Mickey Mantle

    Sunday, November 22, 2009, 8:04 AM [General]
    Posted By: BeachBaby

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    Historical Moments

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 4:45 PM [General]
    Posted By: BeachBaby

    Historical Moments:

    1903: At a peace summit to unite the two leagues under similar rules, and establishing the World Series, American League President Ban Johnson lets it known he wants a team in New York. Johnson got 15 of the 16 Major League owners to agree, the lone dissenter was John T. Bush owner of the New York Giants. Johnson arranged Frank Farrell and Bill Devery to buy the struggling Baltimore Orioles and move them to Manhattan. The two new owners quickly secured a piece of land on Broadway between 165th and 168th street and quickly put together a ballpark known as Hilltop Park. Sine the stadium sat on one of the highest points in Manhattan the nickname Highlanders was chosen as the new club's name. The Highlanders took the field for their first game on April 22nd, and lost to the Nats in Washington 3-1. The Highlanders would win their very first game the next day 7-2. A week later facing the Nats again, the Highlanders made their home debut a success with a 6-2 win. That first year was a success for New York, as they would finish a respectable 72-62 under Hall of Fame Manager Clark Griffith. 

    1904
    :
    The Highlanders chased the Boston Americans all year, catching them in August and trading first place back and forth into October. A key four game series at the end of the season would determine the pennant. In the first game Jack Chesbro defeated Boston 3-2 to the Highlanders a half-game lead (it was his 41st win, a 20th century record.) However, the Pilgrims came back to win the next 2 to retake the lead. In the 4th game of the series, with Chesbro again pitching with the score tied 2-2 in the top of the 9th, a wild pitch over the head of catcher Deacon McGuire would allow the Pilgrims pennant clinching run to score, as the Highlanders settled for 2nd place with a 92-59.

    1905:
    Coming off a season in which they battled for first place until the end of the season the Highlanders are a tremendous disappointment, finishing in sixth place with a record of 71-78.

    1906:
    The Highlanders lead the American League in late September before tailing off to finish three games behind the Chicago White Sox with a 90-61 record.

    1907:
    The Highlanders continue a patter of up and down seasons, as they fall back into fifth place with a record of 70-78.

    1908:
    The Highlanders come crashing down into last place for the first time in franchise history posting a horrendous 51-103 record.

    1909
    :
    After a horrid 103 loss season Highlander owner Bill Devery thinks it's time for a new image, and adopts a NY insignia that was used on a medal of honor for cops shot in the line of duty. The new interlocking NY would become the most recognizable logo in all of sports. In the first year the interlocking NY appeared on the uniform the team improved to a 74-77 record.

    1910:
    After three consecutive losing seasons the Highlanders climb up to 2nd place posting a respectable 88-63 record.

    1911:
    The Highlanders play mediocre baseball all season finishing in sixth place with a record of 76-76.

    1912:
    Another uniform design change takes place this time the Highlander home uniforms would now have the add touch of pinstripes. In their first year in pinstriped the Highlanders struggle all season and finish in last place with a 50-102 record.

    1913:
    The American League team in New York signs a deal to play its games at the Polo Grounds, and changes its nickname from Highlanders to Yankees. However, the team still struggles in their first year officially known as the Yankees, and finishes in seventh place with a 57-94 record.

    1914: The Yankees continue to struggle despite finishing in sixth place with a record of 60-84.

    1915:
    The Yankees begin to show signs of improvement as they finish in fifth place with a record of 79-83.

    1916:
    After a string of losing season the Yankees finally begin to show some promise, and put together a respectable 80-74 record that was good enough for fourth place.

    1917:
    The Yankees are unable to build on their promising season, and struggle again to the tune of a sixth place 71-82 record.

    1918:
    In Miller Huggins first season as manager the Yankees are struggle again and finish with a 60-63 for a fourth place finish.

    1919:
    The Yankees make a run at first place finishing in third place eight and half games out with a record of 80-59.

    1920:
    On January 3rd the course of two franchises would change forever. The Red Sox who had won five World Series, and the Yankees who had yet to win a single pennant made a deal that would forever change the landscape of professional sports. Sox owner Harry Frazee looking to finance a Broadway Musical "No-No Nannette" sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees for 5,000, in addition to 0,00 for a loan against the mortgage of Fenway Park. After this move the Yankees would go on to become the greatest dynasty in the history of sports, and the Red Sox would not win another World Series for 86 years. Babe Ruth's first season in pinstripes would be a smashing success for the Yanks. Ruth would go on to hit 54 Home Runs establishing and a new record, while nearly doubling the old record. The old record of 29 was also set by Ruth in 1919 his first year as a fulltime OF. The Yankees would go on to win 95 games coming up just three games short of the pennant.

    1921:
    The Yankees raided Boston again this time making manager Ed Barrow their new General Manager, and in turn Barrow brought pitcher Waite Hoyt, and catcher Wally Schang with him. These acquisitions plus another record topping 59 HR from Babe Ruth were just what the Yankees need to win 98 games and their first pennant. The Yankees would face the New York Giants in the very first Subway Series. The Yanks would get off to a flaying start winning the first 2 games of the best of 9 series by identical 3-0 scores. The Giants would bounce back in the next two games to even the series. The Yankees would rebound to win Game 5, and took a 5-0 lead in Game 6, but the Yankees would only score one more run in the entire series after that. The Yanks would lose the Babe to an injury and after the Giants came back to win the sixth game, the Yankees lost the series 5-3. After the series the Giants evicted the Yankees out of the Polo Grounds effective the end of the 1922 season.

    1922:
    Despite Babe Ruth missing two months due to injuries the Yankees still manage to win 94 games, and hold off the St. Louis Browns by one game for their second straight pennant, and Subway Series against the Giants. The Yanks were not quite swept in the Series, they did manage a tie in Game 2, but they were dominated by the Giants none-the-less. The Yankee offense, scored to three runs in five games, as Babe Ruth got just two hits in 17 at bats.

