The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the borough of the Bronx, in New York City, New York and 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, and moved to New York City in , becoming known as the New York Highlanders before being officially renamed 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 franchise leads Major League Baseball in both revenue and titles, 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 .  
See main article: History of the New York Yankees.
At the end of , Western League president Ban Johnson reorganized the league, adding teams in three Eastern cities, which formed the American League. Plans to put a team in New York City were blocked by the National League's New York Giants, who had enough political power to keep the AL out. Instead, a team was put in Baltimore, Maryland, a city which had been abandoned when the NL contracted from 12 to 8 teams in 1900.
The team, now known as the Baltimore Orioles, began playing in , and were managed and owned in part by John McGraw. During the season, McGraw feuded with Johnson, and secretly jumped to the Giants. In the middle of the season, the Giants, aided and abetted by McGraw, gained controlling interest of the Orioles 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 team's new ballpark, Hilltop Park (formally known as "American League Park"), was constructed in northern Manhattan at one of the island's highest points between 165th and 168th Streets, just a few blocks away from the much larger Polo Grounds. The team came to be known as the New York Highlanders for two reasons: it was a reference to the team's elevated location, and also to the noted British military unit The Gordon Highlanders, which coincided with the team's president, Joseph Gordon. As was common with all members of the American League, the team was also referred to as the New York Americans. The club was also being called the New York Yankees in newspapers as early as 1904.
The most success the Highlanders achieved was finishing second in , and , 1904 being 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 in the World Series against the AL pennant winner. The World Series would not be skipped again for another 90 years, when a strike truncated the entire 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 that pitcher Jack Chesbro set the single-season wins record at 41, which still stands. (Under current playing practices, this is an unbreakable record).
The Polo Grounds burned down in and the Highlanders allowed the Giants to play in Hilltop Park during reconstruction. Relations between the two teams warmed, and the Highlanders would move into the newly rebuilt Polo Grounds in . Now playing on the Harlem River, a far cry from their high-altitude home, the name "Highlanders" no longer applied, and fell into disuse among the press. The media had already been calling the team the "Yankees" (a synonym for "Americans", the team being an American League franchise) more and more frequently, and in 1913 the team became known exclusively as the New York Yankees.
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.
In the years around 1920, the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Chicago White Sox had a détente. Their actions, which antagonized Ban Johnson, garnered them the nickname the "Insurrectos". This détente paid off well for the Yankees as they enlarged their payroll. Most new players who would later contribute to the team's success came from the Red Sox, whose owner, Harry Frazee, was trading them players for large sums of money. Pitcher-turned-outfielder Babe Ruth was the most talented of all the acquisitions from Boston, and the outcome of the trade would haunt the Red Sox for the next 86 years, a span in which the team did not win a single Championship. The Red Sox often found themselves eliminated from the playoff hunt as a result of the Yankees' success. This phenomenon eventually became known as the Curse of the Bambino as the failure of the Red Sox and the success of the Yankees seemed almost supernatural, and seemed to stem from that one trade.
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 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, and were dealt a second defeat at the hands of the Giants. Important newcomers in this period were manager Miller Huggins and general manager Ed Barrow. The hiring of Huggins by Ruppert would cause a break between the owners that eventually led to Ruppert buying Huston out in 1923.
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 people. In the first game at Yankee Stadium, Babe Ruth hit a home run, which was fitting as his home runs and drawing power paid for the stadium, giving it its nickname of "The House That Ruth Built". At the end of the year, the Yankees 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 icon and dominant team. From 1923 onward, the Yankees would assume that role, and the Giants would eventually transfer out of the city.
In the season, the Yankees featured a lineup that become known as "Murderers' Row", and some consider this 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 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. A fitting "swan song" to his illustrious postseason career, Ruth would leave the Yankees to join the NL's Boston Braves after , and would never see the postseason again.
