The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the borough of the Bronx, in New York City, New York. The Yankees are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in as the Baltimore Orioles, moved to New York City in , then becoming known as the New York Highlanders as well as the New York Yankees, and becoming solely known as the "Yankees" in . From to , the Yankees' home was Yankee Stadium. In 2009, they are scheduled to move into a new stadium, also to be called "Yankee Stadium".
The Yankees lead Major League Baseball with 26 World Series championships and 39 American League Pennants. They have more championships than any other North American franchise in professional sports history, passing the 24 Stanley Cup championships by the Montreal Canadiens in .
The team, known as the Baltimore Orioles, began playing in , which was managed by and owned in part by John McGraw. In the middle of the season, the Giants, aided and abetted by McGraw, who was feuding with Johnson and who secretly had jumped to the Giants, gained controlling interest of the team and began raiding it for players, until the AL stepped in and took control of the team. In January , a "peace conference" was held between the two leagues to settle disputes and try 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 J. Farrell and William S. Devery, found a ballpark location not blocked by the Giants, and Baltimore's team moved to New York.
The most success the Highlanders had was finishing second in , and ; was the closest they would come to winning the AL pennant. That year, they would lose the deciding game on the last day of the season to the Boston Americans, who would later become the Boston Red Sox. This had much historical significance, as the Highlanders' role in the pennant race caused the Giants to announce that they would not play the World Series against the AL pennant winner. 1904 was the last year no World Series was played until 90 years later in the strike-truncated season. It would also be the last time Boston would beat New York in a pennant-deciding game for a full century (). 1904 was also the year Jack Chesbro set a pitching record which still stands: he won 41 games that season (Under current playing practices, this is an unbreakable record).
By the mid 1910s, owners Farrell and Devery had become estranged and were both in dire need of money. At the start of , they sold the team to Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Captain Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston. Ruppert inherited a brewery fortune, providing the Yankees with an owner who possessed deep pockets and a willingness to dig into them to produce a winning team. This would lead the team to more success and prestige than Ruppert could ever have envisioned.
Ruth's multitude of home runs proved so popular that the Yankees began drawing more people than their landlords, the Giants. In , 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 season. Giants manager John McGraw was said to have commented that the Yankees should "move to some out-of-the-way place, like Queens", but they instead broke ground for a new ballpark in the Bronx, right across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds. In 1922, the Yankees returned to the World Series again, facing a second defeat at the hands of the Giants.
In , the Yankees moved to their new home, Yankee Stadium. 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". At the end of the year, the Yanks faced the Giants for the third straight year in the World Series, and finally triumphed for their first championship. Prior to that point, the Giants had been the city's iconic or dominant team. From 1923 onward, the Yankees would assume that role, and the Giants would eventually transfer out of the city.
The Yankees lineup was so potent that it 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 , and ). The Yankees won a then-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. Meanwhile, first baseman Lou Gehrig had his first big season, batting .373 with 47 home runs and 175 RBIs, beating Ruth's single-season RBI mark (171 in 1921). In the next three years, the Philadelphia Athletics would take the AL pennant each season and win two world championships.
In , Joe McCarthy came in as manager, and would bring the Yankees back 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. This series was made famous by Babe Ruth's "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 to join the NL's Boston Braves after , and would never see the postseason again.
Often described as the last year of the "Golden Era" before World War II and other realities intervened, was a thrilling year as America watched two major events unfold: Ted Williams of the Red Sox hunting for the elusive .400 batting average and Joe DiMaggio hitting in game, after game, after game. By the end of his hitting streak, DiMaggio had hit in 56 consecutive games, the current major league record.
Two months and one day after the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1941 World Series, the Pearl Harbor attacks occurred, and many of the best players, including DiMaggio himself, went off to serve in the military. The Yankees still managed to pull out a win against the St. Louis Cardinals in . McCarthy was fired early in , after a few slumping seasons, and after a few interim managers, Bucky Harris took the job, righting the ship and taking the Yankees to a hard fought series against the Dodgers.