    1923
    :
    After sharing the Polo Grounds with the Giants since 1913, the Yankees were at home in brand-new Yankee Stadium just across the Harlem River in the Bronx.  The new stadium would be referred to as the house Ruth Built since the Babe had an amazing ability to draw fans from all-around. The stadium would open on April 18th in front of 74,200 fans, who witnessed Babe Ruth appropriately hit the Stadium's first home run, and the Yankees defeat the Boston Red Sox 4-1. The first season at the stadium was a success as the Yankees with the addition of yet another pitcher from the Red Sox, Herb Pennock, and a .393 average from Ruth took the lead from the start and built it over the summer to a 16-game margin by the end, with a 98-54 record. For the 3rd straight year the Yankees faced the Giants in the World Series. In Game 1 the Yankees would see an early 3-0 lead wilt away into another loss, when Casey Stengel legged out an inside the park Home Run to win the game. After bouncing back to win Game 2 the Yankees lost Game 3 and trailed the Giants 2-1 in the series. It began to look as if the Yanks and Babe Ruth could not win the big one. However, from that point on the Yankees would dominate the series winning the next two 8-4, and 8-1. In Game 6 the Yankees would score five runs in the eighth to take their first of many World Series four games to two.   

    1924:
    The Yankees fall two games short in their quest for a fourth straight trip to the World Series with an 89-63 record.

    1925:
    In a year in which Babe Ruth was lost much of the season to surgery and suspension, the Yankees finish seventh with a 69-85 record, it would be their last losing season 40 years. The suspensions to then Babe serve as warning and the Babe becomes more focused on baseball in the following season, and the Yankees would only get stronger. Meanwhile on June 2nd, Lou Gehrig begins his streak of 2,130 consecutive games played, with a pinch-hitting appearance for Pee Wee Wanniger.

    1926
    :
    With Babe Ruth's return to full strength and the establishment of a new middle infield of Tony Lazzeri and Mark Koenig, the Yankees took their fourth pennant with a record of 91-63. The Yankees would face the St. Louis Cardinals in hard fought 7-game World Series. After winning Game 5, the Yankees looked to have stranglehold taking a 3-2 series lead heading back to the Bronx for Game 6, but Grover Cleveland Alexander shut down the Yanks in Game 6 to force a seventh and deciding game. In Game 7 Alexander would again shut down the Yankees stopping a two out Bases Loaded Rally in the 7th and getting the final seven outs to take the World Series.

    1927
    :
    Only one word can be used to describe the 1927 Yankees, and that is dominant, many observers rank them as baseball's greatest team ever. The Yankees offense was so deviating to AL pitchers they earned the nickname "Murder's Row".  As a team the Yankees led the league in hitting (.307) and slugging (.489, still a major league record). Babe Ruth became the first player ever to hit 60 HR, and was over shadowed the MVP year by his teammate Lou Gehrig who drove in 173 runs, and batted .373. Ruth himself would have 164 RBI, along with Bob Meusle's 103, and Tony Lazzeri's 102 would give the Yanks 4 batters with more than 100 RBI. Their pitching also dominated compiling a 3.20 ERA, which was three-fourths of a run per game lower than the ERA of the next best team. The Yanks would win 110 game en-route to a 19 game margin over the second place Philadelphia A's. The Yanks dominance carried on to the World Series where the Yanks only trailed twice en-route to cruising to 4-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Game 1 and 4 were close, the Yankees won each by one run, including win the final game in walk off fashion after Pirates pitcher Johnny Miljus uncorked a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth.

    1928:
    After running away with the pennant in 1927 the Yankees quickly learned that 1928 would not be as easy. The Yankees did 101 games again, and Babe Ruth smashed 54 homers while tying teammate Lou Gehrig with 142 RBI for the American League lead. However the Yankees need a mid-September sweep of the Philadelphia Athletics to win the pennant by three games. However, the Yankees would find things easier in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Yanks would extract revenge for 1926 in convincing fashion. In the four game sweep, the Bronx Bombers smashed nine home runs (including four by Lou Gehrig and three by Babe Ruth). Gehrig would drive in nine runs only one less than the Cards scored in the entire series. In series final game Babe Ruth would hit three Home Runs equaling the feat of 1926, and outdoing the two Gehrig hit the day before.

    1929:
    The Yankees started out the season by making history with their uniforms again, when they became the first team to make numbers a permanent part of the uniform. Other teams quickly adopted the idea and, by 1932, uniform numbers became standard for all teams. The initial distribution of numbers on the Yankees was made according to the player's position in the batting order. Therefore, in 1929, leadoff hitter Earle Combs wore #1, Mark Koenig #2, Babe Ruth #3, Lou Gehrig #4, Bob Meusel #5, Tony Lazzeri #6, Leo Durocher #7, Johnny Grabowski #8, Benny Bengough #9, Bill Dickey #10 (Grabowski, Bengough and Dickey shared the catching duties). However it would be a difficult year for the Yanks; by late September their pennant hopes were smashed by the Philadelphia Athletics, who would win the pennant by 16 games. However, on September 25th the season became unbearable when manager Miller Huggins who had led the Yanks since 1918, and through their first three World Championships, and six pennants died suddenly of blood poising. The Yanks would go on to land in second place with an 88-66 record.

    1930
    :
    With Bob Shawkey guiding the Yankees the team would never play to their full potential finishing in third place with a record of 86-68.

    1931:
    In Joe McCarthy's first season as Manager the Yankees put together a solid 94-59 record, but fall 13 and half games short of the pennant.

    1932:
    After losing out on the American League pennant three straight years to the Philadelphia Athletics, the Yankees regained their dominant form, as Lou Gehrig would lead the way with 151 RBI. Gehrig even topped the Bambino on June 3rd in Philadelphia when he became the very first player to hit four Home Runs in one game. Others would equal the feat; however Ruth would never equal the feat. The Yankees won 107 games and took home the pennant by 13 games. In the World Series the Yankees faced the Chicago Cubs. Lou Gehrig, who hit .529 and scored nearly a quarter of the Yankees runs, led both clubs in batting, slugging, hits, runs, and RBIs as the Yankees crushed the Cubs in four games. However as was most of his career Gehrig's accomplishments were overshadowed by the Babe. In Game 3 with the score tied 4-4 in the fifth inning, Babe Ruth pointed his bat at pitcher Charlie Root. After taking two strikes, the Babe ripped the third pitch into the center field bleachers. Lou Gehrig would follow with a homer off the stunned Root right after, but the game and the Series would be forever remembered for Babe Ruth's called shot.     

