NEW YORK, SEPT. 27 -- George Steinbrenner will relinquish his majority ownership of the New York Yankees by transferring stock to an unknown family member.

"This will ensure that the Steinbrenner family will retain the majority ownership of the Yankees and clarify, once and for all, that the family is not giving up that position," Paul Curran, who heads Steinbrenner's legal representation, said in a statement.

Curran said the transfer was approved by Commissioner Fay Vincent and the American League. "I don't know that the transfer has taken effect yet, but it'll be fairly soon," he said.

Vincent ordered Steinbrenner to give up his position as managing general partner of the Yankees after an investigation deemed he paid self-described former gambler Howard Spira to dig up damaging information about former Yankee Dave Winfield.

In an agreement reached July 30, Steinbrenner also volunteered to reduce his majority ownership from just under 55 percent to less than half. So, the stock transfer apparently will involve about 5 percent.

Curran said that there was speculation "this was a lifetime banishment from baseball," and that Steinbrenner would not be allowed to keep majority interest of the club within the family.

"Unfortunately, intentionally or unintentionally, some people have created the opinion that the Steinbrenner family was giving up the majority ownership. This is just not so," Curran said.

Steinbrenner's resignation was finalized Aug. 21 and Robert Nederlander, a minority owner, was confirmed as his replacement Sept. 13.

Steinbrenner originally asked his older son, Hank, to take the job, but he declined. Hank Steinbrenner is not believed to be the family member who will receive the stock.

Younger son Hal, a college senior, has said he would like to become part of the Yankees. Steinbrenner's wife, Joan, already is a stockholder.