New York Yankees
This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Brad E. Williams at 22:50, 29 May 2007 (Added clarification; wikilink could be confusing because it referenced the Yankees franchise but linked to the Brewers/Browns/Orioles page). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the .
|New York Yankees |
"The Bronx Bombers"
| [[2019 New York Yankees |
"The Bronx Bombers" season]]
|Established in 1901|
|Based in New York since 1903|
|Major league affiliations|
|Retired numbers||1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 23, 32, 37, 44, 49|
|Major league titles|
|World Series titles (26)||2000 • 1999 • 1998 • 1996|
1978 • 1977 • 1962 • 1961
1958 • 1956 • 1953 • 1952
1951 • 1950 • 1949 • 1947
1943 • 1941 • 1939 • 1938
1937 • 1936 • 1932 • 1928
1927 • 1923
|AL Pennants (39)||2003 • 2001 • 2000 • 1999|
1998 • 1996 • 1981 • 1978
1977 • 1976 • 1964 • 1963
1962 • 1961 • 1960 • 1958
1957 • 1956 • 1955 • 1953
1952 • 1951 • 1950 • 1949
1947 • 1943 • 1942 • 1941
1939 • 1938 • 1937 • 1936
1932 • 1928 • 1927 • 1926
1923 • 1922 • 1921
|East Division titles (15) ||2006 • 2005 • 2004 • 2003 • 2002|
2001 • 2000 • 1999 • 1998
1996 • 1981 • 1980 • 1978
1977 • 1976
|Wild card berths (2)||1997 • 1995|
 - In 1981, a players' strike in the middle of the season forced the season to be split into two halves. New York had the best record in the East Division when play was stopped and was declared the first-half division winner. The Yankees had the third best record in the division when considering the entire season, two games behind Milwaukee and Baltimore.
 - In 1994, a players' strike wiped out the last eight weeks of the season and all post-season. New York was in first place in the East Division by six and a half games when play was stopped. No official titles were awarded in 1994.
|General Manager||Brian Cashman|
For current information on this topic, see 2007 New York Yankees season. (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The New York Yankees are a professional Major League Baseball team based in the borough of The Bronx, in New York City. The team's name is often shortened to "the Yanks," and their most prominently used nickname is "the Bronx Bombers," or simply "the Bombers." A less used nickname is "the Pinstripers." The organization is sometimes referred to by detractors as "the Bronx Zoo" or "the Evil Empire," although both names have been embraced by some fans.
One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1901 as the Baltimore Orioles (not to be confused with the current Baltimore Orioles, who moved to Baltimore from St. Louis in 1954), moving to New York in 1903 to become the New York Highlanders. From 1923 to the present, the Yankees have played at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have been Major League Baseball's winningest franchise, winning 26 World Series titles and 39 American League Pennants. Their 26 titles make them the most successful franchise in North American professional sports history, passing the Montreal Canadiens' 24 titles in 1999. They are also the only team represented in the National Baseball Hall of Fame at every position. Notably, they have faced every winner of the National League pennant in the World Series except for the Houston Astros, who won their first pennant in 2005. No other team has come close to matching this feat.
The Yankees also have one of the longest standing and most storied rivalries in North American sports with the nearby Boston Red Sox. The Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry has centered around the supposed Curse of the Bambino, and has gained even more significance with the creation of the Wild Card in 1995, which allowed the two teams to meet in the playoffs.
- 1 Franchise history
- 1.1 Origins (1901-1902)
- 1.2 The Highlanders (1903-1912)
- 1.3 New Owners, A New Home, and a New Name (1913-1922)
- 1.4 The Ruth and Gehrig era and the Stadium (1923-1935)
- 1.5 The DiMaggio era (1936-1951)
- 1.6 Stengel's Squad in the 50s (1951-1959)
- 1.7 The M&M Boys (1960-1964)
- 1.8 New Ownership and a Steep Decline (1964-1971)
- 1.9 Steinbrenner, Martin, Jackson, Munson, and the Bronx Zoo (1973-1981)
- 1.10 The Mattingly Era (1982-1995)
- 1.11 Joe Torre, Derek Jeter, and a new dynasty (1996-2000)
- 1.12 The 21st century (2001-Present)
- 2 The New Yankee Stadium
- 3 Distinctions
- 4 Uniform and dress code
- 5 Popularity
- 6 Fight and theme songs
- 7 Radio and television
- 8 Retired numbers
- 9 Team captains
- 10 Current roster
- 11 Minor league affiliations
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes and references
- 14 External links
At the end of the 1900 season, the American League reorganized, and, with AL president Ban Johnson as the driving force, decided to assert itself as a new major league. Known as the Western League until 1899, the AL carried over five of its previous locations and added teams in three East Coast cities, including Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore had lost its National League team in 1899 when that league eliminated four teams. The original plan was to put a team in New York City, but the NL's New York Giants had political connections with Tammany Hall and kept the AL out.
The team was known as the Baltimore Orioles and began playing in 1901 with John McGraw as manager. McGraw feuded with Johnson, who rigidly enforced the rules about rowdiness on the field of play, and jumped leagues to manage the Giants in the middle of the 1902 season. A week later, the owner of the Giants gained controlling interest of the Orioles and raided the teams for players. The AL stepped in and took control of the team, still hoping to move the team to New York.
In January 1903, a "peace conference" was held between the two leagues to settle disputes and try to find a way to coexist. One of the results of the conference was that the NL agreed to let the "junior circuit" establish a franchise in New York. The Orioles' new owners, Frank Farrell and William Devery, found a ballpark location not blocked by the Giants, and Baltimore's team moved to New York.
The Highlanders (1903-1912)
The ballpark was Hilltop Park and it was located at 165th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, one of the highest points on the island. Publisher William Randolph Hearst's New York Evening Journal referred to them as the "Invaders" in 1903, but switched in the spring of 1904 to the name that would eventually stick: the New York Highlanders. The name was a reference to the team's location and also to the noted British military unit The Gordon Highlanders, which fit as the team's president from 1903 to 1906 was Joseph Gordon.
As the Highlanders, the team enjoyed success only twice, finishing second place in 1904 and 1910. Much of the team's Hilltop Park days were spent in the cellar. Its somewhat corrupt ownership and a few questionable activities by some of the players (most notably first baseman Hal Chase) raised suspicions of game-fixing. Such suspicions, however, have never been proven.
The high point of the Highlander's existence came on the last day of the 1904 season at Hilltop Park. New York pitcher Jack Chesbro threw a wild pitch in the ninth inning which allowed the eventual pennant-winning run to score for the Boston Americans.
This had historical significance in several ways. First of all, the presence of the Highlanders in the race led to the Giants' announcement that they would not participate in the World Series, claiming they would not play a "minor league" team. Although Boston had won instead, the Giants stuck by their word and still refused to participate. The resulting backlash by the press caused Giants owner John T. Brush to take a stance and lead the committee to formalize the rules governing the World Series. This would be the last time until the strike-truncated year of 1994 that the World Series would not be played. It would also be the last time for a century that the Boston AL team, who would later formally become the Red Sox in 1908, would beat the New York AL team in a pennant-deciding game.
New Owners, A New Home, and a New Name (1913-1922)
Relations had warmed between the Highlanders and their National League rivals the Giants, who had tried years before to keep the team out of New York. In 1911 the Polo Grounds, home of the Giants, was mostly destroyed in a fire, and the Highlanders let the Giants play in Hilltop Park while the Polo Grounds was being reconstructed. In 1913, the Highlanders moved into the reconstructed Polo Grounds after their agreement to play at Hilltop Park ended. Now playing on the Harlem river, a far cry from their high-altitude home, the "Highlanders" name had no meaning. The name "Yankees" was occasionally applied to the club as a variant on "Americans". On April 7, 1904, a spring training story from Richmond, Virginia carried the headline "Yankees Will Start Home From South To-Day." The New York Evening Journal screamed: "YANKEES BEAT BOSTON". Now, in 1913, the New York Highlanders officially changed their name to the New York Yankees, which would be the team's name until present day.
By the mid 1910's, owners Farrell and Devery had become estranged, and they were both in dire need of money. At the start of 1915, the duo sold the team to Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Captain Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston. Ruppert inherited a brewery fortune and had also been tied to the Tammany Hall machine, serving as a Congressman for eight years. He was later quoted as saying, "For $450,000, we got an orphan ball club without a home of its own, without players of outstanding ability, without prestige." However, they now had an owner possessing deep pockets and a willingness to dig into them to produce a winning team. The Yankees were on their way to acquiring more prestige than Ruppert could have ever envisioned.
