Where does one begin with a discussion of the New York Yankees? With 27 World Series titles they are not only the most dominant American baseball team in the MLB, but they also happen to be one of the most successful and renowned sports teams in the entire world. Estimated to be worth over $2billion, the Yankees are rich, powerful, and always talented enough to contend for championships!
But it didn’t start out that way. Formed in 1901 in Baltimore, the team was known as the Orioles and played in the American League, which at the time was always second best to the National League. The team eventually moved to New York in 1903 and was known as the Highlanders. In 1913 they took on the Yankees nickname and never looked back.
By the 1920’s, the Yankees’ dominance had begun. Boosted by a big budget they acquired great players like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Facing a serious cross-town rivalry with the New York Giants in their early years, the teams would square off in 3 straight World Series duels, with the Giants winning the first two. However, in 1923 the Yankees overcame their rivals and earned their first championship! That also happened to be their first season in the famous Yankee Stadium.
The team began to collect World Series rings every few years and got very strong in the late 1930s, winning 4 straight titles between 1936-1939! At that time, the central figure of the club was Joe DiMaggio, who set the astounding MLB record of hitting in 56 straight games!
Another hot period came between 1949-1953, when New York won 5 titles in 5 years! Led by Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Yogi Berra, the club became perennial contenders throughout the 50s. They would win 9 AL Pennants between 1955 and 1964, only missing a World Series appearance in 1959. They would earn titles in 1956, 1958, 1961, and 1962. During that time, Don Larsen completed the only perfect game in the postseason in Game 5 of the 1956 Series. After this incredible time, the Yankees would come back to Earth.
In 1973, the Yankees were purchased by George Steinbrenner, and he soon restored order, bringing together championship squads year after year. With Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, and Thurman Munson, New York became competitive again and won the 1977 and 1978 World Series!
Despite the team recruiting Don Mattingly, the Yankees couldn’t get another title in the 1980s. But in the 1990s the team resurfaced with a wonderful cast of young stars, including Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettite, and Jorge Posada. The World Series titles would come late in the millennium with 4 championships between 1996-2000. The team tailed off a bit in the following years, but with Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia the Yankees would earn another World Series victory in 2009.
The future certainly beckons warmly for the Yankees. While their current lineup hasn’t produced a championship in several years, with their deep pockets, a hearty global fan base, and a winning history, the New York Yankees will surely be winning again soon…
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