    1933:
    On July 6th a new tradition began in Chicago's Comiskey Park pitting the AL's best players against the NL's best players. The game was dubbed the All Star Game, and appropriately enough the star that shinned brightest was the Babe who hit the first Home Run in All Star history and aided the AL to a 4-2 win. However, the Yankees would fail to win the pennant falling seven games short with a 91-59 record.

    1934:
    On July 14th Babe Ruth hits his 700th career HR at Detroit's Navin Field. However there were not many more milestones to come for the Bambino. Ruth would only hit eight more Home Runs to finish the season with 708 career HRs. The Yankees would than release the aging Babe Ruth after the season in which they finished in second place with a 94-60 record. The Babe would go on to hit six more homers with Boston Braves, but it was an end of an era for the Yankees, and all of baseball.

    1935
    :
    In their first season without Babe Ruth the Yankees fall just three games short of the American League Pennant with a solid 89-60 record.   

    1936
    :
    Lou Gehrig who took home the MVP with a league leading 49 Home Runs along with 152 RBI, and a .354 average led the Yankees to the American League Pennant with a 102-51 record. A young rookie from San Francisco also helped the Yankees who hit 29 homers and drove in 125 runs. The young rookie who was the son of Italian Immigrants would go on to become the next Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio. Joining DiMaggio, and Gehrig with 100 RBI were Bill Dickey, Tony Lazzeri, and George Selkirk. The Yankees would go on to face the New York Giants in the World Series. The Giants would draw first blood ending the Yanks 12 Game World Series winning streak. However the Yankees extracted revenge in Game 2 humiliating the Giants 18-4. The Yankees would win the next two games to capture a 3-1 series lead. After the Giants won Game 5 the Yankees bat woke up and tore apart Giants pitching to deliver the Yanks their fifth World Series tying the Boston Red Sox for the most World Series Championships.

    1937:
    The Yankees would win 102 games en-route to winning their second straight American League Pennant. The Yanks were led by the powerful bats of Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, and Lou Gehrig who all drove in more than 130 runs, and smacked at least 29 Home Runs. The Yankees would face the Giants again in the World Series. The Yankees would dominate the Giants winning the first three games by a combined total of 23-3. After losing Game 4 to Carl Hubbell the Yankees put the Giants away in Game 5 as Lefty Gomez won his second post-season game. It was the Yankees sixth World Championship giving them the lead over all baseball teams a lead that would only grow as the years rolled on.   

    1938:
    The Yankees would win the American League Pennant again, winning 99 games en-route to holding off the Boston Red Sox by 11 games. Lou Gehrig made history by playing in his 2,000th consecutive game. However, Gehrig's play was just a little bit off he did hit 29 Home Runs, and drove in 115 runs, but his Average had dipped below .300 for the first time since his rookie year. The Yankees would go on to sweep the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. Red Ruffing who pitched two complete games to bookend the sweep led the Yankees. It would be the Yankees seventh World Championship.

    1939
    :
    All through out Spring Training something seemed wrong with Lou Gehrig, but at the beginning of the season the Iron Horse just kept playing. Then on May 2nd Gehrig's playing streak of 2,130 consecutive games ends when he does not make an appearance in a 22-2 Yankees' win at Detroit. Babe Dahlgren who played first base for the Yankees and contributes a double and a home run.  However, the news for Gehrig would get much worse.  Gehrig was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a rare neurological disorder that is incurable. The disease is now more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. As news spread about Gehrig's dire situation Baseball imminently put him into the newly opened Hall of Fame, and the Yankees would hold a day in his honor on the 4th of July. At the ceremony at Yankee Stadium Gehrig who had feuded with Babe Ruth was able to burry the hatchet with the man who's shadow he played in for a decade. The Yankees would also retire Gehrig's Number 4 making it the first retired uniform number in professional sports, and the ceremonies would go in history as Gehrig gave his famous "Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth" speech. Ordinary teams would not be able to overcome the loss of a great player like Lou Gehrig, but the Yankees are no ordinary team. The Yankees led by MVP Joe DiMaggio who batted .381 while driving in 126 runs, won 107 games en-route to their fourth straight World Series. The series against the Cincinnati Reds was another sweep for the Yanks giving them four consecutive World Championships to close out the decade. The series was best remembered for Game 4 when Reds catcher Ernie Lombardi was knocked out temporally by Earle Combs allowing tw runs to score in the tenth inning, giving the Yanks the winning margin in the final game.

    1940:
    The Yankees fall just two games short of a fifth straight trip to the World Series finishing third in a three-team race with an 88-66 record.

    1941:
    On June 2nd ironically 16 years to the day that Gehrig's historic streak began, Lou Gehrig succumbs to the disease that now bears his name. Gehrig was only a few weeks short of his 38th birthday. On May 15th another history making streak began when Joe DiMaggio singled off Edgar Smith of the White Sox. The streak would encompass the next two moths and 56 games smashing the old record held by Wee Willie Keeler by a dozen. After the streak ended in Cleveland on July 17th Di Maggio would hit in 16 straight games, to give 72 out 73 games with at least one base hit.  The Yankee Clipper would go on to win the AL MVP in a close vote over Red Sox OF Ted Williams. The AL Pennant race would not be as close, as the Yankees won 101 games to beat the Boston by 17 full games and advance once again to the World Series. The Yankees would go on to face the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series. The turning point of the series came in Game 4; the Dodgers were on the verge of evening the series at two games apiece when Hugh Casey struck out Tommy Henrich with two outs in the ninth. However Henrich was not the only one who missed the pitch Dodger catcher Mickey Owen had the ball fly over his head, and Henrich reached base despite striking out. This would lead to a four run Yankee rally that would see the Yankees win the game and take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The very next day the Yankees put away the Dodgers to win their ninth World Series Championship.