The Ruth and Gehrig era and the Stadium (1923-1935)
In the years around 1920, the Yankees had a detente with the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox. The three were called the "Insurrectos" due to the way their actions antagonized League President Johnson, as opposed to the other five teams of the league, who were known as "the Loyal Five". This detente paid off well for the Yankees, as the two new owners would begin to enlarge the payroll. Many of these new players who would later contribute to the team's success came from the Boston Red Sox. The owner of the Red Sox, theater impresario Harry Frazee, had bought the team on credit and needed to pay off his loans and purchase Fenway Park from the Fenway Park Trust. Without ownership of Fenway, Johnson could easily put another team in. The Red Sox were also the strongest of the "Insurrectos" and faced a large amount of costly legal battles.
However, pitcher-turned-outfielder Babe Ruth was the most talented of them all. The Babe accumulated 2,213 RBIs over his career (ranking second in Major League history), totaled 1,971 as a Yankee (ranking second in Yankee team history), and was the owner of the single season home run record in 1919. Ruth came to New York in January of 1920. Frazee cited Ruth's demand for a raise after being paid the highest salary in baseball as the reason for the trade. Frazee also wished to aid the Yankees, who had taken his side in the legal battles against Ban Johnson. The situation was not helped by the fact that Ruth was regarded as a problem, a carouser. This would continue in his Yankee years, but the New York ownership was more tolerant as long as he brought fans and championships to the ballpark.
The outcome of the trade would haunt the Red Sox for the next 84 years. They would not win a World Series after 1918 until 2004, often finding themselves eliminated from the hunt as a result of the success of the Yankees. This phenomenon was known as the Curse of the Bambino as the failure of the Red Sox and the success of the Yankees seemed almost supernatural, and all seemed to stem from that one trade.
Other important newcomers in this period were manager Miller Huggins and general manager Ed Barrow. Huggins was hired in 1919 by Ruppert while Huston was serving in Europe with the American army. This would later lead to a break between the two owners, with Ruppert eventually buying Huston out in 1923). Barrow came on board after the 1920 season, and, like many of the new Yankee players, had previously been a part of the Red Sox organization, their manager since 1918. He would act as general manager or president of the Yankees for the next 25 years, and may deserve the bulk of the credit for the team's success during that period. He was especially noted for development of the Yankees' farm system.
The home run hitting exploits of Ruth proved so popular with the public that they began drawing more people than their landlords, the Giants. In 1921, when the Yankees made their first World Series appearance, which was against the Giants, the Yankees were told to move out of the Polo Grounds after the 1922 season. John McGraw was said to have commented that the Yankees should "move to some out-of-the-way place, like Queens". Instead, to McGraw's chagrin, the Yankees broke ground for a new ballpark in the Bronx, right across the Harlem River form the Polo Grounds. In 1922, the Yankees returned to the World Series again, facing a second defeat at the hands of the Giants. Meanwhile, the construction crew moved with remarkable speed and finished the new ballpark in less than a year.
In 1923, the Yankees moved to their new home, Yankee Stadium at East 161st Street and River Avenue. This site was chosen because the IRT Jerome Avenue subway line (now the NYCTA's number 4 train) had a station stop practically on top of the stadium's outfield walls. It was the first triple-deck venue in baseball and seated an astounding 58,000. In the first game at Yankee Stadium, Babe Ruth hit a home run, which was fitting as it was his home runs and drawing power that paid for the stadium, giving it its nickname "The House That Ruth Built". He would end the year with "only" 41 home runs, but he was walked a then record 170 times, and batted .393, still the highest batting average for a Yankee in Yankee Stadium.
That year, the first year in their new stadium, the Yanks faced the Giants for the third straight year in the Series. Giants outfielder Casey Stengel, who even then was being called "Old Case", hit two home runs to win the two games the Giants came away with, but the Yankees finally triumphed. Stengel would later come to the Yankees as a successful manager.
The 1927 Yankees lineup was so potent that it has become known as "Murderers' Row", and some consider the team to be the best in the history of baseball (though similar claims have been made for other Yankee squads, notably those of 1939, 1961 and 1998). The Yankees won an AL record 110 games with only 44 losses, and swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1927 World Series. Ruth's home run total of 60 in 1927 set a single-season home run record that would stand for 34 years. He also batted .356 and drove in 164 runs. Meanwhile, first baseman Lou Gehrig had his first big season, batting .373 with 47 round-trippers and 175 RBI's, beating Ruth's single-season RBI mark (171 in 1921).
Ruth hit third in the order, and Gehrig hit cleanup Right behind them were two more sluggers: Bob "The Rifle" Meusel, who played either of the corner outfield positions, and Tony Lazzeri, who played second base. Lazzeri actually ranked third in the league in home runs in 1927 with 18, and he hit .309 with 102 RBI's. Meusel hit .337 with 103 RBI's. Speed was another weapon used by both: Lazzeri stole 22 bases while Meusel was second in the league with 24. These numbers were all due, in part, to center fielder and leadoff man Earle Combs. He hit .356, had a .414 on base percentage, and lead the AL with 231 hits that year (a team record until Don Mattingly broke it in 1986 with 238). The team's overall batting average in 1927 was .307.
The Yankees would repeat as American League champions in 1928, fighting off the resurgent Philadelphia Athletics. They would then go on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1928 World Series. Ruth got 10 hits in 16 at-bats, his .625 average setting a new single-series record. Three of these hits were home runs. Meanwhile, Gehrig went 6 for 11 (.545), going yard four times. In the next three years, the Athletics would take the AL pennant and two world championships. In 1932, Joe McCarthy came in as manager, and would restore the Yankees to the top of the AL. They met the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series, sweeping them and bringing the team's streak of consecutive World Series game wins to 12 (a mark which would stand until the Yankees bested it in the 2000 World Series). This series was made famous by Babe Ruth's famous "Called Shot" in game three of the series at Wrigley Field. This would be a fitting "swan song" to his illustrious postseason career, as Ruth would leave the Yankees, going to the NL Boston Braves after 1934, and would never see the postseason again.
The DiMaggio era (1936-1951)
The Yankees' run during the 1930s could also be called the "McCarthy era", as manager Joe McCarthy (no relation to the Senator of the same name) would guide the team to new heights. With Ruth leaving in 1934, Gehrig could finally come out of his shadow. However, there was no Gehrig era. After one season as the main force of the Yankees, a new titan appeared, Joe DiMaggio. The young center fielder from San Francisco had an immediate impact, batting .323, hitting 29 homers, and driving in 125 runs in his rookie season of 1936.
The team reeled off an unprecedented four consecutive World Series wins in the years from 1936 to 1939 behind the bats of DiMaggio, Gehrig, and Frank Crosetti. They were aided by the pitching staff, led by Red Ruffing and Lefty Gomez, and the whole team was anchored by catcher Bill Dickey. For most of 1939 they had to do it without Gehrig, ALS forcing his retirement and saddening the baseball world. During this stretch, the Detroit Tigers were the Yankees' main competition. When the series finally came, however, they had little trouble. During Game 2 of the 1936 Series, they pounded the Giants 18-4, setting the record for most runs scored in a World Series game, a record which still stands today. They took the Giants 4-2 in the series, and beat them again 4-1 the next year. They swept the Chicago Cubs in 1938 and the Cincinnati Reds in 1939.
After an off season came the Summer of 1941, a much celebrated year that is often described as the last year of the "Golden Era" before World War II and other realities intervened. Ted Williams of the Red Sox was in the hunt for the elusive .400 batting average, which he achieved on the last day of the season. Meanwhile, DiMaggio, who had once gotten a hit in 61 straight games with the San Francisco Seals, began a hitting streak on May 15 which stretched to an astonishing 56 games. A popular song by Les Brown celebrated this event, as Betty Bonney and the band members sang it:
|“||He tied the mark at 44
July the First, you know
Since then he's hit a good 12 more
Joltin' Joe DiMaggio
Joe, Joe DiMaggio
We want you on our side.
The last game of the streak came on July 16 at Cleveland's League Park. The streak was finally snapped in a game at Cleveland Stadium the next night before a huge crowd at the lakefront. A crucial factor in ending the streak was the fielding of Cleveland third baseman Ken Keltner, who stopped two balls that DiMaggio hit hard to the left.
Modern baseball historians regard it as unlikely that anyone will ever hit .400 again, barring a change to the way the game is played, and that it will be extremely difficult to approach DiMaggio's 56-game streak, which is far beyond second place (44) and a modern day phenomenon.
The Yankees made short work of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1941 Series. Then, two months and one day after the final game of the Yanks' four-games-to-one win, the Pearl Harbor attacks occurred, and many of the best ballplayers went off to World War II. The war-thinned ranks of the major leagues nonetheless found the Yanks in the post-season again, as the team traded World Series wins with the St. Louis Cardinals during 1942 and 1943.
