monday, said Debby Clues, community relations manager for Bay News 9.
The sign was set up at 10 a.m., but some couldn't wait that long.
"There was a guy who had been here since 9 a.m. waiting to sign it," Clues said.
Lynn Albert came to the mall on her day off from Neiman Marcus to honor her father's friend.
"When I used to work at Saks (5th Avenue), he used to come in all the time and ask about my father," said Albert, 62, of Tampa.
Albert said Steinbrenner bestowed his money on the Tampa community and was always looking to support a cause.
"We were very lucky to have him," she said.
Others paid their respects because they are die-hard Yankee fans.
"We'll obviously miss our owner," said Brandon Cherington, 22, a New York native.
Banners will be available to sign at the Westfield Countryside mall at 27001 U.S. 19 N in Clearwater from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and at the Westfield Brandon mall, 459 Brandon Town Center Drive in Brandon, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.
Robbyn Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3373.