    1942:
    Charlie Keller, Joe DiMaggio, and Joe Gordon provided the power, and Tiny Bonham (with 21 wins), Spud Chandler, and rookie Hank Borowy headed the league-leading pitching staff that propelled the Yankees to 103 wins and another easy pennant. However, after winning their previous eight trips to the World Series, the Yankees are finally stopped, in five games, by the St. Louis Cardinals.

    1943
    :
    With several Yankees including Joe DiMaggio, and Phil Rizzuto serving in the Military during World War II. Pitchers Spud Chandler, Tiny Bonham, Hank Borowy, and Johnny Murphy stayed behind and led the charge to the team's seventh pennant in eight years. The Yankees would face the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series again. This time the Yankees won the series in five games thanks to Spud Chandler who won two games and allowed only one earned run in 18 innings.

    1944
    :
    The Yankees miss out on the American League Pennant by six games, finishing in third Place with a record of 83-71.

    1945:
    With many of the Yankees top stars still fighting on the battlefields in Europe and the Pacific, as World War II was coming to an end, the Yankees fall short of the American League Pennant again finishing in fourth Place with a record of 81-71.

    1946
    :
    On May 28th in front of 49,917 fans the Yankees play the first night game at Yankee Stadium losing to the Washington Nationals 2-1. The Yankees would go on to finish in third Place for the third year in a row with an 87-77 record.

    1947:
    Joe DiMaggio and the others were back from the war by 1946, but it was not until 1947 with new Manager Bucky Harris, and sparkling pitching from Allie Reynolds, rookie Spec Shea, and reliever Joe Page that the Yankees returned to the top of the heap, wining the pennant by 12 games over the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees would face the Brooklyn Dodgers again in the Fall Classic. The Yankees won the first two games against Brooklyn, and appeared heading for another easy series victory, but the pesky Dodgers would prove a tough opponent. In Game 4 Yankee pitcher Bill Bevens, despite averaging a walk an inning, had allowed no Dodger hits and only one run as the game entered the last of the 9th, with the Yanks leading 2-1. Bevens retired two in the ninth, but walked his ninth and tenth batters, then lost both his no-hitter and the game as Dodger pinch hitter Cookie Lavagetto doubled home the two base runners to even the Series. The Yanks would bounce back to win game 5, and head home up three games to two. However, the Dodgers would prove a pest again in Game 6 when Al Gionfriddo robbed Joe DiMaggio of a against the 415 mark in Left Field this would send the series to a seventh and deciding game. The Yankees would win Game 7 on Tommy Henrich's RBI single in the fourth, and the stellar pitching of Joe Page.   

    1948
    :
    After dropping two late season games to fall into third place with a 94-60 record, manager Bucky Harris was replaced by Casey Stengel. Stengel who had never finished higher than fifth as manger of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves, would become a legend as manager of the Yankees.

    1949
    :
    In the middle of Casey Stengel's first year in pinstripes the Yanks trailed the Boston Red Sox by 12 games. However the Yankees would begin to chip away at that lead. The Yankees finally caught up to the Red Sox in late September with a sweep.  However, the Yankees the entered the final two games of the season against Boston trailing the Sox by one game, to win the pennant the Yanks need to have both games. In true form the Yankees won both games and stunned the Red Sox to win the Pennant with a 97-57 record. In the World Series would once again face the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Yankees and Dodgers traded 1-0 victories in the first two games of the series. However unlike the pennant the World Series would be a breeze the rest of the way for the Yankees who won the last three games going away to claim their first of what would turn out to be five  consecutive World Championships. 

    1950:
    After losing much of 1949 to injury, Joe DiMaggio returned with power, as SS Phil Rizzuto enjoyed the finest seasons of his career, scoring 125 runs en-rout to winning the AL MVP. On the mound pitcher Whitey Ford broke into the majors, winning all nine of his decisions as a starter, losing just one game in relief. However the Yankees needed to win their final five games to pull away from a tight four way race for the AL Pennant with a record of 98-56. In the World Series the Yankees faced the Philadelphia Phillies team known as the Whiz Kids. The Yankees would never trail in the series sweep, although they needed good pitching, as the first three games were all tight one run pitcher's duels.

    1951:
    In a season where no Yankee drove in 90 or more runs, and Whitey Ford was drafted for two years of military service, the Yankees won their third straight pennant with a record of 98-56. The Yankees remaining pitchers doubled their shutout production and lowered the team ERA by more than half a run per game. Highlighting the Yankees outstanding pitching performances was Allie Reynolds who hurled two No Hitters. In the World Series against the New York Giants the Yankees would fall behind two games to one, before turning on the after burners. In Game 4 Joe DiMaggio held hitless in the first three games, paced the Yanks attack with a RBI single and a two run Home Run. After the Yanks would win Game 5 in a 13-1 route, Hank Bauer's three run triple in the sixth helped put the Giants away and clinch the Yanks third straight World Series. 1951 would also end up being a year of transition of the Bronx Bombers who saw a rookie Mickey Mantle make his debut and Joe DiMaggio suddenly retired after the season.

    1952:
    The Yankees, despite not having any players with 100 RBI won their fourth straight pennant edging out the Cleveland Indians by a slim two game margin with a record of 95-59. In the World Series the Yankees faced the Brooklyn Dodgers once again, and the series would go the full seven games. The Yankees appeared dead after losing Game 5 in the 11th inning to win the series; Yanks would have to win two games in a hostile Ebbets Field. The Yanks would even the series in Game 6 over coming two homers by Duke Snider to win 3-2. In Game 7 Mickey Mantle's Home Run in the sixth put the Yankees ahead to stay, as Bob Kuzava retired the last eight batters to preserve the victory and the Yanks fourth straight World Series title.  