After 1943, the team went into a bit of a slump, and McCarthy was let go early in the 1946 season. After a couple of interim managers came and went, Bucky Harris was brought in and the Yankees righted the ship again, winning the 1947 pennant and a hard-fought battle against the Dodgers in a Series that took the Yankees seven games to win, and was a harbinger of things to come for much of the next decade.
Despite finishing only three games behind the pennant-winning Cleveland Indians in 1948, Harris was released and the Yankees brought in Casey Stengel to manage. Casey had a reputation for being somewhat of a clown and had a reputation for managing bad teams, such as the mid-1930s Boston Braves. Understandably so, this selection was met with skepticism. His tenure, however, would prove to be the most successful in Yankees history up to that point. The 1949 Yankees team was seen as "underdogs" who came from behind to catch and surprise the powerful Red Sox on the last two days of the season, a faceoff that fueled the beginning of the modern Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. The post-season proved to be a bit easier, as the Yankees knocked off the Dodgers four games to one.
By this time, the great DiMaggio's career was winding down. It has often been reported that he wanted to retire before he became an "ordinary" player. His retirement was also hastened by bone spurs in his heel. 1951 was the curtain call of the "Yankee Clipper". However, it also marked the arrival of the "Oklahoma Kid", Mickey Mantle, who was one of several new stars that would fill the gap.
Stengel's Squad in the 50s (1951-1959)
Bettering the clubs of the McCarthy era, the team won the world series five consecutive times (1949-1953) under Stengel, which continues to be the major league record. Led by players like center fielder Mickey Mantle, pitcher Whitey Ford, and catcher Yogi Berra, Stengel's teams won 10 pennants and seven World Series titles in his twelve seasons as Yankee manager. Casey Stengel was also a master at publicity for the team and for himself, even landing a cover story in Time magazine in 1955.
The 1950s was also a decade of significant individual achievement for Yankee players. For example, in 1956 Mantle won the major league triple crown, leading both leagues in batting average (.353), home runs (52), and RBIs (130).
They won over 100 games in 1954, but the Indians took the pennant with an AL record 111 wins. In 1955, the Dodgers finally beat the Yankees in the World Series, after five Series losses to the Yankees in '41, '47, '49, '52 and '53. But the Yankees came back strong the next year. On October 8, 1956, in Game Five of the 1956 World Series against the Dodgers, pitcher Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in World Series history. Not only was it the only perfect game to be pitched in World Series play, it also remains the only no-hitter of any kind to be pitched in postseason play. The Yankees went on to win yet another World Series that season, and Larsen earned World Series MVP honors.
Yankee players also dominated the American League MVP award, with a Yankee claiming ownership six times in the decade (1950 Rizzuto, 1951 Berra, 1954 Berra, 1955 Berra, 1956 Mantle, 1957 Mantle). Pitcher Bob Turley also won the Cy Young Award in 1958, the award's third year of existence.
The Yankees lost the 1957 World Series to the Milwaukee Braves. Following the Series, the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers left New York City for California, leaving the Yankees as New York's only team. In the 1958 World Series, the Yankees got their revenge against the Braves, and became the second team to win the Series after being down three games to one.
For the decade, the Yankees won six World Series championships ('50, 51, '52, '53, '56, '58) and eight American League pennants (those six plus '55 and '57). Led by Mantle, Ford, Berra, Elston Howard (the Yankees' first African-American player), and the newly acquired Roger Maris, the Yankees burst into the new decade seeking to replicate the remarkable success of the 1950s.
The M&M Boys (1960-1964)
During the ownership of Arnold Johnson, the Kansas City Athletics traded many young players to the Yankees for cash and aging veterans (much the same way the Red Sox had done under Frazee). When he'd bought the then Philadelphia Athletics from Connie Mack in 1954, he was already the owner of Yankee Stadium, but the American League owners forced him to sell the Stadium as a condition for the purchase. He was also a longtime business associate of then-Yankees co-owners Del Webb and Dan Topping.
Many fans, and even other teams, frequently accused the A's of being operated as a farm team for the Yankees. However, in December 1960, Chicago insurance executive Charles O. Finley purchased the A's from the estate of Johnson, who had died that March. Once he did so, he immediately terminated the team's "special relationship" with the Yankees, cutting off their easy supply of promising players. This development may have marked the beginning of the end for this Yankee dynasty.
But the Johnson/Webb/Topping relationship significantly improved the Yankees' future prospects. In December 1959, a young outfielder named Roger Maris was acquired through one such trade, and he would go on to do great things in New York. In 1960, Maris led the league in slugging percentage, RBIs, and extra base hits. He finished second in home runs (one behind Mantle), and total bases, and he won a Gold Glove and American League MVP award. All of this, however, was a prelude to the year that would follow.
Nineteen sixty-one was one of the most memorable years in Yankee history. Throughout the summer, Mantle and Maris hit home runs at record pace as both chased Babe Ruth's single-season home run record of 60, and the media and the fans began referring to the duo as the "M&M Boys". Ultimately, a severe hip infection forced Mantle to leave the lineup and bow out of the race in mid-September with 54 home runs.
On October 1, the final day of the season, Maris sent a pitch from Boston's Tracy Stallard into the right field stands of Yankee Stadium, breaking the record with 61. However, Commissioner Ford Frick decreed that two separate records be kept, as Ruth's record-setting season was 154 games, and Maris hit 61 in 162 games. It would be 30 years before an eight-member Committee for Historical Accuracy appointed by Major League Baseball did away with the dual records, giving Maris sole possession of the single-season home run record until it was broken by Mark McGwire on September 8, 1998. Maris still holds the American League record.
The Yankees won the pennant with a 109-53 record and went on to defeat the Cincinnati Reds in five games to win the 1961 World Series. The 109 regular season wins posted by the '61 club remains the third highest single-season total in franchise history, behind only the 1998 team's 114 regular season wins and 1927 team's 110 wins. The 1961 Yankees also clubbed a then-major league record for most home runs by a team with 240, a total not surpassed until the 1996 Baltimore Orioles hit 257 with the aid of the designated hitter. Maris won his second consecutive MVP Award while Whitey Ford captured the Cy Young Award.
Because of the excellence of Maris, Mantle, and World Series-MVP Ford, a fine pitching staff, stellar team defense, the team's strong depth and power, and its overall dominance, the 1961 Yankees are universally considered to be one of the greatest teams in the history of baseball, compared often to their pinstriped-brethren, the 1927 Yankees, the 1939 Yankees, and the 1998 Yankees.
In 1962, the Yankees once again had an intra-city rival as the National League's new expansion team, the New York Mets, came into existence. That year the Mets would lose a record 120 games while the Yankees would win the 1962 World Series, their tenth in the past sixteen years, defeating the San Francisco Giants in seven games.
The Yankees would again reach the Fall Classic in 1963, but they were swept in four games by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Behind World Series-MVP Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Johnny Podres, the Dodgers' starting pitchers threw four complete games and combined to give up just four runs all Series. This was the first time the Yankees were swept in a World Series.
Feeling burnt out after the season, Houk left the manager's chair to become the team's general manager and Berra, who himself had just retired from playing, was named the new manager of the Yankees.
The aging Yankees returned for a fifth straight World Series in 1964 -- their fourteenth World Series appearance in the past sixteen years -- to face the St. Louis Cardinals in a Series immortalized by David Halberstam's book, October 1964. Despite a valiant performance by Mantle, including a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth of Game Three off of Cardinals' reliever Barney Schultz, the Yankees fell to the Cardinals in seven games, and Berra was fired. It was to be the last World Series appearance by the Yankees for 12 years.
New Ownership and a Steep Decline (1964-1971)
After the 1964 season, CBS purchased 80 percent of the Yankees from Topping and Webb for $11.2 million. Jokesters at the time wondered if Walter Cronkite would become manager, perhaps with Yogi Berra doing the newscasts. Topping and Webb had owned the Yankees for 20 years, missing the World Series only five times and going 10-5 in the ones they did get to.
By contrast, the CBS-owned teams never went to the World Series. In fact, the Yankees finished in the second division for the first time in 40 years in 1965. Worse yet, the introduction of the major league amateur draft in 1965 also meant that the Yankees could no longer sign any player they wanted. Webb sold his 10 percent of the team before the year was out.
In 1966, the Yankees finished last in the AL for the first time since 1912. Johnny Keane, the winning Cardinals manager who joined the Yankees to manage in '65, was fired during the season, and GM Ralph Houk had to do double duty as field manager until the end of the year. Topping, who had kept his share of the franchise and held the position of team president, sold his 10 percent to CBS at the end of the season. The position of president was filled by Michael Burke.