Despite finishing only three games behind the first place Cleveland Indians in , Harris was released in favor of Casey Stengel, who had a reputation of being a clown and managing bad teams. His tenure as Yankee field manager, however, was marked with success, and the "underdog" Yankees came from behind to catch and surprise the then powerful Red Sox on the last two days of the season, a face off that fueled the beginning of the modern Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. By this time, however, DiMaggio's career was winding down, and the "Yankee Clipper" retired after the season. This year also marked the arrival of the "Oklahoma Kid", Mickey Mantle, who was one of several new stars that would fill the gap.
Bettering the clubs of the McCarthy era, the Yankees won the world series five consecutive times (-) 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 the Yankees 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 team won over 100 games in , 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, but the Yankees came back strong the next year. On October 8, , in Game Five of the 1956 World Series against the Dodgers, pitcher Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in World Series history, which also remains the only no-hitter of any kind to be pitched in postseason play.
The Yankees lost the 1957 World Series to the Milwaukee Braves. Following the Series, the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers left 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 entered the 1960s seeking to replicate the remarkable success of the 1950s.
In , Charles O. Finley purchased the A's, and put a cease to the trades. However, before this, the Yankees strengthened their supply of future prospects, including a young outfielder, Roger Maris. In 1960, Maris led the league in slugging percentage, RBIs, and extra base hits, finished second in home runs (one behind Mantle), and total bases, and won a Gold Glove and the American League MVP award.
The year would prove to be one of the most memorable in Yankee history. Throughout the summer, Mantle and Maris hit home runs at a fast pace, the media calling them the "M&M Boys". Ultimately, a severe hip infection forced Mantle to leave the lineup and drop out of the race. Maris continued, and on October 1, the last day of the season, hit home run number 61, surpassing Babe Ruth's single season home run record of 60. However, Commissioner Ford Frick (who, as it was discovered later, had ghostwritten for the Babe during his career) decreed that, since Maris had broken the record on the last day of a season that was eight games longer than the season Ruth hit his 60, two separate records would be kept. It would be 30 years before the dual record would be done away with, and Maris would hold the record alone until Mark McGwire broke it in 1998. Maris still holds the AL record.
The Yankees won the pennant with a 109–53 record and went on to defeat the Cincinnati Reds in the 1961 World Series. The team finished the year with a then record 240 home runs. In , the sports scene in New York changed when the National League expanded to include a new team, the New York Mets of nearby Flushing, Queens. 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 reach the 1963 Fall Classic, but only to be swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the season, Yogi Berra, who had just retired from playing, took over managerial duties. The aging Yankees returned the next year for a fifth straight world series, but were felled in seven games by the St. Louis Cardinals. It would be the last appearance for the Yanks in the World Series for over ten years.
In , the Yankees finished last in the AL for the first time since . After they finished next-to-last in the season, the team's fortunes improved somewhat, but they would not become serious contenders again until . 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. 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.
Also during this period the Yankees lost two of their signature broadcasters. The legendary "Voice of the Yankees", Mel Allen, was fired after the 1964 season, supposedly due to cost-cutting measures by long time broadcast sponsor Ballantine Beer. Two years later, Red Barber was let go. Some say this was because of his on-air mention of a paltry showing of 413 fans at then 67,000-seat Yankee Stadium during a game against the White Sox. Sports biographer David J. Halberstam also noted Barber's less-than-happy relationship with Joe Garagiola and even Phil Rizzuto, ex-major leaguers with whom he shared the booth.
One of Steinbrenner's major goals was to repair the Stadium, which had greatly deteriorated (along with the surrounding area) by the late 60's. CBS had suggested renovations, but the team would have to play elsewhere, and the Mets refused to open their home, Shea Stadium, to the Yankees. A new stadium in the Meadowlands, across town in New Jersey was also suggested. Finally, in mid-, Mayor John Lindsay stepped in. The city bought the Stadium, and began an extensive two-year renovation period. Since the city also owned Shea, the Mets had to allow the Yankees to play the two seasons there. The renovations modernized the look of the stadium and reconfigured some of the seating.
