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New York Yankees
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New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are a Major League baseball team based in The Bronx, New York City. They are in the Eastern Division of the American League.

The Yankees have won 26 and competed in 39 World Series. These numbers dominate the sport, considering the St. Louis Cardinals and the Athletics franchise are tied for second on the list with 9 World Series victories apiece, and the Giants franchise is second with 15 World Series appearances. Among the North American major sports, their level of success is only approached by the 24 Stanley Cup championships of the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League.

Founded: 1901 as the Baltimore, Maryland franchise in the newly created American League. Moved to New York City before the 1903 season.
Formerly known as: Baltimore Orioles, 1901-1902. New York Highlanders, 1903-1910. "Yankees" and "Highlanders" used interchangeably over the next couple of years.
Home ballpark: Yankee Stadium, at 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx, New York City, from 1923 to the present, excluding two years in the 1970s during renovation. Also played at the original Oriole Park in Baltimore, 1901-1902; Hilltop Park in Manhattan, New York City, 1903-1912; the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, New York City, 1913-1922; and Shea Stadium in Queens, New York City, 1974-1975.
Uniform colors: Midnight Blue with white or gray (Home uniform has distinctive pinstripes)
Logo design: Interlocking NY
Team theme song: "Here Come the Yankees" (1967), composed by Bob Bundin and Lou Stallman.
World Series championships won (26): 1923, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000.
American League pennants won (39): 1921, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003.
American League East division titles won (13): 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1994 (unofficial), 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003.
American League wild card (2): 1995, 1997.

Table of contents
1 Origins
2 The Highlanders
3 First success
4 The McCarthy era
5 The 1950s
6 Return to glory
7 A new dynasty
8 The 21st century
9 Controversy
10 Players of note
11 Team Ownership
12 See also
13 External Links


At the end of the 1900 season, the American League re-organized and, with its president Ban Johnson as the driving force, decided to assert itself as a new major league. Previously a minor league (known as the Western League until 1899), the American League carried over five of its previous locations and added three more on the East Coast, including one in Baltimore, Maryland, which had lost its National League team when that league contracted the year before. The intention of Johnson and the American League had been to place a team in New York City, but their efforts had been stymied by the political connections that owners of the National League New York Giants had with Tammany Hall.

When the team began play as the Baltimore Orioles in 1901, they were managed by John McGraw. As a result of a feud with league president Ban Johnson, who rigidly enforced rules about rowdyism on the field of play, McGraw jumped leagues to manage the New York Giants in the middle of the 1902 season. A week later the owner of the Giants also gained controlling interest of the Orioles and raided the team for players, after which the league declared the team forfeit and took control, still intending to move the franchise to New York when and if possible.

In January 1903, the American League and National League held a "peace conference" to settle conflicts over player contract disputes and to agree on future cooperation. The National League also agreed that the "junior circuit" could establish a franchise in New York. The American League's Baltimore franchise became the New York franchise when its new owners, Frank Farrell and William Devery, were able to find a ballpark location not blocked by the Giants. Ferrell and Devery both had deep ties into city politics and gambling. Farrell owned a casino and several pool halls, while Devery had served as a blatantly corrupt chief of the New York City police and had only been forced out of the department at the start of 1902.

The Highlanders

The franchise's first park in New York was located at 165th St. and Broadway in Manhattan, near the highest point on the island. Consequently the field was known as Hilltop Park and the team became known as the New York Highlanders. As the Highlanders the team enjoyed success only twice, finishing in second place in the American League in 1904 and 1910, but otherwise much of the next fifteen years was spent in the cellar.

From 1913 to 1922 the team would play in the Polo Grounds, a park owned by their National League rivals, the Giants. With the change of parks in 1913, the team also officially changed its name to New York Yankees, a name which had been in informal but increasing use for the prior few years.

By the mid 1910s, owners Farrell and Devery had become estranged and both were in need of money. At the start of 1915, they sold the team to Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Captain Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston. Ruppert was heir to the Ruppert brewery fortune and had also been tied to the Tammany Hall machine, serving as a U.S. Congressman for eight years. Ruppert later said, "For $450,000 we got an orphan ball club, without a home of its own, without players of outstanding ability, without prestige."

