team New York Yankees and you will likely find a rabid
fan or a rabid enemy. Even those who minimally follow
baseball will have an opinion about this team.
have been around forever, though not always in this incarnation.
They originally started out as the Baltimore Orioles,
in 1901, at the inception of the American and National
Leagues. The Orioles were shortly relocated to New York
and, in 1903, became the New York Highlanders, playing
at Hilltop Park.
While the name
Yankees was used as early as 1904, the name didn’t
become official until 1913. This was also the year that
the Yankees moved into the Polo Grounds, owned by the
New York Giants. In 1920, the Yankees purchased Babe Ruth’s
contract from the Red Sox, and this proved to be a turning
point for the franchise. While the team was a non-contender
throughout its early history, after Ruth’s arrival,
the Yankees started a winning tradition that lasts through
The team soon
was outselling baseball tickets over its landlord, the
Giants. Tensions rose and the Yankees began construction
on their own ballpark, just across the river from the
Giants. Yankee Stadium opened in 1923 and the first homerun
hit there was by none other than Babe Ruth. This is also
the year the Yankees culminated three straight American
League pennant wins by finally taking the World Series.
The 1920s and
1930s saw such powerhouses as Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio
become part of the team. The Yankees took home eleven
AL pennants during this time as well as winning eight
World Series, the last four consecutive wins in 1936-39.
Lou Gehrig’s number (4) was the first in Yankee
history to be retired in 1939 when he had to stop playing
due to ALS, to this day called “Lou Gehrig’s
team has changed owners several times in its history,
not to mention having some colorful changes of managers,
the Yankees have consistently managed to field winning
teams. Yankees tickets sales reflect that trend, and it’s
easy to see why they sell so well when looking at the
total of 39 pennants the Yankees have won and the 26 World
Series titles they’ve taken, more than once doing
so in consecutive years.
can number among their dynasty a great number of the top
players in baseball history, with names such as Yogi Berra,
Phil Rizzuto, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, Mel Stottlemyre,
Thurman Munson, Catfish Hunter, Sparky Lyle, Reggie Jackson,
Buckey Dent, Dave Winfield, and Bernie Williams gracing
the Yankees have not gone to the Series in this century,
there have been droughts for the team in the past. Since
history repeats itself, it will likely be only a matter
of time before the Yankees once again find their magic.