After the 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 baseman Billy Martin as manager. With Martin as the helm, the Yankees reached the 1976 World Series, but were swept by the Cincinnati Reds, the famed "Big Red Machine".
After the 1976 campaign, Steinbrenner added star Oakland outfielder Reggie Jackson to his roster. During spring training of 1977, Jackson alienated his team mates with controversial remarks about the Yankee captain, catcher Thurman Munson, and he already had bad blood with manager Billy Martin, who had managed the Detroit Tigers when Jackson's Athletics had defeated them in the 1972 playoffs. Jackson, Martin, and Steinbrenner repeatedly feuded with each other throughout the life of Jackson's five-year contract; Martin would be hired and fired by Steinbrenner five times over the next 13 years. This conflict, combined with the extremely rowdy Yankees fans of the late 1970s and the bad conditions of the Bronx, led to the Yankee organization and stadium being referred to as the "Bronx Zoo." Despite the turmoil, Jackson proved his worth in the 1977 World Series, when 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 earned him the Series MVP Award, as well as the nickname "Mr. October" (which had originally been given to Jackson by Munson in a derisive manner).
Throughout the late 1970s, the race for the pennant often came to a close competition between the Yankees and the Red Sox. In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Yankees had been dominant while the Red Sox were largely a non-factor. However, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the tables turned, with the Yankees now mired in the second division and the Red Sox leading the league. The late 1970s was one of the first times that the two were contending simultaneously and locked in a close fight, and every game between the two suddenly became important. The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry was at its peak, and was often bitter and ruthless, with brawls frequently erupting between players and fans.
On July 14, 1978, the Yankees were 14½ games behind the Red Sox, but then went on a winning streak, and by the time they met Boston for a pivotal four-game series at Fenway Park in early September, they were only four games behind the Red Sox. The Yankees swept the Red Sox in what became 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, a 25–3 record, and a 1.74 ERA. Guidry also finished with 248 strikeouts, but Nolan Ryan's 260 strikeouts with the California Angels 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, and so a one-game playoff (the 163rd game of the regular season) was held at Fenway Park to decide who would go on to the playoffs. With Guidry matched up against former Yankee Mike Torrez, the Red Sox took an early 2–0 lead. In the seventh inning, however, the Yankees drove a stake through the hearts of their rivals' fans, when light-hitting Yankee shortstop Bucky Dent drove a three-run home run over the "Green Monster" (Fenway Park's famed left field wall), putting the Yankees up 3–2. Reggie Jackson's solo home run in the following inning sealed 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 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 ended on a tragic note for the Yankees. Munson, a devoted family man, attained a pilot's license 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 from his injuries. 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 did not 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 chosen 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 empty except for his catching gear, a sad 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 Yankees of the 1980s, led by 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 team since the 1910s). They consistently had powerful offensive teams; Mattingly at various times was teammate to Dave Winfield, Rickey Henderson, Mike Pagliarulo, Steve Sax, and Jesse Barfield, but the starting pitching rarely matched the team's performance at the plate. After posting a 22–6 record in , 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 in , could never match the feat. Rick Rhoden, acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in , won 16 games that year but went only 14–14 in .
The team came close to winning the AL East in 1985 and 1986, finishing second to 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 both years.
By the end of the decade, the Yankees' offense was also on the decline. Henderson and Pagliarulo had departed by the middle of , while back problems caught up with both Winfield (who missed the entire '89 season) and Mattingly (who missed almost the entire second half of ). Winfield's tenure with the team ended when he was dealt to the Angels in May 1990 for pitcher Mike Witt. From 1989 to 1992, the team had a losing record, having spent large amounts of money on free-agent players and draft picks that did not live up to expectations. In 1990, the Yankees had the worst record in the American League, and their first last-place finish since 1966.