The Yankee were next-to-last in the 1967 season, during which former farm director Lee MacPhail returned to the organization as GM. The team's fortunes improved somewhat, but they would not become serious contenders again until 1974.
Various reasons have been given for the decline, but the single biggest one was the Yankees' inability to replace their aging superstars with new ones, as they had done consistently in the previous five decades. Their "special relationship" with the Athletics may have been a way to mask this problem. By the mid-60's, the Yankees had little to offer in terms of trades, while Charles Finley had taken the A's in a new direction. A more controversial theory is that the Yankees paid the price for bringing black players into the organization later than other teams.
Also during this period the Yankees lost two of their signature broadcasters. The team fired legendary "Voice of the Yankees" Mel Allen after the '64 season, the reasons for which have not been explained to this day. Two years later, Red Barber, a former Dodgers voice who joined the Yankees broadcast team in 1954, was also let go. Some blame Barber's firing on his on-air mention of a paltry showing of 413 fans (Yankee Stadium held over 70,000 at the time) during a September 1966 home game against the White Sox. Sports biographer David J. Halberstam (different from the author of October 1964) also noted Barber's less-than-happy relationship with Joe Garagiola and even Phil Rizzuto, ex-major leaguers with whom he shared the booth.
Steinbrenner, Martin, Jackson, Munson, and the Bronx Zoo (1973-1981)
A group of investors, led by Cleveland-based shipbuilder George Steinbrenner, purchased the club from CBS on January 3, 1973 for $8.7 million. Mike Burke stayed on as president until he quit in April. Within a year, Steinbrenner bought out most of his other partners and became the team's principal owner, although Burke continued to hold a minority share into the 1980s.
The next year came the big renovation of Yankee Stadium, which had been planned out by Burke and the then New York City mayor John Lindsay. The renovation, which modernized the look of the stadium, reconfigured the bleachers and bullpens, and expanded the upper deck, took place over two years (1974-1975). In the meantime, the Yankees played in Flushing, Queens, in the home of the neighboring New York Mets, Shea Stadium.
After the 1974 season, Steinbrenner made a move that started the modern era of free agency, signing star pitcher James Augustus "Catfish" Hunter away from Oakland. Midway through the 1975 season, Steinbrenner made another move, hiring former second basemen Billy Martin as manager. With Martin at the helm, the Yankees reached the 1976 World Series, but were swept by the Cincinnati Reds, the famed Big Red Machine.
Steinbrenner then signed star Oakland outfielder Reggie Jackson for a then record $600,000 away from his new home with the Baltimore Orioles. Jackson made a controversial comment when coming to New York, saying that he was "the straw that stirs the drink", and that catcher and Yankee captain Thurman Munson thought he was "the straw", but could only "stir it bad". Jackson already had bad blood with Billy Martin, who had managed the Detroit Tigers and met Jackson in the 1972 postseason.
Jackson, Martin, and Steinbrenner would repeatedly feud throughout Jackson's five-year contract. Martin was hired and fired by Steinbrenner five times over the next 13 years. This conflict, combined with the extremely rowdy Yankees fans of the late 70's and the bad conditions of the Bronx led to the organization and stadium being referred to as the "Bronx Zoo".
Despite the turmoil, Jackson proved his worth in the 1977 World Series. He hit four home runs on four consecutive pitches from four different Dodgers' pitchers, three of them in the same game. Jackson's great performance in the postseason gained him the nickname "Mr. October".
Throughout the late 70's, the race for the pennant often came to a close competition between the Yankees and the Red Sox. In the 50's and early 60's, the Yankees had been dominant while the Red Sox hadn't been a factor. In the late 60's and early 70's, the Yankees had been in the cellar while the Red Sox took charge. This was one of the first times that the two were contending and locked in a close fight. Every game between the two became important. The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry came to the fore, and it was often bitter and ruthless, with brawls frequently erupting between players and fans.
On July 14, 1978, the Yankees were 14.5 games behind the Red Sox. Suddenly, the Yanks went on a tear, and by the time they met up for a pivotal four-game series at Fenway Park in early September, they were only four games out. The Yankees would sweep the Red Sox in what would become known as the "Boston Massacre", winning the games 15-3, 13-2, 7-0, and 7-4. The third game was a shutout pitched by "Louisiana Lightning" Ron Guidry, who would lead the majors with nine shutouts, 25 wins (only three losses), and a 1.74 ERA. Guidry also finished with 248 strikeouts, but Nolan Ryan's 260 strikeouts deprived Guidry of the pitching Triple Crown.
On the last day of the season, the two clubs finished in a tie for first place in the AL East. A one-game playoff (the 163rd game of the regular season) between the two teams was held to decide who would go on to the playoffs, with the game being held at Boston's Fenway Park. With Guidry matched up against former Yankee Mike Torrez, the Red Sox took an early 2-0 lead. In the seventh inning, the Yankees drove a stake through the hearts of their rivals' fans when Bucky Dent drove a three-run home run over the "Green Monster", putting the Yankees up 3-2. Reggie Jackson's solo home run in the following inning would seal the eventual 5-4 win that gave the Yankees their 100th win of the season and their third straight AL East title; it also gave Guidry his 25th win. (The outcome of this game, for Red Sox fans, was one of several emotional moments in their team's history that had their fans wondering if the Red Sox were under some kind of Yankee curse.)
After beating the Kansas City Royals for the third consecutive year in the 1978 ALCS, the Yankees faced the Dodgers again in the World Series. They lost the first two games on the West Coast, but then came home to win all three games at Yankee Stadium. The team then would wrap up their 22nd World Championship in Game Six back in Los Angeles.
The 1970s would end on a tragic note for the Yankees. Munson, a devoted family man, attained a pilot's liscence and a private plane so that he could fly home on off days. On August 2, 1979, Munson was doing some test flights of his plane and crashed, dying later from his wounds. Four days later, the entire team flew out to Canton, Ohio for the funeral, despite having a game later that day against the Orioles. Martin adamantly stated that the funeral was more important, and that he didn't care if they made it back in time, but they did return in time to play.
It was a nationally televised game, and the emotional contest was highlighted by Bobby Murcer, a close friend of Munson's who was one the Yankees to give a eulogy that morning at the funeral. He used Munson's bat (which he gave to his fallen friend's wife after the game), and drove in all five of the team's runs in a dramatic 5-4 victory.
Before the game, Munson's locker sat there empty except for his catching gear, a stoic reminder for his teammates. His locker, labeled with his number 15, stands empty in the Yankee clubhouse to this day as a memorial. The number 15 has also been retired by the team.
The Mattingly Era (1982-1995)
Following the team's loss to the Dodgers in the 1981 World Series, the Yankees would go into their longest absence from the playoffs since 1921. From 1989 to 1992 they had a losing record, having spent large amounts of money on free-agent players and draft picks that did not perform up to expectations.
During the 1980s the Yankees, led by their All-Star first baseman Don Mattingly, had the most total wins of any major league team, but failed to win a World Series (the first such decade since the 1910s). The Yankees consistently had powerful offensive teams - besides Mattingly, its rosters included, at one time or another, Dave Winfield, Rickey Henderson, Mike Pagliarulo, Steve Sax and Jesse Barfield -- but their starting pitching rarely matched the team's performance at the plate. After posting a 22-6 record in 1985, arm problems caught up with Ron Guidry, and his career went into a steep decline in the next three years. Dennis Rasmussen, who won 18 games the following year, never matched his 1986 performance. Rick Rhoden, acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1987, won 16 games that year but only went 14-14 in 1988.
The Yankees came close to winning the AL East in 1985 and 1986, finishing second behind the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, respectively, but fell to fourth place in 1987 and fifth in 1988, despite having mid-season leads in the AL East standings in both seasons. 1988 would be the last season the Yankees had a winning record until 1993.
By the end of the decade, the Yankees' offense was also on the decline. Henderson and Pagliarulo had departed by the middle of 1989, while back problems caught up with both Winfield (causing him to miss the entire '89 season) and Mattingly (he missed virtually the entire second half of 1990). Winfield's tenure with the team ended when he was dealt to the California Angels in May 1990. That year, the Yankees had the worst record in Major League Baseball, and their first last-place finish since 1966. The Bombers would finish at or near the bottom of the division until 1993. On July 1, 1990, pitcher Andy Hawkins became the first Yankee ever to lose a no-hitter, when the third baseman (Mike Blowers) committed an error, followed by two walks and an error by the left fielder (Jim Leyritz) with the bases loaded, scoring all three runners and the batter. The 4-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox was the largest margin of any no-hitter loss in the 20th century. Ironically, the Yankees (and Hawkins) were again no-hit for six innings in a rain-shortened game with the White Sox eleven days later.
