NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees are blocking a 77-year-old woman from publishing letters written to her from a college-age George Steinbrenner more than a half-century ago.

Mary Jane Elster wanted to use the letters in a book about her friendship with Steinbrenner. The New York Yankees owner died in July, and The New York Times published one letter a few days later.

Michael Shriner, her son, told the paper that Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost “could not have been more of a bully” in refusing permission.

Trost would not discuss the matter Thursday, spokesman Alice McGillion said. In an e-mail to The Associated Press, McGillion said it was a “sensitivity issue,” ”these are personal letters from George” and “these are not letters than we want published.”

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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