On July 1, , pitcher Andy Hawkins became the first Yankee ever to lose despite throwing a no-hitter. 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 no-hit for six innings in a rain-shortened game against the White Sox eleven days later.
The poor showing in the 1980s and 1990s would soon start to change, however, as Steinbrenner hired Howard Spira to uncover damaging information on Winfield; Steinbrenner was suspended from day-to-day team operations by then-Commissioner Fay Vincent when the plot was revealed. This turn of events allowed management to implement a coherent acquisition/development program without owner interference. General managers Gene Michael and Bob Watson, along with manager Buck Showalter, shifted the club's emphasis from high-priced acquisitions to developing talent through the farm system and then holding on to it. This new philosophy brought up key players such as outfielder Bernie Williams, shortstop Derek Jeter, catcher Jorge Posada, and pitchers Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, who might have been traded away early for big-name talent had Steinbrenner remained in charge. The first significant success came in , when the Yankees had the best record in the AL. However, the season was cut short by the 1994 baseball strike, and there were no playoffs. A year later, they made it to the playoffs in the new wild card slot, and were eliminated only after a memorable 1995 American League Division Series against the Seattle Mariners where the Yankees won the first two games at home and dropped the next three in Seattle.
Mattingly, suffering greatly from his back injury, retired after the 1995 season. He had the unfortunate distinction of beginning and ending his career on years bracketed by Yankee World Series appearances (1981 and 1996).
After the Yankees fell to the Mariners, Steinbrenner replaced Showalter with Joe Torre, who brought in Don Zimmer as bench coach and former Yankees pitching star Mel Stottlemyre as pitching coach. One of Showalter's coaches, popular former Yankees second baseman Willie Randolph, was retained by Torre as a third-base coach. Torre had a mediocre run as a manager in the National League, and the choice was initially derided ("Clueless Joe" ran the headline on the New York Post). However, his smooth manner proved to be what the team needed, and his tenure would prove to be, by far, the longest under Steinbrenner's ownership.
The Yankees not only made it to the playoffs, but they went 8-0 on the road. Following a win in the ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles (which included an instance of fan interference by young Jeffrey Maier, which was called a home run for the Yankees), the team went to the World Series against the Atlanta Braves. Despite losing the first two games at home by a combined score of 16-1, they won in six games and ended the team's 18-year championship drought. Homegrown shortstop Derek Jeter was named Rookie of the Year, an auspicious start to his career 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 closer (and Series MVP) John Wetteland to leave as a free agent. The empty spot was filled with Wetteland's setup man, Mariano Rivera.
In , the team made it to the playoffs again, but lost in the 1997 ALDS to the Cleveland Indians. Watson was fired as GM, and was replaced by Brian Cashman, a former Yankee intern. Cashman made many key acquisitions to improve the team, including third baseman Scott Brosius, second baseman and leadoff man Chuck Knoblauch, outfielder Darryl Strawberry and starting pitcher Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez.
The Yankees are widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest teams in baseball history, compiling a then-AL record 114 regular season wins against just 48 losses and then sweeping the San Diego Padres in the 1998 World Series. They went 11-2 in the playoffs for 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. On top of all this, on May 17, 1998, David Wells, who would later claim to have been hungover that day, pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. After the 1998 season, Wells would be traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Roger Clemens, who had just completed two consecutive Cy Young Awards and pitching triple crown seasons.
A little over a year later, on July 18, , which was "Yogi Berra Day" at the Stadium, David Cone pitched a perfect game against the Montréal Expos. Coincidentally, 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. Another coincidence is that Larsen and Wells both attended Point Loma High School in San Diego, California.
After winning the Eastern division that year and defeating the Texas Rangers for the third time in the ALDS, the Yankees met up with their longtime rivals, the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS, the first meeting of the two in a true post-season series. Clemens, a former Red Sox star pitcher, pitched in the third game against new pitching star Pedro Martínez, who was the year's winner of the Cy Young Award and pitching triple crown. The greatly hyped matchup was billed "Cy Young vs Cy Old" by Red Sox fans. The Sox would blast Clemens 13-1, but it was the only win they had, as they lost the series in five games. the Yankees would go on to win the 1999 World Series, Clemens winning the clinching fourth game in the Bronx. This gave the 1998–1999 Yankees a 22–3 record (including four series sweeps) in six consecutive post-season series.