The poor showing in the '80s and early '90s would start to change when management was able to implement a coherent acquisition/development program without interference from Steinbrenner, who had been suspended from day-to-day team operations by then-Commissioner Fay Vincent for hiring Howard Spira to uncover damaging information on former Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield. Under general managers Gene Michael and Bob Watson and manager Buck Showalter, the club shifted its emphasis from buying talent to developing talent through its farm system - and then holding onto it. The first significant sign of success came in 1994, when the Yankees had the best record in the AL before the season was cut short by the players' strike. A year later, the team reached the playoffs as the wild card and were eliminated only after a memorable 1995 American League Division Series series against the Seattle Mariners where the Yankees won the first two games at home and dropped the next three in Seattle.
Mattingly had the unfortunate distinction of beginning his career (1982) and ending his career (1995) in years bracketed by Yankee World Series appearances (1981 and 1996).
Joe Torre, Derek Jeter, and a new dynasty (1996-2000)
After the Yankees fell to the Mariners, Steinbrenner replaced Showalter and his staff with manager Joe Torre, who brought with him Don Zimmer as bench coach and former Yankees pitching star Mel Stottlemyre as pitching coach. Torre's managerial tenure is now by far the longest under George Steinbrenner's ownership. One of Showalter's coaches, popular former Yankee second baseman Willie Randolph, was retained by Torre as a third base coach. Initially derided as a retread choice ("Clueless Joe" ran the headline on the New York Post), Torre's smooth manner proved to be what the team needed. Going 8-0 on the road in the three playoff series that year, the Yankees won the 1996 World Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves in six games (after losing the first two games at home by a combined score of 16-1), and ending their 18-year championship drought. Homegrown shortstop Derek Jeter was named Rookie of the Year, an auspicious start to his association with the Yankees.
After their first World Series win since 1978, the Yankees signed lefties David Wells and Mike Stanton to improve the pitching staff. They also allowed closing reliever (and Series MVP) John Wetteland to leave as a free agent, and named setup man Mariano Rivera as the team's new closer.
General Manager Bob Watson was dismissed when the Yankees lost in the 1997 ALDS to the Cleveland Indians. He was replaced by Brian Cashman, a former Yankee intern. Cashman made many key acquisitions to improve the team, through the acquisitions of third baseman Scott Brosius, second baseman and leadoff man Chuck Knoblauch, outfielder Darryl Strawberry and starting pitcher Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez.
On May 17, 1998 David Wells, who would later claim to have been hungover that day, pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins. A year later, on July 18, 1999, which was "Yogi Berra Day" at the Stadium, David Cone pitched a perfect game against the Montréal Expos. In an amazing coincidence, Don Larsen, who pitched the perfect game in the 1956 World Series, was in attendance and had thrown out the ceremonial first pitch to Berra, his catcher for that storied game. An even more amazing coincidence is that Larsen and Wells both attended Point Loma High School in San Diego, California.
The 1998 Yankees are widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest teams in baseball history, having compiled a then-AL record of 114 regular season wins against just 48 losses en route to a Series sweep of the San Diego Padres. The '98 Yankees went 11-2 during the playoffs and finished with a combined record of 125-50. Their 125 wins is a major league record, though their AL regular season record was surpassed by the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who went 116-46 before losing to the Yankees in the ALCS.
After the 1998 season, fan favorite David Wells was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Roger Clemens, who had just completed two consecutive Cy Young Award and pitching triple crown seasons. After winning the Eastern division and defeating the Texas Rangers for the third time in the 1999 American League Division Series, the Yankees met up with the their longtime rivals, the Boston Red Sox, in the next playoff round. Clemens, a former Red Sox pitcher, started the third game of the ALCS against the Sox who blasted him 13-1 in what had been a highly anticipated pitching match up between Clemens and Pedro Martínez, the winner of the Cy Young Award and the pitching triple crown that season. However, it was the only game the Red Sox won, as the Yankees won the ALCS four games to one, and then went on to sweep the Atlanta Braves in the 1999 World Series, with Clemens winning the clincher in Game Four in the Bronx. This gave the 1998-1999 Yankees a 22-3 record (including four series sweeps) in six consecutive postseason series.
In 2000, the Yankees met up with the crosstown New York Mets for the first Subway Series since the 1956 World Series. To get there, they defeated the Oakland Athletics in the ALDS and then the Seattle Mariners in the ALCS. By winning the first two games of the Series, the Yankees won a total of fourteen straight World Series games from 1996 to 2000, breaking their own record of twelve (in 1927, 1928 and 1932). When the Mets scored a run against Mariano Rivera, they snapped his string of postseason consecutive scoreless innings at 34 1/3. Prior to Rivera's streak, the record had been held by Whitey Ford, who had broken Babe Ruth's scoreless World Series pitching streak. The win ran the Yankees' postseason series winning streak to nine and gave them a 33-8 record during that run. The Yankees are the most recent major league team to repeat as World Series champions and after the 2000 season they joined the Yankee teams of 1936-1939 and 1949-1953, as well as the 1972-1974 Oakland Athletics as the only teams to win at least three consecutive World Series.
The 21st century (2001-Present)
In the emotional times of October 2001, following the September 11 attack on New York's World Trade Center, the Yankees defeated the Oakland A's three games to two in the ALDS, and then the Seattle Mariners, who had won 116 games, four games to one in the ALCS. By winning the pennant for a fourth straight year, the 1998-2001 Yankees joined the 1921-1924 New York Giants, and the Yankee teams of '36-'39, '49-'53, '55-'58 and '60-'64 as the only dynasties to reach at least four straight pennants. The Yankees had now won eleven consecutive postseason series in consecutive years.
However, the World Series starters for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling (later named the World Series co-MVPs), kept them in check, starting Games One, Two, Four, Six and Seven; the Diamondbacks won all four games at home, including Game Seven where Yankee star closer Mariano Rivera uncharacteristically lost the lead - and the Series - in the bottom of the ninth inning.
After the 2001 season, fan favorites Paul O'Neill and Scott Brosius retired. Tino Martinez and Chuck Knoblauch left for free agency. The Yankees had a lot of reconstructing to do; they needed to rebuild the offense that was shut down by the Johnson-Schilling duo in the 2001 World Series. They did it by signing slugger Jason Giambi and outfielder Rondell White, as well as trading David Justice to the Mets for third baseman Robin Ventura. The team also brought back fan favorite David Wells to bolster the pitching staff. The Yankees finished the 2002 season with an AL best record of 103-58, winning the division by 10.5 games over the Red Sox. The season was highlighted by Alfonso Soriano becoming the first second baseman ever to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season, as well as Giambi's 41 home runs. Roger Clemens also made history in the 2002 season by obtaining his 300 win as a pitcher and striking out 4000 batters over the course of his career. Only two other pitchers in major league history have more then 4000 strikeouts which are Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton. In the ALDS, the Yankees lost to the Anaheim Angels in four games.
In 2003, the Yankees once again had the best league record (101-61), defeated the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, and then defeated their longtime rival Red Sox in a tough seven-game ALCS, which featured a bench-clearing brawl in Game Three and a Series-ending walk-off home run by Aaron Boone in the bottom of the 11th inning of the final game. The Yankees were then defeated by the Florida Marlins - a team with a payroll a quarter of the size of the Yankees' - in the World Series, four games to two.
After the 2003 season, the Yankees hoped to add more power to a lineup which was shut down in the previous year's Series. They gained two sluggers, signing free agent Gary Sheffield, and trading second-baseman Alfonso Soriano to the Texas Rangers for shortstop Alex Rodriguez. With Jeter as the Yankees All-Star shortstop, Rodriguez, who had played the position his entire career, agreed to move to third base. Throughout 2004, however, the Yankees' weakness was their starting pitching. Despite this, they managed to win over 100 games with their powerful lineup, the third straight year they had done so, and reach the playoffs. In the ALDS, the Yankees once again met and defeated the Twins three games to one.
In the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Red Sox, the Yankees became the first team in professional baseball history, and only the third team in North American pro sports history (it happened in the NHL twice), to lose a best-of-seven series after taking a 3-0 series lead. The Yankees thought they needed to improve their pitching, which faltered in their loss to the Red Sox, and they signed free-agent pitchers Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright and acquired dominant lefty Randy Johnson from Arizona. However, none of the three performed up to expectations; Pavano pitched in only 17 games in 2005 and missed the entire 2006 season due to a variety of injuries, Wright was traded after starting only 40 games over two seasons, and Johnson suffered from back problems which resulted in surgery in October, 2006.
