New York Yankees

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 19:59

The history of the New York Yankees

Information about the MLB team of New York Yankees.

Baseball has been a staple sport in the United States, and no team in the Major League has been more decorated than the New York Yankees. With 26 World Series titles under their cap, the Yankees have the most championships in baseball as well as in all professional sports leagues. The Yankees have had many incredible players to grace their roster, some of them becoming legends in the sport. The Yankees were also one of the first teams to join the American League. The team’s management were able to get very good players during their first years, thus they were already known back then as a strong club.

The team was formed in 1901. However, they were not yet called the Yankees since they were still known as the Baltimore Orioles. The team manager, John McGraw, was having problems with then American League president Ban Johnson. Thus, McGraw got furious when Johnson, a manager for the National League team New York Giants, continuously taken members of the Orioles to play for the Giants. The American League committee decided to move the Orioles to New York but they are not associated with the Giants in any way. The Orioles also got new owners in Frank J. Farrell and William S. Devery.

Farrell and Devery got a piece of land on top of Manhattan where they made a new ballpark for the Orioles. The team was eventually called the New York Highlanders due to their location. They were also being called the “Yankees” but the name did not stick as much. Although the team was getting popular with the fans, their record was not as favorable. The Highlanders were not able to get a league title during their run. They also needed to handle several personnel issues. There were reports regarding corruption in the management and this affected the overall play of the team.

The Giants and the Highlanders had better relations when the latter allowed their sister team to play in their home court due to a fire that destroyed the Giants’ Polo Grounds. After the Polo Grounds was rebuilt, the Giants let the Highlanders join them in the use of the new stadium. Since the team was no longer in the “high lands,” the team's management decided to change their name to the Yankees, which is more synonymous with “Americans”. In 1913, the name New York Yankees became official. Yet, Farrell and Devery had little cash left so they sold the team to Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Captain Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston.

During the 1920s, the Yankees were part of the group known as the Insurrectos. This was also composed of the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox. Their actions caused problems for league president Johnson but also helped the sport gain popularity in general. Facing legal issues, the owner of the Red Sox, Harry Frazee, decided to give some of his team’s players to the Yankees. This group included Carl Mays, Herb Pennock, Waite Hoyt, Wally Schang, Everett Scott, and Joe Dugan. Yet, it was the acquisition of Babe Ruth that gave the Yankees a shot at the World Series.

Babe Ruth was very popular with the fans. His slugging prowess attracted people more than the plays of the original owners of the Polo Grounds. The tension grew more when the Yankees faced the Giants in the 1921 World Series. Although the Giants won, the Yankees were asked to move out of the Polo Grounds after the next season (wherein the Yankees reached the World Series for the second time and faced the Giants again) and look for their own ballpark. In 1923, the team had a new home developed and called it the Yankee Stadium. In its inaugural year, the Stadium became the host of the World Series where the Yankees finally won their first championship.

The Yankees continually developed their roster until they hired some of the best talents in the league. In 1927, all the management’s hard work paid off as their roster became the most talented group for that year. The team had a very strong batting lineup which boasted of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mark Koenig, Earle Combs, Bob Meusel, Pat Collins, Joe Dugan, and Tony Lazzeri. This group of power hitters even had an outstanding 21-1 win against the Washington Senators. Many baseball analysts considered the 1927 Yankees lineup one of the best of all time.

The World Series was becoming a common playground for the New York Yankees. They won the title in 1927 and 1928, thanks to the spectacular plays of Ruth and Gehrig. The team failed to win championships from 1929 to 1931. But in 1932, under new manager Joe McCarthy, the Yankees reached the World Series yet again. Facing the Chicago Cubs, the Yankees proved their strength by sweeping the series. This was also the series wherein Ruth made the famous “called shot” which, up to now, is still debated upon its actual meaning. However, after this championship, Ruth would never be part of any postseason match as he was traded to the Boston Braves in 1934.

Even with Babe Ruth out of the roster, the New York Yankees still dominated the league. Lou Gehrig was still a powerhouse with the bat, but the focus was now on their new center fielder Joe DiMaggio. With Joltin’ Joe part of the Yankees squad, the team got consecutive championships from 1936 to 1939. DiMaggio also had a record of his own as he sustained a hitting streak for a total of 56 games. In 1941 and 1943, the Yankees yet again won more World Series titles. However, they faced challenges for a few years until they got a good lineup again in 1947, when they won another World Series.

The New York Yankees did not stop collecting championships. The team won the World Series from 1949 to 1953. Joe DiMaggio’s career was already losing steam and he finally retired in 1951. However, the Yankees yet again acquired another legendary player in Mickey Mantle. During the 1950s, the Yankees’ manager was Casey Stengel. He collected a fine group of players to become the cornerstones of the new Yankees roster. During his tenure, Stengel had the services of Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra. In his 12-year stint, Stengel led the New York Yankees to seven World Series championships.

Other Major League teams were getting better over the years and the Yankees had a hard time maintaining their status as the best baseball squad. They won the World Series in 1956, 1958, 1961 and 1962 but would have to wait for 15 more years to get another title. The Yankees were losing their touch and would find themselves at the bottom group of the standings for some years. However, they got their groove back and won the championship in 1977 and 1978. They then reverted back to their losing ways during the following years. In 1996, they ended their 18-year drought by beating the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. The Yankees followed this up with World Series victories from 1998 to 2000. The New York Yankees were on top of the baseball world once again as they continued to prove their detractors wrong.