In , the Yankees battled through the post-season, winning the ALDS against the Oakland A's after the full five games, and beating the Mariners in the sixth game of the ALCS. This led to a much anticipated meeting with crosstown rivals and National League Champions, the New York Mets, in the first Subway Series championship since 1956. The Yankees won the first two, but a Mets win in the third game snapped their streak of World Series wins at 14 (from 1996-2000). This beat the club's previous record of 12 (in 1927, 1928, and 1932). A run scored by the Mets off of Rivera snapped his string of 34⅓ consecutive scoreless innings in the playoffs, which broke Whitey Ford's streak, a record he took from Ruth. The team would go on to win the fourth game and then, in the fifth game, Mets star catcher Mike Piazza would hit a long fly ball to deep center in the bottom of the ninth, which would just miss leaving Shea, instead landing in Bernie Williams's glove and completing the Yankees' threepeat. During this feat, the total post-season record was 33–8. 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.
In the emotional times of October 2001 in New York City, 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 over a four-year period. However, the Yankees lost the World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks in seven games, when Yankee star closer Mariano Rivera uncharacteristically lost the lead - and the Series - in the bottom of the ninth inning of the final game.
After the 2001 season, the Yankees lost 4 key members of their championship teams, Paul O'Neill, Scott Brosius, Tino Martinez and Chuck Knoblauch. But the Yankees still 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 newly acquired first baseman Jason Giambi's 41 home runs, including a walkoff grand slam with the Yankees down by 3 runs in the 14th inning to the Minnesota Twins. In the ALDS, the Yankees lost to the eventual 2002 World Series Champion Anaheim Angels in four games.
In 2003, the Yankees once again had the best league record (101-61), highlighted by Roger Clemens winning his 300th game and reaching 4000 strikeouts, joining Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton as the only pitchers with more than 4000 strikeouts. They easily defeated the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, three games to one. In the ALCS, they defeated their rival Boston Red Sox in a dramatic seven game series, 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 game seven. In the 2003 World Series the Yankees were heavily favored against the surprising wild-card winning Florida Marlins. However, the series would turn out to be very similar to the 2001 series against Arizona, as Marlins' pitching shut down the Yankees offense and took the series in six games.
After the 2003 season, the Yankees added two all-star sluggers, Gary Sheffield and Alex Rodriguez, with Rodriguez moving to third base with Jeter entrenched at shortstop. Throughout 2004, however, the Yankees' weakness was their starting pitching, but despite this, they managed to win over 100 games for the third straight year. In the ALDS, the Yankees once again met and defeated the Twins three games to one. In the ALCS, the Yankees met their rival Boston Red Sox again, and became the first team in professional baseball history, and only the third team in North American pro sports history, to lose a best-of-seven series after taking a 3-0 series lead. The Red Sox went on to win the World Series and break the Curse of the Bambino.
In 2005 the Yankees spent most of the season chasing the Red Sox for the division title, but finally clinched the division in the second-to-last game of the season against the Red Sox. Alex Rodriguez won the American League MVP 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. 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 ALDS, 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.
In the 2005–06 offseason, general manager Brian Cashman was given more control of the direction of the Yankees, and the Yankees signed center fielder Johnny Damon from the archrival Red Sox. The Yankees again chased the Red Sox through the first four months of 2006, but on August 18 the Yankees entered Fenway Park for a five game series with a 1.5 game lead. 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", outscoring the Red Sox 49-26, and the Red Sox never recovered, eventually finishing 3rd in the division.
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 when his plane crashed into a highrise apartment building in Manhattan. Lidle was the second active Yankee to be killed in a crash of his own private plane, following Thurman Munson's death in 1979.