With Ruth retired, Gehrig finally had a chance to take center stage, but it was only one year before a new titan appeared: Joe DiMaggio. The team would win an unprecedented four straight World Series titles from to . For most of 1939, however, they had to do it without Gehrig, who was forced to retire because of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The Yankees declared July 4, 1939 to be "Lou Gehrig Day", on which they retired his number 4 (the first retired number in baseball). Gehrig also made a famous speech in which he declared himself to be "the luckiest man on the face of the earth". He died two years later.
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 getting hits in consecutive ballgames. By the end of his hitting streak, DiMaggio 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 the 1943 World Series. After a few slumping seasons, McCarthy was fired early in . A few interim managers later, Bucky Harris took the job, righting the ship and taking the Yankees to a hard fought series victory 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. 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 managed by Joe McCarthy, the Yankees won the world series five consecutive times from (-) 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 ten 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.
In , the Yankees won over 100 games, but the Indians took the pennant with an AL record 111 wins. In , the Dodgers finally beat the Yankees in the World Series, after five previous Series losses to the them, 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 baseball 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 their success of the 1950s.
Arnold Johnson, owner of the Kansas City Athletics, was a longtime business associate of then-Yankees co-owners Del Webb and Dan Topping. Because of this "special relationship" with the Yankees, he traded them young players for cash and aging veterans. Invariably, these trades ended up being heavily tilted in the Yankees' favor, leading to accusations that the Athletics were little more than a Yankee farm team at the major league level. Ironically, Kansas City had been home to the Yankees' top farm team for almost 20 years before the Athletics moved there from Philadelphia in .
In , Charles O. Finley purchased the Athletics, and put a cease to the trades. However, before this, the Yankees strengthened their supply of future prospects, which included a young outfielder named Roger Maris. In 1960, Maris led the league in slugging percentage, RBIs, and extra base hits. He also finished second in home runs (one behind Mantle) and total bases, and won a Gold Glove, which gathered him enough votes for the American League MVP award.
The year of 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, with 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 though, and on October 1, the last day of the season, he hit home run number 61, surpassing Babe Ruth's single season home run record of 60. However, MLB Commissioner Ford Frick (who, as it was discovered later, had ghostwritten for Babe Ruth during his career) decreed that since Maris had played in a 162-game season and Ruth had only played in one with 154, 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 . Maris still holds the American League 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 in nearby Flushing, Queens. The Mets lost 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 also reached the 1963 World Series, but were 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 beaten in seven games by the St. Louis Cardinals. It would be the Yankees last World Series appearance until .
After the season, CBS purchased 80% of the Yankees from Topping and Webb for $11.2 million. With the new ownership, the team began to decline. In fact, the Yankees finished in the second division for the first time in 40 years in . This was worsened by the introduction of the major league amateur draft that year, which meant that the Yankees could no longer sign any player they wanted. Webb sold his 10 percent stake to CBS before the year was over.
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 consistently done 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.
During this period, the Yankees also 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 a then 67,000-seat Yankee Stadium during a game against the Chicago White Sox. Sports biographer David J. Halberstam also noted Barber's less-than-happy relationship with Joe Garagiola and Phil Rizzuto, two ex-major leaguers with whom he shared the booth.
A group of investors, led by Cleveland-based shipbuilder George Steinbrenner, purchased the club from CBS on January 3, 1973 for $8.7 million. Mike Burke stayed on as president until he quit in April. Within a year, Steinbrenner bought out most of his other partners and became the team's principal owner, although Burke continued to hold a minority share into the 1980s.
One of Steinbrenner's major goals was to repair the Stadium, which had greatly deteriorated by the late 1960s. CBS initially suggested renovations, but the team would have needed to play elsewhere, and the Mets refused to open their home, Shea Stadium, to the Yankees. A new stadium in the Meadowlands, across the Hudson River 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 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 season, Steinbrenner made another move, hiring former second baseman Billy Martin as manager. With Martin at the helm, the Yankees reached the 1976 World Series, but were swept by the Cincinnati Reds and their famed "Big Red Machine."