The 2005 season started slowly for the Yankees, and they spent most of the season chasing the Boston Red Sox for the division title. The Yankees, however, won the division, clinching it in the second-to-last game of the season against the Red Sox. Alex Rodriguez won the American League Most Valuable Player award, becoming the first Yankee to win the award since Don Mattingly in 1985. Giambi was named Comeback Player of the Year, as voted by fans, and second baseman Robinson Canó was runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting. Another highlight of the season was the record-setting pitching by journeyman Aaron Small, who became just the fourth pitcher in history to win at least ten games without a loss.
In the 2005 American League Division Series, the Angels defeated the Yankees in five games in the first round of the postseason, marking the second time in four years that the Angels beat the Yankees in the first round. Alex Rodriguez, the American League's 2005 MVP, had a poor series, hitting .133 with no home runs and no RBIs.
In the 2005-2006 offseason, general manager Brian Cashman was given more control of the direction of the Yankees, and in December 2005, the Yankees signed center fielder Johnny Damon from the archrival Red Sox. The Yankees also signed Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Myers, Octavio Dotel and Ron Villone to improve their bullpen, which had been a weak point during the 2005 season.
Despite losing starting outfielders Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield to injuries early in the season, the Yankees finished the first half of the 2006 season with 50 wins and 36 losses, three games behind the Red Sox. But they caught up to the Red Sox, and on August 18, the Yankees entered Fenway Park with a 1.5 game lead for a five game series. The series opened up with a doubleheader that the Yankees swept 12-4 and 14-11, echoing the Boston Massacre of 1978, and prompting the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy to dub the doubleheader sweep the "Son of Massacre". The Yankees went on to sweep all five games (calling the series the "Second Boston Massacre"). They outscored the Red Sox by a combined score of 49-26, and left them 6.5 games out of first place. The Red Sox would eventually end the season in third place in the AL East behind the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, making it the first time since 1998 that the Red Sox did not finish in second place behind the Yanks.
The division win was the ninth consecutive AL East title for the Yankees. When the New York Mets won their division (snapping the Atlanta Braves' eleven-year stranglehold on the NL East), it marked the first time ever that both New York teams won their respective divisions in the same year. Their 97-65 record tied the Mets for the best record of the year, giving New Yorkers hopes for another Subway Series. However, the Yankees lost to the Detroit Tigers in four games in the ALDS, while the Mets lost the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
On October 11, 2006, days after the ALDS was over, tragedy struck when pitcher Cory Lidle died in a plane crash. It has yet to be determined if Lidle or his co-pilot, Tyler Stanger, who was also killed, was piloting the plane which crashed into a highrise apartment building on East 72nd Street on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Lidle was the second active Yankee to be killed in a crash of his own private plane, following Thurman Munson's death in 1979.
Changes during the 2006-2007 off-season included the trading of Gary Sheffield and Jaret Wright, and the signings of Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa and former Yankee Andy Pettitte, who left the Yankees after 2003. In early January, the team traded Randy Johnson to the Arizona Diamondbacks for reliever Luis Vizcaíno and three minor leagers. Longtime outfielder Bernie Williams, the longest-tenured Yankee player as of 2006 and currently a free agent, declined the non-roster Spring Training invitation that was extended to him. Also during the offseason, Don Mattingly, who had served as the Yankees' hitting instructor for the previous three seasons, was promoted to bench coach.
The start of the 2007 season was highlighted by Alex Rodriguez becoming the first player in American League history to homer 10 times in his club's first 14 games., as well as tying Mike Schmidt for the MLB record of 12 home runs in his first 15 games, setting the MLB record for the least number of games (18) to hit 13 and 14 home runs, and setting the AL record and tying Albert Pujols for the MLB record for most home runs, 14, in the month of April. Alex then went on to win the American League Clutch hitter award during the month of May. But pitching problems hurt early on, "highlighted" by the Yankees using five or more pitchers in 10 consecutive games to end the month of April, the longest such streak in the majors in the past 50 years. On May 7, the Yankees set another undesirable pitching record by being the first team in MLB history to use 10 different starting pitchers in its first 30 games. The pitching problems led to the signing of Roger Clemens, which he announced during the Yankees game on May 6. Clemens agreed to a one year deal worth $28,000,022 , or about $4.5 million per month between June and September. He will make a string of minor league starts before making his 2007 MLB debut.
The New Yankee Stadium
In 2006, the Yankees broke ground on a new, state-of-the-art ballpark, which will also be known as Yankee Stadium. It is scheduled to open in 2009. The current Yankee Stadium will be used until the new stadium is erected, and parts of it will be preserved even after the Yankees move to the new stadium. Major League Baseball has awarded the 2008 All-Star Game to the Yankees in honor of the last year of the current stadium.
The stadium will feature an exterior facade which will replicate that of the original Yankee Stadium. The interior of the stadium will be a separate structure, rising above the top of the exterior. From the outside the structures will look similar to the original stadium. A "great hall" between the exterior wall and the interior structure will feature five to six times more retail square footage than the current stadium. The signature frieze, the lattice work that once rimmed the original stadium's roof, will adorn the new stadium's roof in the original copper.
The Yankees have won 26 World Series in 39 appearances (which, since the first World Series in 1903, currently amounts to an average appearance every 2.7 seasons and a championship every 4.0 seasons); the St. Louis Cardinals are second with ten World Series victories. The Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers are second in World Series appearances with eighteen; eleven of those eighteen appearances have been against the Yankees, where the Dodgers have gone 3-8 against them. Among North American major sports, the Yankees' success is only approached by the 24 Stanley Cup championships of the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League. The Yankees are also the only team that is represented at every position in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Uniform and dress code
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1901 Baltimore Orioles logo
Original New York Highlanders logo
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Original logo of the New York Yankees, and current cap logo
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Logo on breast of home jersey
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Name on breast of away jersey
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Current print logo
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Current print name
The team colors are navy blue and white. Under George Steinbrenner, long hair and facial hair below the lip are prohibited. Visible tattoos are also prohibited, and players with one on their arm are often seen wearing a navy blue arm band.
Template:H3 The Yankees' home uniform is white with distinctive pinstripes and a navy blue interlocking "NY" at the chest. The away uniform is gray with "New York" written in capitals across the chest. The player number is on the back of the uniform jersey and is not accompanied by the player name. (The interlocking NY was also used by the New York Knicks on their warmup jackets, and later shorts from the 1960s to 1990 and remains on the Knicks' throwback uniforms.)
In 1929, the New York Yankees became the first team to make numbers a permanent part of the uniform. Numbers were handed out based on the order in the lineup. In 1929, Earle Combs wore #1, Mark Koenig #2, Babe Ruth #3, Lou Gehrig #4, Bob Meusel #5, Tony Lazzeri #6, Leo Durocher #7, Johnny Grabowski #8, Benny Bengough #9, and Bill Dickey #10. While other teams began putting names on the backs of jerseys in the 1960s, the Yankees did not follow the trend. Many companies create jerseys with Yankee names sewn on the back for fans to purchase, but no official Yankee uniform has ever had names on the back. They are also one of the few teams in Major League Baseball to shun the trend of creating a "third jersey". The team has never issued #0 or #00.
Although the Yankees have worn the same road uniform since 1918 (with the exception of 1927 to 1930, when the arched "NEW YORK" was replaced by the word "YANKEES"), a radical change was proposed in 1974. Marty Appel, in his book Now Pitching for the Yankees describes the proposed uniforms:
|“||In 1974 I walked into (then-General Manager) Gabe Paul's office to find samples of new Yankee road uniforms draped across his sofa. They were the opposite of the home pinstripes — they were navy blue with white pinstripes. The NY logo was in white. Gabe liked them. I nearly fainted. Although the drab gray road uniforms were not exciting, with the plain NEW YORK across the chest, they were just as much the Yankees' look as were the home uniforms. I think my dramatic disdain helped saved (sic) the day and saved the Yankees from wearing those awful pajamas on the field.||”|
The Yankees wear navy blue caps with a white interlocking "NY" logo with both home and road uniforms.
With the recurring success of the franchise since the 1920s and its rejuvenated dynasty, the Yankees have always been and continue to be one of the most popular sports teams in the world. They have a large fanbase, noticeably bigger than that of the cross-town New York Mets. Even in road games, especially in towns like Baltimore, Boston, Toronto and Tampa Bay, the Yankees generally draw crowds of their own fans, showing that they not only have support in the New York area, but also around the United States and Canada.