The start of the 2007 season was highlighted by Alex Rodriguez setting or tying AL and/or MLB records for most home runs in his team's first 14 games, 15 games, and 18 games, finally setting the AL record and tying Albert Pujols for the MLB record for most home runs, 14, in the month of April. 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, and ultimately the Yankees set an AL record by making over 500 pitching changes during the season. The pitching problems led to the signing of Roger Clemens for close to $18 million for the last 4 months of the season. On May 29, the Yankees were 14.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East, and were also 8.5 games out of the wild card spot.
On June 18, 2007 the Yankees broke new ground by bringing the first two professional baseball players from the People's Republic of China to the MLB, and also became the first team in MLB history to sign an advertising deal with a Chinese company.
Although failing to be above .500 going into the All-Star break for the first time since 1995, the Yankees were the hottest team in the majors the second half of the year, and on September 26 they clinched a Wild Card spot in the ALDS. However, although they cut the lead to 1.5 games in late September, they were unable to catch the Red Sox for the AL East title, breaking their streak of nine straight AL East division titles. Highlights of the season included Alex Rodriguez hitting his 500th home run at Yankee Stadium, being the first player to hit his 500th at Yankee Stadium since Mickey Mantle and the youngest player to have ever reached that mark, and winning the MVP. Also, Derek Jeter hit for his 6th consecutive 200-hit season, a feat matched in Yankee history only by Lou Gehrig.
In the 2007 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, the Yankees lost Game 1 as the Indians pounded 19-game winner Chien-Ming Wang. In Game 2, Andy Pettitte dominated the Indians, until the 8th inning when Joba Chamberlain was bothered by an infestation of mayflies and lost the lead, and the Yankees eventually lost the game in extra innings. In Game 3 the Yankees rallied from a 3–1 deficit to win. However, in Game 4 the Indians won the series by defeating the Yankees, 6–4, with Wang again pitching poorly.
After Game 2 of the ALDS, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said that if the Yankees lost the series, manager Joe Torre would not likely be brought back. Because of Steinbrenner's comments and the Yankees' third straight loss in the ALDS, Torre's status was uncertain as the off-season started. Eventually the Yankees offered Torre a new contract which cut his pay to $5 million, and offered $1 million dollars for every round of the playoffs he made. Disliking the inclusion of incentives in the deal and unhappy with the pay cut, Torre rejected it, ending his tenure as manager of the Yankees. The Yankees then signed former catcher Joe Girardi to a three-year deal worth $7.5 million to manage the club.
The Yankees moved quickly to maintain several key players following the agreement with Girardi. After star third baseman Alex Rodriguez chose to opt out of the contract (controversially during Game 4 of the 2007 World Series), seemingly ending his stay with the Yankees, he negotiated a new record-breaking deal with New York that will pay him at least $275 million over the next 10 seasons, with the opportunity to earn $300 million if he passes set benchmarks. The Yankees also re-signed icons Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, and Andy Pettitte. In December 2007, the Yankees signed LaTroy Hawkins and traded for Jonathan Albaladejo to bolster their bullpen and fill the hole left by the departed Luis Vizcaino.
Throughout the 2008 season, the Yankees struggled offensively consistently for the first time in years. In past seasons, the offense was their strong point. For the fourth straight year, the Yankees failed to have a stronghold on 1st place of the American League East. The Yankees struggled against division opponents, mainly because of the surprisingly surgent and younger Tampa Bay Rays.
During the trade deadline, the Yankees acquired outfielder Xavier Nady and left-handed reliever Damaso Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates for reliever Ross Ohlendorf, prospect Jose Tabata and three other minor-leaguers. Soon later, the Yankees traded underachieving reliever Kyle Farnsworth for catcher Ivan Rodriguez to the Detroit Tigers to fill their catching need, after Jorge Posada had season-ending shoulder surgery. Despite these roster moves, the team's struggles continued and on September 23, the Yankees were mathematically eliminated from postseason for the first time since 1993 after the Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians 5–4 to clinch the AL Wild Card.