After the 1976 campaign, Steinbrenner added star Oakland outfielder Reggie Jackson to his roster. During spring training of , Jackson alienated his teammates with controversial remarks about the Yankees captain, catcher Thurman Munson. He also had bad blood with manager Billy Martin, who had managed the Detroit Tigers when Jackson's Athletics 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 Yankees were mired in the second division and the Red Sox led 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.
On July 14, 1978, the Yankees were 14½ games behind the Red Sox. The team went on a long 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 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, 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. Guidry was also awarded with his 25th win of the season. For Red Sox fans, the outcome of this game was one of several emotional moments in their team's history that had them 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 6 in Los Angeles.
Changes occurred during the season. Former Cy Young Award-winning closer Sparky Lyle was traded to the Texas Rangers for several players, including Dave Righetti. Tommy John was acquired from the Dodgers and Luis Tiant from the hated Red Sox to bolster the pitching staff. During the season, Bob Lemon was replaced by Billy Martin.
The 1970s ended on a tragic note for the Yankees. On August 2, 1979, Thurman Munson died after crashing his private plane while practicing "Touch and Go" landings. 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. Bobby Murcer, a close friend of Munson's, was chosen to give the eulogy at his funeral. In a nationally televised and emotional game, Murcer 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 walk-off 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, forever remained empty in the Yankee clubhouse as a permanent memorial. The number 15 has also been retired by the team.
The 1980 season brought more changes to the Yankees. Billy Martin was fired once again and Dick Howser took his place. Chris Chambliss was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for catcher Rick Cerone. Thanks to Howser's no-nonsense attitude, Reggie Jackson hit .300 for the only time in his career with 41 homers, and finished 2nd in the MVP voting to Kansas City's George Brett. The Yankees won 103 games and the AL East by three games over the 100-win Baltimore Orioles, but were swept by the Royals in the 1980 ALCS.
After the season ended, the Yankees signed Dave Winfield to a ten-year contract. The Yankees also fired Howser and replaced him with Gene Michael. Under Michael, the Yankees led the AL East before a strike hit in June of . In the second half of the season, the Yankees struggled under Bob Lemon, who replaced Michael. Thanks to the split-season playoff format, the Yankees faced the second-half winner Milwaukee Brewers in the special 1981 American League Division Series. After narrowly defeating Milwaukee in five games, they breezed through Billy Martin and the Oakland Athletics in a three-game ALCS. In the 1981 World Series, the Yankees got off to a hot start by winning the first two games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the Dodgers fought back and stunned the Yankees by winning the next four games to clinch their first World Series title since 1965.
Following the team's loss to the Dodgers in the 1981 World Series, the Yankees had their longest absence from the playoffs since 1921. 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 a powerful offense; 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 performance declined in the next three years.
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. Despite their lack of championships and playoff appearances the Yankees posted the highest winning percentage of all MLB teams during the 1980s.
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 hampered 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. From 1989 to 1992, the team had a losing record, spending significant money on free-agents and draft picks who 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, 1990, 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 showings in the 1980s and 1990s would soon change. Steinbrenner hired Howard Spira to uncover damaging information on Winfield and was subsequently suspended from day-to-day team operations by 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 Manager Gene Michael, along with manager Buck Showalter, shifted the club's emphasis from high-priced acquisitions to developing talent through the farm system. This new philosophy developed key players such as outfielder Bernie Williams, shortstop Derek Jeter, catcher Jorge Posada, and pitchers Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. 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 Major League Baseball strike.
A year later, the team qualified for the playoffs in the new wild card slot, and were eliminated in 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 season. He had the unfortunate distinction of beginning and ending his career on years bookended by Yankee World Series appearances (1981 and 1996). The 1994 strike ended Mattingly's best chance for a World Series title and contributed to Manager Buck Showalter's departure the following year.