First success

Over the next few years the new owners would begin to enlarge the payroll. Many of the newly acquired players who would later contribute to their success came from the Boston Red Sox, whose owner, theater impresario Harry Frazee, had bought his team on credit and was hard-pressed to pay off his loans and also produce Broadway shows. From 1919 to 1922, the Yankees acquired from the Red Sox the pitchers Waite Hoyt, Carl Mays and Herb Pennock; catcher Wally Schang; shortstop Everett Scott; and third baseman Joe Dugan. But the biggest of them all was pitcher-turned-outfielder Babe Ruth in January 1920, in exchange for $125,000 cash and a $300,000 mortgage on the Red Sox's Fenway Park.

Other critical 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 army (this would 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, having managed the team since 1918. Barrow 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 popular with the public, to the extent that the Yankees were soon outdrawing their landlords, the Giants. In 1921 the Yankees were told to move out of the Polo Grounds after the 1922 season. In 1923 the Yankees moved into Yankee Stadium at 161st St. and River Avenue in the Bronx. The site for the stadium was chosen because the IRT Jerome Avenue subway line, now the MTA's #4 train, went right there and goes on top of Yankee Stadium's right-field wall. The Stadium was the first triple-deck venue in baseball and seated an astounding 58,000. It was truly "the House that Ruth Built",

From 1921 to 1928, the Yankees went through their first period of great success, winning six American League pennants and three World Series. In 1921 through 1923 they faced the Giants in the World Series, losing the first two match-ups but turning the tables in 1923.

The 1927 team was so potent that it became known as "Murderer's Row" and is sometimes considered to have been the best team in the history of baseball (though similar claims have been made for other Yankee squads, notably those of 1939 and 1998). Ruth's home run total of 60 in 1927 was more than any other entire team in the American League and set a single-season record which would stand for 34 years, and first baseman Lou Gehrig had his first big season with 47 round-trippers.

The McCarthy era

The 1930s, under manager Joe McCarthy: in the post-Ruth era, the Yankees won four straight World Series titles from 1936 through 1939 behind Gehrig and a bevy of new stars like Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing.

The 1950s

The 1950s, under Casey Stengel: bettering the McCarthy-era clubs, Stengel's squad won the World Series in his first five years as manager, 1949 through 1953. In twelve years, Stengel won 10 pennants and seven World Series titles. They were led by catcher Yogi Berra, outfielder Mickey Mantle and pitcher Whitey Ford, but unlike the star-studded McCarthy teams, the Yankees of the 1950s owed much of their success to Stengel's use of platooning and his ability to get the most out of average and slightly-above-average personnel.

After the 1964 season, CBS purchased the Yankees from Dan Topping and Del Webb for $11.2 million. Topping and Webb had owned the Yankees for 20 years, missing the World Series only 5 times, and going 10-5 in the World Series. In contrast, the CBS ball teams never went to the World Series.

Return to glory

The 1970s, under Billy Martin, et al: George Steinbrenner purchased the club for $10 million on January 3, 1973 from the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), renovated Yankee Stadium, hired and fired Billy Martin a number of times, feuded with star outfielder Reggie Jackson, and presided over the resurgence of the Yankees in the late seventies. Jackson's three home runs in the sixth and final game of the 1977 World Series against three different Dodger pitchers (earning him the nickname "Mr. October") defined the period as much as Martin and Steinbrenner.

A new dynasty

The Yankees entered the 1990s as a last-place team, having spent well but not always wisely on free-agent players since their last appearance in the World Series in 1981. In 1990, Yankee pitcher Andy Hawkins became the first pitcher ever to lose on a game in which he pitched a no-hitter, when he walked 3 men and the center fielder committed an error with bases loaded, scoring the 3 men on base plus the player who hit the ball to the center fielder.

The bad judgment and bad luck of the '80s and early '90s started to change when, while owner George Steinbrenner was under suspension, management was able to implement a coherent program without interference from above. Under general manager Gene Michael (later 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 American League when the season was cut short by the players' strike. A year later, the team gained the playoffs as the wild card and was eliminated only after a memorable series against the Seattle Mariners.