The season was the last season played at historic Yankee Stadium, after which the team will move to New Yankee Stadium, which is located in Macombs Dam Park, adjacent to and north of the current field. Because of this, the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played there on July 15, 2008.
The final regular season game at Yankee Stadium was played on September 21, 2008 against the Baltimore Orioles, the city from which both the Yankees and their great star Babe Ruth originated. Led by home runs from Johnny Damon and Jose Molina, the Yankees won 7–3. Molina's home run, a two-run shot hit to left-center field with one out in the bottom of the 4th inning, turned out to be the final home run in Stadium history. The final run was scored by Yankee pinch-runner Brett Gardner in the bottom of the 7th inning, and the final batter was Baltimore's Brian Roberts, who hit a ground-ball out to Yankee first baseman Cody Ransom, closing out 83 years of baseball history.
Through 2008, the Yankees have an all-time regular season winning percentage of .567 (a 9472-7235 record), the best of any team in baseball.
|Jersey logo 1905||Jersey logo 1912-1916||Current jersey logo|
|Road jersey wordmark|
|Road jersey wordmark|
|Primary logo 1970s-present||Current print insignia||Alternate print wordmark|
Throughout much of their tenure as the Highlanders, the logo was variations of a stylized N and Y, which lay separately on either side of the jersey's breast. In 1905, the two locked for one season, but not in the way used today. It wasn't until 1909 that the team changed to the familiar interlocking NY (originally designed by Tiffany & Co. in 1877) that would be the team logo long after the team became known as the Yankees, and would continue to be the cap insignia until today.
The primary logo, created in 1947 by sports artist Henry Alonzo Keller, consists of "Yankees" against a baseball, written in red script with a red bat forming the vertical line of the K, an Uncle Sam hat hanging from the barrel. The logo was slightly changed over the years, with the current version first appearing in the 1970s.
The interlocking NY has varied greatly, and there are currently three major versions in use. There is the cap insignia, in which the N and Y are of about the same size and unadorned. The logo on the breast of the home jersey appeared there in 1912, and, after disappearing in 1917, returned for good in 1936, although there have been many small but apparent changes through the years. The Y is larger, the letters more blocky, and the curves more exaggerated. The third is the print logo, which is used extensively in marketing and is painted behind home plate at the Stadium. The N is larger and more curved, and the letters have large serifs at the end.
The Yankees use a block letter "NEW YORK" wordmark on the gray road uniform which has also become emblematic. There is also a print version of the full name, which is of a more fanciful script than the name appears in the team logo.
The team colors are navy blue and white. The 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 across the chest. The player number is on the back of the uniform jersey, and is not accompanied by the player name. A navy blue cap with a white interlocking "NY" logo is worn with both 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. The team has never issued #0 or #00. When other teams began putting names on the backs of jerseys in the 1960s, the Yankees did not follow suit. Many companies create Yankee jerseys and other apparel with the player name above the number on the back for fans to purchase, but no official Yankee uniform has ever had a name on the back. The team is also one of the few in Major League Baseball to shun the trend of creating a third "alternate" jersey (the St. Louis Cardinals are the only other team to have never worn an alternate jersey).
The home uniform has been the same (apart from minor changes) since -- longer than any current uniform design in Major League Baseball -- although patches commemorating milestones or special events may be worn for all or part of a season. The team will occasionally wear a thick black stripe on the left sleeve, usually in honor of a Yankee great that died (in the case of some players, his number is frequently sewn above the stripe). The team currently wears a patch commemorating the 2008 All-Star Game, another commemorating the last season in Yankee Stadium, and a black armband to honor Bobby Murcer who died July 12, 2008 due to complication related to brain cancer.
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 did, however, make some minor updates to the road uniforms that season, including adding striping patterns to the sleeves and a white outline to the jersey numbers and the "NEW YORK" arch. This has remained since.