Coincidentally, the last time the Yankees made it to the playoffs before 1995 happened the last time a significant work stoppage occurred.
After the 1995 season, Steinbrenner replaced Showalter with Joe Torre. 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 calm demeanor proved to be a good fit, and his tenure was the longest under George Steinbrenner's ownership.
In the Yankees won their first AL East title in 15 years. They defeated the Texas Rangers in the ALDS, and in the ALCS beat the Baltimore Orioles in five games, which included a notable fan interference by young Jeffrey Maier was called as a home run for the Yankees. In the World Series the team rebounded from an 0-2 series deficit and defeated the defending champion Atlanta Braves, ending an 18-year championship drought. Shortstop Derek Jeter was named Rookie of the Year. In , the Yankees lost the 1997 ALDS to the Cleveland Indians in five games. GM Bob Watson stepped down and was replaced by assistant GM Brian Cashman.
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. Their 125 combined regular and post season wins is a major league record. On May 17, 1998, David Wells pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. On July 18, , which was "Yogi Berra Day" at the Stadium, David Cone pitched a perfect game against the Montréal Expos. The ALCS was the Yankees' first meeting with the Red Sox in a post-season series. The Yankees would go on to win the 1999 World Series giving the 1998 - 1999 Yankees a 22 - 3 record (including four series sweeps) in six consecutive post-season series.
In , the Yankees faced the crosstown rival New York Mets in the first Subway Series World Series since 1956. The Yankees won the series in 5 games, but a loss in Game 3 snapped their streak of World Series wins at 14, surpassing the club's previous record of 12 (in 1927, 1928, and 1932). The Yankees are the last 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 aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the Yankees defeated the Oakland A's in the ALDS, and the Seattle Mariners 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 teams to win at least four straight pennants. The Yankees won eleven consecutive postseason series in this four-year period. In the World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Yankees lost the series when closer Mariano Rivera uncharacteristically blew a save in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7.
A vastly revamped Yankees team finished the season with an AL best record of 103 - 58. 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. In the ALDS the Yankees lost to the Anaheim Angels in four games.In , the Yankees again had the best league record (101-61), highlighted by Roger Clemens' 300th win and 4000th strikeout. In the ALCS, they defeated the Boston Red Sox in a dramatic seven game series, which featured a bench-clearing incident in Game 3 and a series-ending walk-off home run by Aaron Boone in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 7. In the World Series the Yankees lost in 6 games to the Florida Marlins.
In , the Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez, who moved to third base from his usual shortstop position to accommodate Derek Jeter. In the ALCS, the Yankees met the 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. In Alex Rodriguez won the American League MVP award, becoming the first Yankee to win the award since Don Mattingly in 1985. The Yankees again won the AL East by virtue of a tiebreaker but lost ALDS in five games to the Los Angeles Angels. The season was highlighted by a 5 game series sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway Park (sometimes referred to as the "Second Boston Massacre"), outscoring the Red Sox 49-26. Despite winning the AL East for the ninth consecutive year, the Yankees lost again in the ALDS, this time to the Detroit Tigers. After the ALDS was over, tragedy struck when pitcher Cory Lidle died when his plane crashed into a highrise apartment building in Manhattan. Along with Thurman Munson, Lidle was the second active Yankee to be killed in a private plane crash.
On June 18, 2007 the Yankees broke new ground by signing 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. The Yankees' streak of nine straight AL East division titles ended in , but they still reached the playoffs with the AL Wild Card. For the third year in a row, the team lost in the first round of the playoffs, as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Yankees in the 2007 ALDS. After the series, Joe Torre declined a reduced-length and compensation contract offer from the Yankees and returned to the National League as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After Torre's departure the Yankees signed former catcher Joe Girardi to a three-year contract to manage the club. Despite multiple midseason roster moves in 2008, the team was hampered by injuries and missed the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons. The following off-season, the Yankees retooled their roster with several star free agent acquisitions, including CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira. This strategy differed from the previous season's, where the team banked on young pitching prospects.