    1953:
    Whitey Ford returned after two years in the service to win 18 games and lead the Yankees on to their unprecedented fifth straight American League Pennant with a record of 99-52. In the World Series the Yankees faced the Brooklyn Dodgers yet again. In the World Series the Yankees were led by 2B Billy Martin who had 12 hits in 24 at-bats, along with two homers, two triples, and a double along while driving in eight RBI. The Yankees and Dodgers split the first four games, before Mickey Mantle's grand slam in Game 5 helped put the Yankees up three games to two. In Game 6 it was Martin who drove in the series' winning run in the bottom of the ninth of Game 6 to send the Yankees on to their fifth straight World Series, and 16th title over all.   

    1954
    :
    The Yankees win 103 games, the most in Casey Stengel's 12-year career with the Yanks, but lose the pennant to the Cleveland Indians, who won a than American League record 111 games to take the flag by eight games.

    1955:
    With Mickey Mantle now established as one of the game's most productive hitters, the Yanks were in thick of the AL race again. As August passed into September, three teams were within a game of each other at the top. First, the Chicago White Sox faltered and fell away, leaving the Yankees and Indians to fight it out. With two weeks left, New York won eight straight to pass Cleveland for good. The Yankees would face the Brooklyn Dodgers again in the World Series. However, this time the Yanks would come up one game short, as the fell in seven games, after grabbing a 3-2 series losing the last two games at home. In Game 7 the Yanks were blanked by series MVP Johnny Podres, who was aided by Sandy Amros' game saving catch, as the Brooklyn won it's only World Series.

    1956
    :
    The Yankees who were led by a Tipple Crown season by MVP Mickey Mantle won 97 games and cruised to another American League Pennant. The Yankees who lost the first two games of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers bounced back and won the next 2, setting up a memorable day at Yankee Stadium for Game 5. On October 8th Don Larsen used a no-windup delivery that made pitching look like a game of catch. Larsen needed only 97 pitches that day and only once threw as many as three balls to a hitter. Two excellent plays preserved the perfect game. In the second inning Jackie Robinson hit a grounder in the hole, which third baseman Andy Carey touched with his glove and deflected to shortstop Gil McDougald, who threw Robinson out. In the fifth inning Gil Hodges hit a line drive into left-center field. Mickey Mantle made a fine running catch on the warning track. In the ninth inning Larsen retired Carl Furillo and Roy Campanella before facing pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell. The pitcher threw a ball, a called strike, and a foul ball before painting the outside corner with a fastball. Umpire Babe Pinelli, called strike three. In what is now a legendary moment catcher Yogi Berra jumped into his pitcher's arms and the 6-foot-4 Larsen carried him off the field as if he were a small child. After losing 1-0 to the Dodgers in Game 6, the Yanks won the final game 9-0 to claim their 17th World Championship. Little did anyone at that time realize the Subway Series, which had become an almost annual appearance, would not occur again for 44 years. 

    1957: The Yankees cruised to their third straight pennant while winning 98 games. However in the World Series the Yankees are beaten by Lew Burdette who won three games including Game 7 to lead the Milwaukee Braves to their first World Championship.

    1958
    :
    The Yankees would win their fourth consecutive pennant with little challenge winning the pennant by ten games over the Chicago White Sox with a record of 92-62. In the World Series it looked as if the Milwaukee Braves would have the Yankees number again taking a 3-1 series lead. The Braves would send Lew Burdette who dominated the Yankees in 1957 and Game 2 of the 58 series out to the mound for Game 5 to put the Yankees away. However the Yankees used a six run sixth to get back into the series heading to Milwaukee. After winning Game 6 in ten innings the Yanks would have to beat Burdette again in Game 7. With the score tied 2-2 in the eighth inning Moose Skowron followed a Hank Bauer RBI single to give the Yanks the winning margin, as the Yanks won their 18th World Championship.    

    1959
    :
    The Yankees quest for a fifth straight trip to the World Series never quite got going, as the team stumbled to a third Place 79-75 season.

    1960
    :
    The Yankees were reloaded and refreshed, after a mediocre season. The Yankees big acquisition was Roger Maris, who they got from their unofficial farm club the Kamas City Athletics in exchange for Don Larsen. Maris would belt 39 Homer Runs, and drive in 112 runs en-route to the AL MVP. Maris' 39 homers were only bettered by teammate Mickey Mantle who hit 40. The Yankees won 97 games en-route to cruising to yet another American League Pennant. In the World Series the Yankees would be stunned by the Pittsburgh Pirates Bill Mazeroski's ninth inning Game 7 Home Run. It was a series the Yankees clearly should have won. In the three games the Yankees won the Bronx Bombers the Bucs 38-3, but the Pirates managed to win four close games including Game 7 to take the series. Yankee bosses saw Casey Stengel as the reason for losing the series and fired their manager who had just turn 70 sighting age as a reason. The Yankees also let go General Manager George Weiss who himself was seen as too old to lead a Major League Team, both would land job with the expansion New York Mets.  

    1961
    :
    With former Yanks reserve catcher Ralph Houk at the helm the Yankees would make the 1961 season one their most historic, ranking next to the 27' Yankees as one of baseball's greatest teams ever. Whitey Ford won 25 games and the Cy Young, en-route to leading the team to 109 wins, as the Yanks won the pennant by eight games over the Detroit Tigers. However, the story of the year would be the race between Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris for the HR title. Most of the season Mantle and Maris battled back and forth for the HR lead, as the season wore on it began to look as if both could make a serious run at Babe Ruth's record of 60. Some people did not take kindly to anyone chasing Ruth's record, included in that was commissioner Ford C. Frick, a former Ruth ghost writer to Ruth who said if the record was to count it must be done in the same 154 games that Ruth played in 1927.  It was clear who fans wanted to see break the record and that was Mantle, who had spent his entire career with Yankees. However Mantle experienced an allergic reaction to cortisone shot and had to bow out of the race in September with 54 Home Run. This would leave Roger Maris alone in the spotlight as he cashed down the Babe's record. Maris would pass Ruth but not until the final and 162nd game of the season and had an asterisk slapped on his achievement. In all toll the M&M boys would hit 115 homers, and the Yankees would hit 318 homers establishing a record that would stand more than 35 years. However Maris' accomplishment would not be fully appreciated until it fell 37 years later, by then the asterisk had been removed, and had stood as the single season record longer than the prestigious 60 Ruth hit in 1927. Maris would go to win his second straight MVP, as the Yankees moved on to beat the Cincinnati Reds 4 games to 1 in the World Series.   