Although this is a policy that all baseball teams once had, the Yankees are currently the only team with such a policy and have gotten notoriety enforcing it. Many players, most notably Reggie Jackson, Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Johnny Damon, and Randy Johnson either had long hair, significant facial hair, or both before playing for the Yankees, but were clean-cut by the time they had their press conferences unveiling them as members of the Yankees.
There have been some defiances of the dress code, however. The most notable incident involved pitcher Goose Gossage, who had a Fu Manchu mustache in deliberate defiance of George Steinbrenner. Jackson, though he currently sports only a mustache as a "special assistant" with the organization, did have a full beard during parts of his stay with the Yankees. Don Mattingly, the face of the franchise for the 1980s and the first half the 1990s, was briefly benched in 1991 for letting his hair grow too long, and the team wouldn't let him play until it got cut.
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.
One famous fan is Fred Schuman, popularly known as "Freddy Sez". For over 50 years he 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.
The term Bronx Cheer can be traced back to the fans of the franchise.
To avoid unwanted publicity, Yankees members use aliases when registering for hotels. The Village Voice published a list of aliases used by Yankees members, and the contents were repeated on The Smoking Gun.
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, Jay-Z, P-Diddy, Daddy Yankee, Héctor El Father, Ja Rule, 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.
Much of the animosity toward the team may derive from its high payroll (which was around $200 million at the start of the 2008 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, who have become New York Mets fans still feeling the pain of the years that the Yankees repeatedly defeated their teams. Famed Chicago Tribune 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.
Hatred of the Yankees is most apparent among New England fans of the Boston Red Sox, but extends to other places. It has become a tradition at many road games for the home crowd to chant "Yankees Suck!" . In addition to Red Sox fans, the "Yankees Suck" chant has been used by Toronto Blue Jays fans in Toronto, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fans in Orange County, California, and Detroit Tigers fans in Detroit. In recent years, the chant is even heard in New York itself, at home games of the Yankees' cross-town rivals, the New York Mets. The chant was also heard boldly at Dodger Stadium in 2004 during an interleague series, even though 23 years had passed since they last met in the World Series.
A wide selection of songs are played regularly 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. The version typically played is an abbreviated version of Kate Smith's rendition. However, during many important games (including most play-off games) and on noteworthy days, it is sung a Capella and live by Dr. Ronan Tynan and includes a longer introduction. 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, is now played in the 8th inning. 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 former Yankee left-handed pitcher Mike Myers was 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". Ace Frehley's, "New York Groove" was used many times during the '70s 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.
The history of Yankee radio broadcasters is: WABC 770 (1939-'40), WOR 710 (1942), WINS 1010 (1944-'57), WMGM 1050 (1958-'60), WCBS 880 (1961-'66), WHN 1050 (1967-'70), WMCA 570 (1971-'77), WINS 1010 (1978-'80), WABC 770 (1981-2001), WCBS 880 (2002-present).
The retired numbers are displayed behind Yankee Stadium's left field fence and in front of the opposing team's bullpen, forming a little alley that connects Monument Park to the left field stands. 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.
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 other teams placed the number 42 with the rest of their retired numbers, the Yankees did not do so right away. Ten years later, on April 17, 2007, the Yankees put up Robinson's 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 51 since Bernie Williams stopped playing.
In 1972, the number 8 was retired for two players 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 have never issued number 0, the only two single-digit numbers that have not been retired are number 2, currently worn by Derek Jeter, and number 6, last worn by former Manager Joe Torre. If both numbers are ultimately retired, the team would become the first in baseball history to have all of the numbers 1-10 retired.
|New York Yankees team captains|
|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|
There is, however, some controversy over the official list. 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 1903-1905 captain, and Kid Elberfeld, the captain from 1906-1907, with 1913 Manager Frank Chance a strong circumstantial candidate to have been captain that year as well. Rosenberg also 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 1908-1909, 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, Derek Jeter is, conservatively, at least the 14th captain in franchise history.
|World Series Championship Navigation Boxes|