The season was the last season played at historic Yankee Stadium, after which the team will move to New Yankee Stadium, which is located adjacent to the current field. To celebrate the final year and history of Yankee Stadium, 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. Fielding Derek Jeter as their captain, Andy Pettitte as the starting pitcher, and 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. Mariano Rivera pitched the top of the 9th inning, and the final batter was Baltimore's Brian Roberts, who hit a ground-ball out to Yankee first baseman Cody Ransom, closing out 85 years of baseball history at the stadium. After the game, Derek Jeter addressed the crowd, thanking them for their support over the years, and urging them to "take the memories of this field, add them to the new memories that will come at the new Yankee Stadium and continue to pass them on from generation to generation." The Yankees players then circled the field and saluted the fans, to the sound of "New York, New York".
See also: New York Yankees season records and New York Yankees award winners and league leaders. The Yankees have won 26 World Series in 39 appearances (which, since the first World Series in 1903, currently amounts to an average appearance every 2.7 seasons and a championship every 4.0 seasons); the St. Louis Cardinals are second with ten World Series victories. The Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers are second in World Series appearances with eighteen; eleven of those eighteen appearances have been against the Yankees, where the Dodgers have gone 3-8 against them. Among North American major sports, the Yankees' success is only approached by the 24 Stanley Cup championships of the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League. They have played in the World Series against every National League pennant winner except the Houston Astros and the Colorado Rockies, a feat that no other team is even close to matching.
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.
The "Yankees" name is often shortened to "the Yanks." Their most prominently used nickname is "the Bronx Bombers" or simply "the Bombers", a reference to their home and their prolific hitting. A less used nickname is "the Pinstripes", in reference to the iconic feature on their home uniforms. Critics often refer to the team and the organization as "the Evil Empire", a term applied to the Yankees by Boston Red Sox president Larry Lucchino in a 2002 interview with the New York Times. The statement has been greeted with mixed sentiment and often considered hypoctrical as Lucchino's team is also among the highest payrolls in the MLB every year - though it is still about $75 million less than the Yankees' over the past two seasons. A term from the team's tumultuous late 70's, "the Bronx Zoo", is also sometimes used by detractors, as well as the "Damn Yankees," after the musical of the same name. These have both been embraced by fans.
See main article: Logos and uniforms of the New York Yankees.
With the recurring success of the franchise since the 1920s, the Yankees have been and continue to be one of the most popular sports teams in the world, with their fan base coming from much further than the New York Metro Area. The Yankees typically bring an upsurge in attendance at all or most of their various road-trip venues, drawing crowds of their own fans, as well as home-town fans whose interest is heightened when the Yankees come to town.
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.
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 republished on The Smoking Gun.
See main article: Bleacher Creatures. The "Bleacher Creatures" are a notorious group of season ticket holders who occupied Section 39 in the right field bleachers at the old Yankee Stadium, and will be occupying Section 203 in the new one. They are known for their strict allegiance to the Yankees, and are often merciless to opposing fans who sit in the section and cheer for the road team. They also enjoy taunting the opposing team's right fielder with a series of chanting and slandering. The "creatures" got their nickname from New York Daily News columnist Filip "Flip" Bondy, who spent the 2004 season sitting in the section for research on his book about the group, Bleeding Pinstripes: A Season with the Bleacher Creatures of Yankee Stadium, published in 2005.