Showalter left after the 1995 season due to personality clashes with owner George Steinbrenner and his staff and was replaced by Joe Torre. Initially derided as a retread choice ("Clueless Joe" ran the headline on one of the city's tabloid newspapers), Torre's smooth manner proved out as he led the Yankees to a World Series victory in 1996, defeating the Atlanta Braves in six games. General manager Bob Watson was dismissed when the Yankees failed to repeat in 1997 and was replaced by Brian Cashman. Torre and Cashman have, however, essentially won with the foundation laid by Michael, Watson, and Showalter before them, particularly the development of players like Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams. Prominent members of the late 1990s championships teams acquired through trades included Paul O'Neill, David Cone, Tino Martinez, Chuck Knoblauch, and Roger Clemens, while Jimmy Key, Wade Boggs, David Wells, Mike Stanton, and Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez were signed as free agents.

The 1998-2000 Yankees were the first team to "three-peat" with World Series victories since the Oakland Athletics of the early 1970s. In 1998 and 1999 they swept the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves, respectively. In 2000 the Yankees met up with crosstown New York Mets for the first Subway Series since 1956 and won four games to one.

The 21st century

In an emotional October 2001, following the September 11 attack on New York City's World Trade Center, the Yankees defeated the Oakland Athletics 3 games to 2 in the Divisional Series, and then the Seattle Mariners in the American League Championship Series, 4 games to 1. But despite exciting wins in games four and five, the Yankees lost a close World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks, going down in the bottom of the ninth inning of game seven.

In October 2003, the Yankees defeated their long-time rival Boston Red Sox in a tough seven-game ALCS, which featured a near brawl in Game 3 and a series-ending walk-off home run by Aaron Boone in the 11th inning of the final game. The Yankees lost to the Florida Marlins in the World Series, 4 games to 2.

The loss in the 2001 World Series effectively marked the end of the 1990s Yankee dynasty, as lynchpin players began to retire, were not re-signed, or were traded. The Yankees' quick ejection from the 2002 playoffs at the hands of the Anaheim Angels accelerated the changes, as ownership and management began to look increasingly on free agent acquisitions and major trades. The trend continued after the 2003 World Series, culminating when the Yankees traded for the nominal "best player in baseball", Alex Rodriguez, in February 2004. Other significant acquisitions during 2002 to 2004 included Jason Giambi, Hideki Matsui, Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown, and Javier Vazquez.


The Yankees are a notable team not just for their impressive history on the field, but also due to their financial situation. The current ownership has shown itself as more than willing to spend very high amounts of money to acquire talent, more so than any other owner in baseball. As of 2004 the total payroll for players in the Yankees organization is the highest in baseball at more than $182 million, which is $51 million higher than the second-highest team (the Red Sox) and higher than the six lowest-payroll teams combined. There is heated discussion as to whether this is a "Good Thing" or a "Bad Thing" for baseball, and whether a strict salary cap would make the sport fairer and increase parity. Here are some arguments for and against the Yankees' spending practices:

Good Thing:

Bad Thing:

Players of note

Baseball Hall of Famers

Current stars

Not to be forgotten

Retired numbers

Team captains

"Team captain" is an honorary title.

  1. Hal Chase, 1912
  2. Roger Peckinpaugh, 1914 to 1921
  3. Babe Ruth, May 20, 1922 to May 25, 1922
  4. Everett Scott, 1922 to 1925
  5. Lou Gehrig, April 21, 1935 to June 2, 1941
  6. Thurman Munson, April 17, 1976 to August 2, 1979
  7. Graig Nettles, January 29, 1982 to March 30, 1984
  8. Ron Guidry, March 4, 1986 to July 12, 1989 (co-captain with Willie Randolph)
  9. Willie Randolph, March 4, 1986 to October 2, 1989 (co-captain with Ron Guidry)
  10. Don Mattingly, February 28, 1991 to 1995
  11. Derek Jeter, June 4, 2003 to present

Team Ownership

See also

External Links

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