    1962
    :
    The Yankees led by 23 wins form pitcher Ralph Terry and another MVP year from Mickey Mantle won 96 games to earn their 3rd straight World Series appearance. The Series would be a classic seven game affair, complete with a classic ending against the San Francisco Giants. The Yanks and Giants would battle back and forth winning alternating games setting the stage for a classic Game 7. The game would be a classic pitching duel between Ralph Terry, and the Giants Jack Sanford. The Yankees would scored their only run in fourth on a play in which the Giants turned a Double Play. However, Terry kept the Giants off the board completely until the ninth inning. After Matty Alou led off with a bunt single, Terry fanned the next two batters. Then Willie Mays doubled to right, but Roger Maris' slick fielding stopped Alou at third. As Terry faced Willie McCovey (who had homered off him in Game 2), he must have pondered the home run he had given up to Bill Mazeroski two years earlier to lose the 1960 World Series in Pittsburgh. McCovey lined Terry's third pitch, but it was right at 2B Bobby Richardson, who grabbed it for the Yankees 20th World Championship.     

    1963
    :
    Despite the loss of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris for much of the season due to injury the Yanks dominated the American League, winning the pennant with 104 wins. However, in World Series the Yankees were themselves dominated by the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching, who held them to just four runs in a World Series sweep.

    1964
    :
    The Yankees now managed by Yogi Berra would find winning the pennant a lot more difficult. Yes the Yankees would win 99 games but they needed an 11 game winning streak to eek out the pennant by just one game over the Chicago White Sox. In the World Series the Yankees would fall to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games, as the bat of Tim McCarver, and the dominant pitching of Bob Gibson doomed the Yankees. The series would end up being the last one for the Yankees for 12 years, as Mickey Mantle smacked his record breaking 18th and final World Series Home Run. 

    1965
    :
    The Yankees would make major changes before the season. Yogi was fired, and replaced by Johnny Keane who managed the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1964 World Series. The Yankees were also purchased by CBS, who would only serve to fail the Yankees championship legacy during their period of ownership, as the Yankees 40-year streak of winning seasons came to an end with a disappointing 77-85 record that landed them in sixth Place.

    1966:
    The Yankees fall from grace continued as the team finished in last place with a disappointing 70-89 record.

    1967
    :
    In a 90-loss season, the Yanks third straight losing season the lone highlight comes on Mother's Day at Yankee Stadium when Mickey mantle belts his 500th career Home Run.

    1968
    :
    The Yankees end a three year string of losing season by finishing in fifth Place with a mediocre 83-79 record.

    1969
    :
    Shortly after showing up for Spring Training Mickey Mantle, retires after a great but injury riddled 18-year career. On June 8th, a record crowd turns out for "Mickey Mantle Day" as the Yankees retire his famous Number 7 jersey. The Yanks would struggle in their first season without Mantle finishing in fifth place with an 80-81 record.

    1970:
    Led by outstanding season from Rookie of the Year Thurman Munson the Yankees win 93 games, but fall 15 games short of the division title.

    1971:
    The Yankees play mediocre baseball all season finishing in fourth place with a record of 82-80.

    1972:
    The Yankees only finish six and half games out of first place but still only post a record of 79-76 while landing in fourth place.

    1973:
    On January 3rd (the 53rd anniversary of the Babe Ruth purchase), the Yankees themselves are purchased from CBS by a group headed by a shipping magnate from Cleveland named George M. Steinbrenner. In buying the Yankees, Steinbrenner vows not take a prominent role in the running of the club. In Steinbrenner's first year of ownership the Yankees finish with a disappointing 80-82 record, as Manager Ralph Houk resigns at the end of the season. As Yankees Stadium celebrated its 50th anniversary, plans were being made to completely rebuild and modernize the house that Ruth built. At season's end mementos from the stadium were sold off. The Smithsonian Institute received the bat racks, and bullpen steps. Home plate was given to the widow of Babe Ruth, while Lou Gehrig's widow received 1st Base. Columns supporting the roof, and upper deck were removed to improve sightlines, as a new-cantilevered structure would allow all seats to see the game without obstacle. The playing field was lowered five feet to improve sightlines in the lower decks. The Yankees replaced the old 18-inch wooden seats, with 22-inch plastic seats. The scalloped frieze that was the old stadium's signature on the roof would be replicated on top of the new scoreboard that ran from left field to right. These major changes would take two years to complete, and in that time the Yankees were forced to play their home games at Shea Stadium. 

    1974:
    The Yankees made a late charge but came up two games short in the race for the division with a record of 89-73. In the off-season the fans get a glimpse of the future, as the Yankees sign Jim "Catfish" Hunter, who became a free agent after the Oakland A's ownership was found in breech of contract.  

    1975:
    After the Yankees get off to a disappointing start manger Bill Virdon is fired, and replaced by 1950's Yankee hero Billy Martin. Martin was exiled out of the Yankee kingdom in 1957 after being involved in a fight at the Copacabana, a local New York club. The fight that made headlines also involved Whitey Ford, and Moose Skowron. The feisty Martin was seen by Yankees management as being at fault and was dealt away to the Kansas City A's. In Martin's first season as manager with the Yanks the team finishes in third Place with an 83-79 record. 

    1976
    :
    As the USA celebrated its bicentennial Yankee Stadium celebrated its grand re-opening. Fans were now greeted with 138-foot smokestack shaped like a Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat. The fans also had another spot to visit before games as the monuments that used to be on the field were moved slightly beyond the Left-centerfield seats this area would become known as Monument Park. Fans also got to see the Yankees return to prominence as thy were led by their MVP captain Thurman Munson to win 97 games en-route to the division title. In the ALCS the Yankees face a strong challenge from the Kansas City Royals, beginning a rivalry that would be among baseball's best over the next five years. The series would go the full five games, and as the Royals refused to die. With the Yanks leading 6-3 in the 8th Royals 3B George Brett hit a three run homer to tie the game up setting the stage for one of the stadium's most dramatic moments. With the game still tied in the bottom of the ninth Chris Chambliss led off and hit Mark Littell's first pitch of the inning over the wall in right center to send the Yankees back to the World Series for the first time in 12 years. However, in the series the Yankees ran into one of the best team's in baseball history, as Cincinnati's Big Red Machine swept the Yankees. The lone bright spot for the Yanks was a .529 average from Thurman Munson. After losing the series, Steinbrenner opened his checkbook again signing superstar slugger Reggie Jackson to a five year deal.       