The Yankees also have many celebrity fans. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is commonly seen at games. Actor/Director Billy Crystal attends games frequently; he directed the 2001 film 61*, which highlighted Roger Maris' chase of Babe Ruth's single-season home run record in 1961. Crystal also played in a spring training game for the Yankees prior to the 2008 season, where he lead off and struck out in his only at bat. Actor Adam Sandler has flaunted his Yankee loyalty in several of his movies, most notably in Anger Management in which several scenes were actually shot at Yankee Stadium and included acting roles for Roger Clemens and Derek Jeter. Other famous celebrity fans include actor Jack Nicholson, director Spike Lee, basketball star Lebron James, musician Bob Dylan, actor Denzel Washington, actress Penny Marshall, actor/comedian Larry David, comedian Artie Lange, actor Chazz Palminteri, actress Sarah Jessica Parker, rock singer Meat Loaf, Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society Guitarist Zakk Wylde, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Henry Kissinger, New York Rangers captain Chris Drury (who wears number 23 to honor his childhood hero Don Mattingly), Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson, and Ranger great Brian Leetch. Deportivo la Coruna forward Omar Bravo also is a Yankees fan. Nick, Kevin, and Joe Jonas from the famous teen band The Jonas Brothers also favor the Yankees greatly.
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.
The Yankees baseball club is formally owned by Yankee Global Enterprises LLC which also owns the team's regional YES sports network. While the club has claimed it is operating under annual losses in excess of $47 million this figure is attributed only to the ballclub's finances and not to finances attributed to YES or Yankees Global Enterprises.
The Yankees have become well known for a winning reputation on a global level. In 2007 they reached an agreement with the Chinese Baseball Association to allow coaches, scouts and trainers to work in China to promote baseball and judge talent. They are trying to do the same with the Yomiuri Giants and the Hanshin Tigers in Japan. The Yankees and Yomiuri Giants currently have a close relationship and share ideas and strategies. The Yomiuri Shinbun daily newspaper has an ad on the left-field wall at Yankee Stadium, and other Japanese ads appear on the scrolling backstop advertising board. The Yankees are hoping that close ties with countries such as China and Japan will give them personal, in depth judgments of baseball talent.
In 2008 the Yankees announced a joint venture with the Dallas Cowboys that would form the basis for a partnership in running food and beverage, and other catering services to both teams' stadiums.
With the long-term success of the franchise and a large Yankee fanbase, other teams' fans across the nation have come to hate the Yankees. The organization is sometimes referred to by detractors as "the Bronx Zoo" (echoing the title of Sparky Lyle's book) or "the Evil Empire" (parodying Ronald Reagan's characterizaton of the former Soviet Union), although both names have been defiantly embraced by some fans of the team.
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!"
The official fight song for the Yankees is "Here Come the Yankees", written in 1967 by Bob Bundin and Lou Stallman. While it is not used as often, it is still heard frequently in instrumental form, most prominently in radio broadcasts. Another song strongly linked to the team is "New York, New York", which is played in the stadium after home games. The Frank Sinatra cover version is traditionally played after victories, and the Liza Minnelli original version after losses. When the Yankees take the field before the start of every game, 2 Unlimited's "Get Ready For This" is played with the fans usually clapping along. When the Yankees score a run at home, the opening bell to 2 Unlimited's "Workaholic" is played.
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. These songs are meant to pump up the crowd. 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". When Joba Chamberlain comes out to pitch, Mötley Crüe's "Shout at the Devil" is played. 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 was 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 inning), "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.
See main article: YES Network. The Yankees Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network launched in 2002, and serves as the primary home of the New York Yankees during the baseball season, and the New Jersey Nets during the basketball season. Michael Kay is the play-by-play announcer and Ken Singleton, Paul O'Neill, David Cone, Al Leiter, and John Flaherty work as commentators as part of a three-man booth. Bob Lorenz hosts the pre-game show and the post-game show, with David Justice as the analyst and Kimberly Jones and Nancy Newman as the reporters. Some games are telecast on WWOR-TV; those broadcasts are also produced by YES.
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 didn't 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 and number 6 has also not been reissued since Joe Torre's departure.
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.
See main article: New York Yankee team captains.
The Yankees are affiliated with the following minor league teams.