The first one-million fan season was in 1920, when 1,289,422 fans attended Yankee games at the Polo Grounds. The first two-million fan season was in 1946, when 2,265,512 fans attended games at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have beaten the league average for home attendance 83 out of the last 87 years (only during 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994 did they not accomplish this). In the past seven years, in the dawn of their new dynasty, the Yankees have drawn over three million fans each year, with an American League record-setting 4,090,696 in 2005, becoming only the third franchise in sports history to draw over four million in regular season attendance in their own ballpark.
The Yankees were also the league leaders in "road attendance" in each year from 2001 through 2006.
Many fans who attend games at Yankee Stadium would also be familiar with famous fan Fred Schuman, popularly known simply as "Freddy". For over 50 years this fan has come to Yankees' home games with a baseball cap, a yankees' jersey (which on the back bears his own name) and a cake pan with a shamrock painted on it which is connected to a sign inscribed with words of encouragement for the home team. The sign changes every game (But always features the prefix "Freddy Sez") and Freddy carries a metal spoon with him encouraging fans to bang the pan for good luck as he walks through the crowd throughout the game. Whether or not Freddy is employed by the Yankees' organization is not definitely known, although it is assumed that such must be the case in order for him to afford to attend so many games throughout the season.
The term Bronx Cheer can be traced back to the fans of the franchise.
The Bleacher Creatures
The "Bleacher Creatures" are a notorious group of season ticket holders who occupy Section 39 in the right field bleachers at Yankee Stadium. They are known for their strict allegiance to the Yankees, and are often merciless to opposing fans who sit in the section and cheer for the road team. They also enjoy taunting the opposing team's right fielder with a series of chanting and slandering. The "creatures" attained their nickname from New York Daily News columnist Filip "Flip" Bondy, who spent the 2004 season sitting in the section for research on his upcoming book about the group. Entitled, Bleeding Pinstripes: A Season with the Bleacher Creatures of Yankee Stadium, it was published in 2005.
The Creatures are famed for a chant known as the "roll call". In the top of the first inning, when the Yankees are on the field and their starting pitcher is getting ready to throw the first pitch, they all stand and begin clapping. Then, after the pitch is thrown, a group of guys wave their hands down to hush the crowd, and a man named "Vinny" shouts out the name of the center fielder (ie: "Yo, Johnny!"). The whole group then procedes to chant his name (ie: "JOH-nee DA-mon, clap, clap, clap clap clap"). The rest of the players are called in a similar fashion (CF-LF-RF-1B-2B-SS-3B, in that order) except for the pitcher and catcher (although there have been exceptions). Each player's chant continues until the player has responded in some way, usually with a wave or point. After the creatures go through the lineup, the group turns to the left, and chants "box seats suck!" at the right field box seats until the chanting finally dissipates. When a player is replaced in a defensive position (not counting the pitcher) the replacement is also given the same chant. At the beginning of the 2007 season opener, the Creatures started a chant of "We want Bernie!", a reference to the fact that long-time Yankee outfielder, Bernie Williams, was not with the team. Other names called out during roll call from time to time have included Yankee broadcasters John Sterling and Michael Kay, or Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent, and Babe Ruth when the Yankees host the Boston Red Sox. Sometimes, after a long rain delay, the Creatures start another Roll Call for kicks.
Because of rowdiness and the fact that many families now sit in the more affordable bleachers, alcoholic beverages were banned from the bleachers in 2000. However, this does not fully stop drinking in the section, as it is relatively easy to sneak in liquor disguised in other bottles. Because of the alcohol ban, the fans in the box seats often retaliate to the Creatures' mockings by chanting "We've got beer!" This chant is often a reply to (or sometimes caused by) the Creatures chanting "Al-co-hol-ics!"
The Yankees also have many celebrity fans. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is commonly seen at games and flashed on the video screen. Actor/Director Billy Crystal is also frequently seen at games; he directed a memorable movie named 61* in 2001 which highlighted Roger Maris' chase of Babe Ruth's single-season home run record in 1961. Actor Adam Sandler has flaunted his Yankee loyalty in several of his movies, most notably in Anger Management where several scenes are actually shot at Yankee Stadium, and included acting roles for Roger Clemens and Derek Jeter. Other famous celebrity fans include actor Jack Nicholson, business mogul Donald Trump, director Spike Lee, actor Denzel Washington, actress Penny Marshall, comedian Artie Lange, actress Sarah Jessica Parker, and rock singer Meat Loaf.
The Yankees' hat is often seen in public worn by rappers to show an identity with New York City. Artists spotted with this look include Nas, Fat Joe, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Busta Rhymes, Fred Durst, Jay-Z, P-Diddy, Daddy Yankee, Héctor El Father, and Jadakiss. The popularity of the Yankees' hat has also grown to include color patterns not actually used by the Yankees. This is probably most notable in rock band Limp Bizkit's video for the song "Nookie", in which lead singer Fred Durst wore a red Yankees hat.
With the long-term success of the franchise and a large Yankee fanbase, other teams' fans across the nation have come to hate the Yankees. This is most apparent among New England fans of the Boston Red Sox, but the hatred extends to other places. It has become a tradition at many road games for the home crowd to chant "Yankees Suck!", even – or especially – if the Yankees are winning. During 2002, shirts with this phrase were sold during a Yankees-Mariners series in Seattle, which is 2,500 miles away from New York.
Much of the animosity toward the team may derive from the its payroll (which was around $194 million at the start of the 2006 season, the highest of any American sports team), and the free agent superstars the team attracts in the offseason. Other reasons for anti-Yankee feelings go as far back as the 1950s, with aging diehard Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants fans, some still in New York, some transplanted elsewhere, still feeling the pain of the years that the Yankees repeatedly defeated their teams. Famed sports columnist Mike Royko summed it up when he said, "Hating the Yankees is as American as pizza pie, unwed mothers, and cheating on your income tax."
For these reasons, the Yankees traditionally lead the majors in road attendance.
Fight and theme songs
The official fight song for the Yankees is "Here Come the Yankees", written in 1967 by Bob Bundin and Lou Stallman. While its old form with lyrics is not used as often, it is still heard frequently in instrumental form, most prominently in radio broadcasts. Another song strongly linked to the team is "New York, New York", which is played in the stadium after home games. The Frank Sinatra cover version is traditionally played after victories, and the Liza Minnelli original version after losses. When the Yankees take the field before the start of every game, the song, "Get Ready For This" is played with the fans usually clapping along.
A wide selection of songs are played at the stadium, many of them live on the Stadium's Hammond organ. God Bless America has been played during the 7th inning stretch since September 11, and is sung by Dr. Ronan Tynan on the days of major games, complete with long lyrical intro. This practice is criticized by some, as it stretches the break between the innings and throws off the rhythm of the opposing pitcher. During the 5th, the grounds-crew, while performing their duties, dances to "Y.M.C.A.". "Cotton-Eyed Joe" once played during the 7th inning stretch, but was pushed back to the 8th in favor of "God Bless America". On the DiamondVision screen, a man in farmer's garb is shown dancing in the stadium's control room, with the words "Cotton-Eyed Joey" at the bottom. The organist will sometimes play the "Zorba the Greek Theme", accompanied by clapping from the audience, to excite the crowd and encourage a rally.
Some players have their own songs which are played in celebration of their accomplishments, or to introduce them. Examples include Bernie Williams, whose actions were often accompanied by the lines "Burn (Bern) baby burn (Bern)" from "Disco Inferno", and Mariano Rivera, who gets a great ovation from the fans when he comes out from the bullpen to Metallica's "Enter Sandman". Occasionally, Hideki Matsui will come out to Blue Öyster Cult's "Godzilla", in reference to his nickname. Many times, when left-handed pitcher Mike Myers is sent in as a relieving pitcher, the theme song from the movie Halloween is played, in reference to the main villain of the movie who bears the same name.
During the 1993 season, "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister was played after every win, before "New York, New York". Kiss's, "New York Groove" was used many times during the 70's as well as during some more recent playoff games. When the Yankees are either tied or behind in the late innings (usually the 8th innning), "Going The Distance" from the Rocky II soundtrack is played while a mix of the Rocky II training scene and Yankee highlights are shown on the DiamondVision screen.
Radio and television
The Yankees Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network launched in 2002, and served as the home of the New York Yankees during the baseball season, and the New Jersey Nets during the basketball season, making it the only regional sports network in New York City unlike MSG Network, SportsNet New York, and FSN New York. It also offers original programming such as Yankeeography, CenterStage, and the re-airing of older games under the name Yankees Classics. They also simulcast the popular New York radio show Mike and the Mad Dog as it airs on WFAN. YES also airs programming for the New York Giants.