    1977
    :
    Reggie Jackson would arrive to spring full of bluster, and gusto declaring himself the straw that stirs the drink. Not tacking to kindly to this was the feisty Manager Bill Martin who did not want the Yankees to sign Reggie in the first place. Martin, and several other Yankees felt that Thurman Munson the Yankee captain was the one who got the Yankees going and a rift would develop. The Yankees would get off to a slow start as a feud started to simmer between Martin, and Jackson. The feud would boil over on a Saturday in mid-June before a national television audience, when Martin pulled Reggie out of a game in 6th inning at Boston. The 2 began screaming at each other in the dugout, and Billy Martin had to be restrained from going after his star OF. Strangely enough the Yanks thrived under the adverse circumstances and began to gain on the 1st place Red Sox. The Yankees would surge even further in August to gain a foothold on 1st place and won 100 game en-route to their 2nd consecutive ALCS against the Royals. The Royals would prove a pest again and held a 2-1 series lead with the final 2 games in Kansas City. The Yankees would win Game 4 thanks to four hits by Mickey Rivers, and 5.2 innings of scoreless relief by Cy Young winner Sparky Lyle. Things began to look bleak for the Yankees as the trailed the Royals 3-1 in the 8th inning of the fifth and deciding game. However the Yankees would score one run in the eighth, and three in the ninth to pull off another American League Championship and head to their 31st World Series. The Yanks would face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Fall Classic, and Reggie Jackson would step into his "Mr. October" role as Superman. The Yanks won Game 1 in 12 innings as Willie Randolph came home to score after a lead off single. After losing Game 2 the Yanks won Game 3 & 4 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Reggie would hit a Home Run in Game 4 and another in Game 5 (a Yankees loss) to set the stage for a historic Game 6. In the 6th game the Dodgers had an early 3-2 lead, when Reggie who walked in his first AB stepped up to face Burt Hooton with a runner on in the 4th. Reggie would homer on the first pitch he would see. The very next inning now facing Elias Sosa Reggie would homer again on the first pitch to increase the lead to 7-3. Reggie would come up one more time with the sold out Yankee Stadium crown chanting "Reggie, Reggie, Reggie', sounding like an oncoming locomotive. Reggie now facing Charlie Hough would again swing at the first pitch sending it into the black seats in straight away center to put the game and the series out of reach. The Yankees after 15 years were World Champions again, for the 21st time over all.     

    1978:
    In 1977 the Yankees became the "Bronx Zoo" on the way to the World Championship things would only get wilder in 1978. The Yanks were ravaged all throughout the early part of the season with injuries and watched helplessly as the Boston Red Sox pulled away. The lone bright spot was the spectacular pitching of Ron Guidry who dominated AL hitters that year en-route to wining Cy Young with a 25-3 record, and an 1.74 ERA. Injury would turn into frustration as the Yankees fell into fourth place 14 games out of first on July 19th. That day Bill Martin would suspend Reggie Martin for insubordination. On July 25th Billy himself would be forced to resign after making unflattering comments about Reggie, and Yankees boss George Steinbrenner. A few days later Billy would smooth things out and plans were all ready in place for his return to the bench down the road. The man who would fill Martin's role the rest of the season was a complete opposite of the fiery manager; Bob Lemon preferred the quiet and laid back approach. In August the Yankees began to get healthy and made a last ditch charge for the division. While the Yankees began to roar back to life the 1st place Red Sox began to struggle. The stage was set on September 7th for the Yankees to make their move, four games out, with a four game series in Fenway Park. The Yankees not only made their move, they dominated the Sox, sweeping the series later called  "The Boston Massacre" by a combined score of 42-9. A week later the Yankees would take another two of three at Yankee Stadium against the Sox to pull a head by two and half games. However, Boston caught their bearings and would catch the Yankees on the final day of the season setting the stage for of the greatest games in baseball history. With the two teams tied at the end of the season with identical 99-63 records a one game playoff, held at Fenway Park. The Yankees sent their ace Ron Guidry against Mike Torrez who helped the Yankees in 1977. Torrez had shut down the Yankees through the first six innings and with the help of Carl Yastrzemski Home Run held a 2-0 lead. With two on in the seventh inning Torrez faced light-hitting Short Stop Bucky Dent who changed bats after fouling a ball of his foot. Teammate Mickey Rivers told Dent this bat had a homer in it. Dent stepped up and hit a ball over the Green Monster that gave Yankees a 3-2 lead. Reggie Jackson would extend the Yanks lead in the eighth to 5-2, but the Sox would come back to make it a 1 run game. In the ninth Boston threatened again Jerry Remy ripped a one out hit down the line it would have brought Rick Burleson the tying run to thirrd but Lou Piniella held him at second when he reached blindly for the ball and snared it. After a long pop fly by Jim Rice that would have plated Burleson if not for Piniella's play Goose Gossage ended the game when he got Yastrzemski to pop up weekly to third to win the game and the division for the Yankees.

