The New York Yankees are one of the original Major League baseball teams. Originally named the Highlanders, they were founded in 1903. Over the course of their history, they have played a lot of baseball, setting records in the process. For example, they have the record for the highest number of World Series wins at 27 of any team. Here’s a look at the history of this team:
In 1900, baseball reorganized its leagues and the Western League became the American League. This move was done so that they could become a direct competitor to the National League. As mentioned above, the Yankees were founded in 1903, but they were named the Highlanders. Originally, this team was in Baltimore as the Orioles but they moved to New York and changed their name. They became the Yankees in 1913. In 1915, Colonel Jacob Ruppert bought the team, and he would be instrumental in their rise.
In 1920, the Ruppert acquired Babe Ruth from the Red Sox, and the team played in their first World Series a year later. Then, in 1923, Yankee Stadium opened and the Yankees won their first title. The lineup during this time was referred to as Murderer’s Row. This name refers to the lineup of the team during the time when Babe Ruth played. The other members of the lineup were Earle Combs , Mark Koenig , Lou Gehrig , Bob Meusel , and Tony Lazzeri . During this year, The Bambino had 60 homeruns.
Gehrig and DiMaggio
The 1930s and 1940s were hugely successful decades for the Yankees , primarily because of two players: Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio . Known as The Iron Horse , Gehrig famously played in 2,130 consecutive games while hitting .340 for his career with nearly 500 home runs. In the 1940s, Joltin’ Joe took over. He hit in 56 straight games , which is a record that still stands.
The Stengel Dynasty
The Yankees continued to dominate in the 1950s, led by manager Casey Stengel . During his 12-year reign they won 7 World Series (including 5 straight) and 10 pennants. On the field, they were led by superstars such as Mickey Mantle , Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford .
The Yankees were still good into the mid-1960s, with such greats as Elston Howard and Roger Maris . The latter hit a then-record 61 home runs in 1961. But the Yankees went into a steep decline after the 1964 season.
In 1973, the Yankees’ fortunes improved when George Steinbrenner bought the team. Taking advantage of the new system of free agency, Steinbrenner recaptured the team’s glory. They won two consecutive World Series in the late 70s led by players such as Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter , and the fiery managing of Billy Martin .
The Yankees fell into decline again in the 1980s, but in the 1990s — led by manager Joe Torre and stars such as Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera — they again dominated baseball by winning 4 straight World Series.
For nearly 120 years the New York Yankees have been the standard all other teams aspire toward. Their record of accomplishment is unparalleled in the sport.