Of course, YES Network is the primary home for the team's games on television. Michael Kay is the play-by-play announcer and Ken Singleton, Paul O'Neill, Bobby Murcer, Al Leiter, and John Flaherty working as commentators as part of a three man booth. Bob Lorenz hosts the pre-game show and the post-game show, with David Justice as the analyst and Kimberly Jones and Nancy Newman as the reporters. Some games are telecast on WWOR-TV; those broadcasts are also produced by YES.
- Mel Allen was the team's lead announcer from 1948 to 1964. Allen is still widely known as the "voice of the Yankees."
- Red Barber also called Yankees games for a few seasons.
- Frank Messer, Phil Rizzuto and Bill White teamed together in the 1970s and 80s. Rizzuto spent nearly 40 years in the broadcast booth, and White later became president of the National League.
The number 42 was retired throughout Major League Baseball in honor of Jackie Robinson on April 15, 1997 (50 years after Robinson broke the color barrier). Mariano Rivera, current closer for the Yankees, still wears the number due to a grandfather clause and is the last remaining player to do so. While the other teams placed the number 42 with the rest of their retired numbers, the Yankees did not do so. It wasn't until 10 years later, on April 17, 2007, that the Yankees put up his number and a corresponding plaque. This coincided with the celebration of Jackie Robinson Day, which was held two days prior while the Yankees were away in Oakland.
Although it has not been officially retired, the Yankees have not reissued number 21 since Paul O'Neill stopped playing.
The 15 numbers are placed on the wall in chronological order, beginning with Lou Gehrig's number 4. This was retired soon after Gehrig left baseball on July 4, 1939, the same day he gave his famous goodbye speech. His was the first number retired in Major League Baseball history. Beneath the numbers are plaques with the names of the players and a descriptive paragraph.
In 1972, the number 8 was retired twice on the same day, in honor of catcher Bill Dickey and his protege, catcher Yogi Berra. Berra inherited Dickey's number in 1948 after Dickey ended his playing career and became a coach.
As the Yankees do not issue #0, the only two single-digit numbers that are still in use are number 2 and number 6. Presently Team Captain Derek Jeter wears the number 2 and Manager Joe Torre wears number 6. No team in baseball has all of the numbers 1-10 retired.
|3||May 20, 1922 - May 25, 1922||Babe Ruth|
|5||April 21, 1935 - June 2, 1941||Lou Gehrig|
|6||April 17, 1976 - August 2, 1979||Thurman Munson|
|7||January 29, 1982 - March 30, 1984||Graig Nettles|
|8||March 4, 1986 - October 10, 1988||Willie Randolph*|
|9||March 4, 1986 - July 2, 1989||Ron Guidry*|
|10||February 28, 1991 - October 8, 1995||Don Mattingly|
|11||June 3, 2003 - Present||Derek Jeter|
* Guidry and Randolph were co-captains.
Howard W. Rosenberg, a baseball historian and author of Cap Anson 1: When Captaining a Team Meant Something (Tile Books, 2003) has found that the official count of Yankee captains failed to include Hall of Famer Clark Griffith, the 1903-05 captain, and Kid Elberfeld, the one from 1906-07, with 1913 Manager Frank Chance a strong circumstantial candidate to have been captain that year as well, plus Rosenberg found a 1916 article that said Roy Hartzell had been a captain earlier in franchise history. Griffith, Elberfeld, Chance and Hartzell were mentioned in an article on Yankee captains in the New York Times on March 25, 2007, by Vincent M. Mallozzi. In addition, Willie Keeler is another missing captain, for 1908-09, having been first located in a full-text database in late 2006 by Society for American Baseball Research member Clifford Blau and confirmed by Rosenberg subsequent to the March 25, 2007, article; that is the one alteration to date to Rosenberg's original 2003 news release on the subject. Therefore, Jeter is, conservatively, at least the 14th captain in franchise history.
Unofficial captains: Upon Gehrig's death, then-manager Joe McCarthy declared that there would never be another Yankee captain. Between Gehrig's retirement and Munson's appointment, the team had players considered on-field leaders if not official captains: Bill Dickey (1939-46), Joe DiMaggio (1946-51), Phil Rizzuto (1952-56), Yogi Berra (1956-63) and Mickey Mantle (1964-68).
The lack of a unifying figure following Mantle's retirement convinced team owner George Steinbrenner that the team needed an official captain, and he chose Munson. With Munson's death, Graig Nettles was unofficial captain from 1979 to 1982 until being officially named in 1983. Guidry and Randolph followed unofficially in 1984, officially in 1986, then Mattingly unofficial in 1990, official starting 1991. Paul O'Neill was unofficial captain from 1996-2001: Steinbrenner never named O'Neill captain but called him "my warrior". Jeter was unofficial in 2002 and officially named in 2003.
New York Yankees 2020 spring training roster
|40-man roster||Non-roster invitees||Coaches/Other|
40 active, 0 inactive, 0 non-roster invitees
Minor league affiliations
- AAA: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, International League
- AA: Trenton Thunder, Eastern League
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- A: Charleston RiverDogs, South Atlantic League
- Short A: Staten Island Yankees, New York-Penn League
- Rookie: GCL Yankees, Gulf Coast League
- List of New York Yankees people
- Yankee Stadium
- New Yankee Stadium
- Curse of the Bambino
- The Pride of the Yankees and Damn Yankees
- Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and Subway Series
- Jeffrey Maier
- New York Yankees award winners and league leaders
- New York Yankees Nicknames
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Notes and references
- Popik, Barry. "The Big Apple: Yankees (American League Baseball team)". barrypopik.com. Retrieved 2007-03-04. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Stout, Glenn. "When the Yankees nearly moved to Boston". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-03-04. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Popik, Barry. "Year-by-Year League Leader for Home Runs". barrypopik.com. Retrieved 2007-03-04. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Feinsand, Mark. "Notes:Pavano likely out for season". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Fordin, Spencer. "O's finalize deal with Yanks for Wright". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Feinsand, Mark. "Big Unit undergoes back surgery". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- "MLB Recap - Yankees/Red Sox". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Hoch, Brian. "Bernie rejects Yanks' camp invite". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Feinsand, Mark. "Mattingly promoted to bench coach". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Hoch, Brian. "A-Rod makes AL history with tear". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- "New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox recap". Yahoo Sports. 2007-04-21. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
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- "New York Yankees/Tampa Bay Devil Rays Recap". Yahoo Sports. 2007-04-23. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
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- Hoch, Brian (2007-04-30). "Take a break, 'Johnny Wholestaff'". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
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- "Yankees ship Igawa to minors". Associated Press. 2007-05-07. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
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- "Season-By-Season World Series Results". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Kates, Maxwell. "Baseball Beards". baseballlibrary.com. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Jack Looney, Now Batting, Number...: The Mystique, Superstition, and Lore of Baseball's Uniform Numbers (NY:Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2006)
- Marty Appel, Now Pitching for the Yankees: Spinning the News for Mickey, Billy, and George, foreword by Yogi Berra (NY:Total Sports, 2001)
- Helyar, John (2006-05-19). "Yankees, Mets coexist despite their differences". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-05-11. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
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- "Yankees reach four million in tickets sales for second consecutive season". MLB.com. 2006-07-02. Retrieved 2007-05-12. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
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- ESPN.com - MLB Attendance
- Filip Bondy, Bleeding Pinstripes: A Season with the Bleacher Creatures of Yankee Stadium , foreword by David Cone (NY: Sports Publishing, 2005)
- "Opening Day Roll Call 2007". Youtube. Retrieved 2007-05-22. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Bondy, ibid., p. 20-22.
- "10 burning questions for Jack Nicholson". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- "Donald Trump". Trump University. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- "Sarah Jessica Parker". Digitalhit.com. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- "Questions for Meat Loaf". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- "Celebrity Baseball Caps". Capitate. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- "April 2002 Archives". Maynardo Archives. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- "2006 Salary Database". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- "Subway series stats". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- "New York Yankee Quotations". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- "Retired Uniform Numbers in the American League". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- "Yankees retire Jackie Robinson's number". New York Yankees. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- Vincent M. Mallozzi. "Author Says Yankees Are Missing Something". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-05-20. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Howard W. Rosenberg. "Derek Jeter Isn't New York Yankees' 11th Captain". capanson.com. Retrieved 2007-05-20. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- "Yankees' 'warrior' has Bronx swan song". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- New York Yankees Official Website on MLB.com
- Baseball-Reference.com - year-by-year franchise index
- Baseball Almanac
- The Baseball Page
- Article on the Yankees Salary
- Sports E-Cyclopedia