    1978:
    The Yankees facing the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS again, were forced to start rookie Jim Beatie in the series opener. Beatie who struggled all year came through in the opener and got the Yanks off to a flying start. After losing Game 2 the Yankees headed home to the Bronx for Game 3. In Game 3 Catfish Hunter was victimized by 3 HR from George Brett. However, a two run homer and three RBI from Reggie wearing his MR. October superman suit again kept the Yanks in the game. In the eighth with Yanks still trailing 5-4 Thurman Munson smacked a two run homer over the monuments to put the Yanks out and front in the game and the series. Ron Guidry who allowed just one 1st inning run, won Game 4 by a score 2-1 to send the Yanks to their 3rd straight World Series. In the series the Yanks were matched up against the Los Angeles Dodgers again. After losing the first two in Los Angeles the Yankees desperately needed Game 3. In the third game Guidry's stuff was a little off and the Dodgers smacked him around all game, except when they smacked the ball it was usually at 3B Graig Nettles. Nettles saved at least six runs as the Yankees won the game 5-1 to get back in the series. Comebacks would be the story of Game 4 as the Yanks fell behind early 3-0, the Yankees would go on to roar all the way back and win the game on Lou Piniella's single in the 10th. The final 2 games would be easily won by the Yanks who won their 22nd World Championship. Two un-sung heroes SS Bucky Dent who had 10 hits en-route to being named series MVP, and Brian Doyle who had seven hits in 16 At Bats playing for the injured Willie Randolph at 2B aided the Yankees in the series.

    1979:
    The Yankees would get off to another slow start, however this time there would be no comeback. Goose Gossage was lost for large part of the season after a clubhouse fight with Cliff Johnson. In an attempt to duplicate the magic of 1978 Billy Martin replaced Bob Lemon 65 games into the season, but this time there would be no surge, and the 1st place Baltimore Orioles were not about to collapse. On an off day on August 2nd the season would take a shocking tragic turn for the worse. Captain Thurman Munson who grew up and still lived in Akron, Ohio would routinely fly home on off days to be with his family. However, on this occasion Munson who was flying a single engine plane would not make it. Flying with his instructor Munson crash-landed and was unable to escape the burning wreckage. Munson was only 32, and the sorrow would hang a black cloud over the rest of the season. The Yankees who retired Munson's Number 15 immediately would face the Orioles in a key weekend series and lose the first three games. The fourth game of the series would take place in front of a Nationwide Monday Night Audience. After attending his funeral the heavy hearted Yanks were on the verge of being swept when a ninth inning rally led by Bobby Murcer who served as one of Munson's pall bearers earlier in the day won the game. The Yankees would win 89 games, but would only finish fourth in a difficult season. After the season the Billy Martin soap opera would take another strange turn. Billy Martin had been arrested and charged with assault. The man Martin attacked happened to be a marshmallow salesman, and the New York Tabloids ate the story alive. This would lead to Billy losing his job for the second time.

    1980:
    Now under the management of Dick Howser the Yankees led by 41 Home Runs from Reggie Jackson and 22 wins from Tommy John win 103 games to narrowly hold of the Baltimore Orioles for the Al East title. The Yankees would face the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS again, but this time the Bronx Bombers would fall in three straight. After the season Howser is chosen as the scapegoat and fired by George Steinbrenner. The Yankees also sign star free agent Dave Winfield to a ten year contract, this would be the start of another bizarre soap opera in the Bronx Zoo.   

    1981
    :
    With new manager Gene Michael the Yankees get off to a good start and are in first place when a two month player strike interrupts the season. Being in first place at that point earned the Yanks a post-season berth, but after the Yankees start to struggle in the second-half Michael is replaced at the helm by Bob Lemon. The Yankees would go on to finish in sixth place in the season's second half posting a 59-48 overall record. The Yankees win the first two games of the AL East Division Series against the Milwaukee Brewers. However, the Yankees would almost let it slip away and would need to win a 5th and deciding game after dropping game 3 and 4 at the stadium. In the ALCS the Yankees faced the Oakland A's, who were managed by Billy Martin. Surprisingly the series is no contest as the Yankees win three straight on their way to facing the Los Angels Dodgers in the World Series. The Yankees would win the first two games of the fall classic, but would fall in six games in a reversal of the 1978 series. No pitcher would illustrate Yankee futility better than George Frazer, who lost three games in relief. Also receiving criticism is Dave Winfield who only gets one hit in 22 World Series at-bats, and gets the nickname Mr. May from an irate George Steinbrenner. The Yankees would also lose Reggie Jackson who leaves for California after a poor season. Steinbrenner would later call not resigning Reggie as one of the biggest mistakes he ever made. The Yankees would not make it back to the World Series for 15 years.

    1982
    :
    The Yankees suffer through a year of turbulence as the team goes through three managers, while narrowly avoiding a last place finish with a disappointing 79-83 record. After the awful season the Yankees would rehire Billy Martin to be the Manager.

    1983:
    Two bizarre incidents, and a July 4th No Hitter by Dave Righetti highlight the season. The 1st bizarre incident happens in Toronto when Dave Winfield accidentally kills a seagull with a warm up throw. Toronto police viewing the seagull as a national bird arrest the Yankees slugger for Animal Cruelty. Winfield would be released after a few hours and the charges would be dropped. The other bizarre incident took place on July 24th in a game with the Kansas City Royals. With the Yanks up 4-3 and two outs in the ninth inning noted Yankee killer George Brett hits a two run homer giving Kansas City a 5-4 lead. However, Yankees catcher Rick Cerone and Billy Martin argue that there is too much pine tar on Brett's bat, trying to take advantage of on obscure rule. Pine Tar is a sticky substance used on bats to avoid losing control of the bat and hurting someone. However, there is a rule stating that pine tar can not be higher that 18 inches up the handle, umpires using home plate as a measuring toll determine there is too much pine tar and rule Brett out. This would send the Royals star into an absolute rage having to be restrained by half the Royals team from attacking the umpires. The Royals appeal would eventually be upheld and the Yankees would lose the game 5-4. The Yanks would go on to win 91 games, but after coming up seven games short for the division Billy Martin is fired again.
    1984
    :
    In a season where the Yankees finish a distant third place with an 87-75 record, Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield battle down to the final day of the season for the batting crown. Mattingly who is playing is his first full season as the Yankees 1B, wins the title by three one hundredths of appoint over Winfield.  

    1985:
    The Yankees who acquired speedster Rickey Henderson from the Oakland Athletics expected to win the division. However, with Rickey missing much of the first 3 weeks the Yankees get off to
    4.1 (2 Ratings)