The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of the Bronx. The Yankees compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the American League East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City, the other is the National League ‘s New York Mets. The team was founded in when Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchased the franchise rights to the defunct Baltimore Orioles after it ceased operations and used them to establish the New York Highlanders. The Highlanders were officially renamed the New York Yankees in.
The team is owned by Yankee Global Enterprises, a limited liability company that is controlled by the family of the late George Steinbrenner, who purchased the team in 1973. Brian Cashman is the team’s general manager, and Aaron Boone is the team’s field manager. The team’s home games were played at the original Yankee Stadium in the Bronx from 1923 to 1973 and from 1976 to 2008. In 1974 and 1975, the Yankees shared Shea Stadium with the Mets, in addition to the New York Jets and the New York Giants. In 2009, they moved into a new ballpark of the same name that was constructed adjacent to the previous facility, which was closed and demolished. The team is perennially among the leaders in Major League Baseball attendance.
Arguably the most successful professional sports team in the United States and one of the most highly regarded, the Yankees have won 19 American League East Division titles, 40 American League pennants, and 27 World Series championships, all of which are Major League Baseball records. The team has won more titles than any other franchise in the four major North American sports leagues, after briefly trailing the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens in the 1990s. The Yankees have had 44 players and 11 managers inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, including many of the sport’s most iconic figures in history such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford; more recent inductees include Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter, who received the two highest vote percentages of all Hall of Fame members. According to Forbes, the Yankees are the second-highest valued sports franchise in the world, after the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys, with an estimated value in 2022 of approximately $6 billion. The team has garnered enormous popularity and a dedicated faNational Basketball Associationse, as well as widespread enmity from fans of other Major League Baseball teams. The team’s rivalry with the Boston Red Sox is one of the most well-known rivalries in North American sports. The team’s logo is internationally known as a fashion item, and as an icon of New York City and the United States.
From 1903 through the 2022 season, the Yankees’ overall win–loss record is 10,602-8,000.
1901–1902: Origins in Baltimore
In 1900, Ban Johnson, the president of a minor league known as the Western League, changed the Western League name to the American League and asked the National League to classify it as a major league. Johnson held that his league would operate on friendly terms with the National League, but the National League ridiculed the plan. Johnson declared official major league status for his league in 1901.
Plans to add a team in New York City were blocked by the NL’s New York Giants. A team was instead placed in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1901 named the Orioles. The Orioles were managed by John McGraw, who was also a part owner. After many personal clashes with Johnson, during the season McGraw jumped to become the new manager of the Giants, taking many players with him. The Orioles limped through the remainder of the season under league control, using a roster of players loaned from the rest of the AL clubs. The Orioles were disbanded at the end of the season.
In early 1903, the two leagues decided to settle their disputes and try to co-exist. At a conference, Johnson requested that an AL team be put in New York, to play alongside the NL’s Giants. It was put to a vote, and 15 of the 16 major league owners agreed on it.
1903–1912: Move to New York and the Highlanders years
The team’s new ballpark, Hilltop Park, was constructed in one of Upper Manhattan’s highest points—between 165th and 168th Streets in the Washington Heights neighborhood. The team was named the New York Highlanders. Fans believed the name was chosen because of the team’s elevated location in Upper Manhattan, or as a nod to team president Joseph Gordon’s Scottish-Irish heritage.
Initially, the team was commonly referred to as the New York Americans. The team was also referred to as the “Invaders” in the Evening Journal and The Evening World. New York Press Sports Editor Jim Price coined the unofficial nickname Yankees for the club as early as 1904, because it was easier to fit in headlines.
The Highlanders finished second in the AL in 1904, 1906, and 1910. In 1904, they lost the deciding game on a wild pitch to the Boston Americans, who later became the Boston Red Sox. That year, Highlander pitcher Jack Chesbro set the single-season wins record at 41. At this time there was no formal World Series agreement wherein the AL and NL winners would play each other. The Giants were inter-city rivals with the Highlanders, dating back to when Giants manager John McGraw feuded with Ban Johnson after McGraw jumped from the Orioles to the Giants. Polo Grounds III burned down in 1911 and the Highlanders shared Hilltop Park with the Giants during a two-month renovation period. Later, from 1913 to 1922, the Highlanders shared the Polo Grounds with the Giants after their lease with Hilltop Park expired. While playing at the Polo Grounds, the name “Highlanders” fell into disuse among the press. In 1913 the team became officially known as the New York Yankees.
In the mid‑1910s, the Yankees finished towards the bottom of the standings. At the start of 1915, the pair sold the team to Colonel Jacob Ruppert, a brewer, and Captain Tillinghast L’Hommedieu Huston, a contractor-engineer. Ruppert and Huston paid $350,000 with both men contributing half of the total price. After the purchase, Ruppert assumed the role of team president with Huston becoming team secretary and treasurer.
1923–1935: Sluggers and the Stadium: Ruth, Gehrig, and Murderer’s Row
In the years around 1920, the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Chicago White Sox had a détente. The trades between the three ball clubs antagonized Ban Johnson and garnered the teams the nickname “The Insurrectos”. This détente paid off well for the Yankees as they increased their payroll. Most new players who later contributed to the team’s success came from the Red Sox, whose owner, Harry Frazee, was trading them for large sums of money to finance his theatrical productions. Pitcher-turned-outfielder Babe Ruth was the most talented of all the acquisitions from Boston, and the outcome of that trade would haunt the Red Sox for the next 86 years, a span in which the team did not win a single World Series championship. This phenomenon eventually became known as the Curse of the Bambino, which was coined by writer Dan Shaughnessy in the 1990 book of the same name.
Ruth’s multitude of home runs proved so popular that the Yankees began drawing more people than their National League counterpart, the Giants. They competed against the Giants, and all eight games of the series were played in the Polo Grounds. After the 1922 season, the Yankees were told to move out of the Polo Grounds. 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 and were dealt a second defeat at the hands of the Giants. Manager Miller Huggins and general manager Ed Barrow were important newcomers in this period. The hiring of Huggins by Ruppert in 1918 caused a rift between the owners that eventually led to Ruppert buying Huston out in 1923.
In 1923, the Yankees moved to their new home, Yankee Stadium, which took 11 months to build and cost $2.5 million. The team announced that 99,200 fans showed up on Opening Day and 25,000 were turned away. In the first game at Yankee Stadium, Ruth hit a home run. The stadium was nicknamed “The House That Ruth Built”, due mainly to the fact that Ruth had doubled Yankees’ attendance, which helped the team pay for the new stadium. At the end of the season, the Yankees faced the Giants in the World Series for the third straight year and won their first championship.
In the 1927 season, the Yankees featured a lineup that became known as “Murderers’ Row”, and some consider this team to be the best in the history of baseball. That season, the Yankees became the first team in baseball to occupy first place every day of the season, winning 110 games. The team also swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series. Ruth’s home run total of 60 in 1927 set a single-season home run record that stood until it was broken by Roger Maris in 1961, although Maris had eight additional games in which to break the record. beating Ruth’s single-season RBI mark which he had set in 1921. The Yankees won the World Series again in 1928.
In 1931, Joe McCarthy, who was previously manager of the Chicago Cubs, was hired as manager and brought the Yankees back to the top of the AL. They swept the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series, and brought 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, in which Ruth pointed to center field before hitting a home run. In 1935, Ruth left the Yankees to join the NL’s Boston Braves, and he made his last major league baseball appearance on May 30 of that year.
1936–1951: Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio
After Ruth left the Yankees following the 1934 season, Gehrig finally had a chance to take center stage, but it was only one year bef…
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