The New York Yankees tickets
Baseball. It has been called America’s greatest past time, America’s national sport and even America’s national religion. It is the most loved game in the region and amongst the most followed sports around the world. Major League Baseball (MLB) is the oldest professional sports league in the US and features thirty teams on its roster, each consisting of some of the best players the world has ever seen. It attracts over eighty million people each year and its profits are measured in billions. All this is a testament to the amazing popularity baseball enjoys all over the country and the influence it has on American society as a whole. There are movies, television shows, books, music and even theater shows made on the subject and there is no stopping it just yet.
As baseball continues to grow, so do the legends associated with it. These not only include the great players that dedicated their lives to the game, but also the teams that have carried the torch over all these years, and managed to build up sporting dynasties to rival all others. One of the biggest examples of such a team is the New York Yankees. The Yanks were created over a hundred years ago, and in all this time they have managed to reach the absolute pinnacle of baseball. Not a lot of teams have managed to dominate their respective league for such a long time; however they have made a habit out of it, and are expected to continue their unbelievable run in the future as well.
The creation of the Yankees took several years and led to numerous changes in the baseball landscape. The sport had been thriving in the country for years, when Ban Johnson, the president of the 'Western League,' decided to rebrand this minor league in order to compete with the ‘National League (NL),' the only major baseball league at the time. In 1901 he set up the ‘American League (AL),' which would feature eight teams, each representing a specific city. Since they were attempting to challenge the opposing league on a regular basis, they tried to form new teams in cities with well established NL franchises, in order to capture some of their fan base.
This strategy did not go down well with some of the rival teams, with the owner of the NL's New York Giants in particular opposed to this plan. He used his political clout in the city to stop the formation of any new baseball franchises, and in turn forced the AL to turn their attentions to the city of Baltimore. The newly established side, called the Baltimore Orioles, was finally created in 1901, under the tutelage of part owner and player-manager, John McGraw.
Problems in Baltimore
McGraw was a well-known and experienced baseball player who had been involved in the game for many years before he became a player-manager for the Orioles. He had held a similar role in previous teams as well, and was known to be a remarkably gifted tactician. However he soon had a falling out with Johnson, and they got into several arguments about the way the team was being managed. This infighting went on for a long while, despite the fact that the franchise managed to end their debut year with a winning season record, and came in fifth in the league.
Johnson had never really given up hope of establishing an AL team in New York and it was widely accepted that this became the root cause of the problem between him and McGraw. Finally in their second season, McGraw quit as the player-manager for the team and joined the New York Giants in the same capacity. He also sold his shares in the Orioles to his new side, which then used this power to acquire most of the players on their squad roster. It wasn't until the team from Baltimore found itself unable to play a regular game due to an insufficient number of players that Johnson and the AL had to step in to put a stop on the NL's underhanded attempts at undermining their league as well as their franchise.
The AL was outraged with the Giants and accused them of stealing their players. Before things got too out of hand however, both leagues decided to have a meeting with all team owners. This was a historic occasion because, during this meeting, not only did both sides promise to stop poaching each other's players, they also decided to set up a season ending game featuring the winners of each league, which would then be called the World Series.
Move to New York
The meeting was truly historic, because the NL made one more concession that the AL had been after for a very long time. All team owners, except for the owner of the Giants, agreed to let the AL establish a franchise in New York. Soon after, the Orioles were moved into their new home in NYC at the American League Park, or, as it later came to be known, Hilltop Park. The team's name was changed to the Highlanders, due to the elevated position of their home ground, as well as after the Scottish military unit ‘the Gordon Highlanders.' The Yankees name came in early 1904, when New York Press Sports Editor Jim Price started calling them that in order for their name to fit into his newspaper headlines. He did not realize it at the time, the impact it would have and what the name would come to represent in just a few years.
American League East Division
The AL East division was created in 1969 after the ten teams in the league were divided into two separate groups, with the top two teams from each advancing to the conference playoffs. The East division has traditionally always been highly competitive, however that has not stopped the Yankees from dominating it over the years. They have won the highest number of titles in the division's history, with eighteen titles to their name, starting with their first title back in 1976. Their best run in the division came between 1996 and 2006, when they managed to win ten titles, with nine coming in consecutive seasons. Their last win came in 2012 when they, ironically, beat the Baltimore Orioles three games to two, in what proved to be a very close encounter.
American League Pennant
The AL features some of the most dominant sides in the entire MLB. However the Yankees seem to be playing in a league of their own, as they make a habit out of winning. They have managed to set the record for the highest number of Pennants won in AL history, with forty wins to their name, in fifty two playoff appearances. To put this number in perspective, the second placed franchise, the Oakland Athletics, have only managed fifteen so far, which is less than half the number won by the Yanks.
Their first AL pennant came way back in 1921, and at the time they managed to win five more in the next seven years. Even though they have generally been consistent in their conference, their best run came between 1947 and 1964 when they managed to win fifteen AL pennants, twice winning five titles in a row during this run. Their last pennant came in 2009, when they managed to beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the conference finals, and advanced to the World Series, where they faced off against the Philadelphia Phillies, a game they would also win.
The World Series
The Yankees played a big part in the formation of the World Series, and then went on to dominate it as well. To add to their previous records, the team set the record for the highest number of World Series title wins, with twenty seven to date. These wins have come in a total of forty appearances, which in itself is a record, with no other side making it to the finals on that many occasions. Again, signs of their amazing dominance are evident, as the team with the second highest wins, the St. Louis Cardinals, have won the series only eleven times, in nineteen appearances, which is again less than half of the record set by ‘the Bronx Bombers.'
The Yankees qualified for the World Series for the first time in 1921, alongside the New York Giants, and both teams managed to repeat this feat over the next two consecutive seasons as well. The Yanks lost the first series after a close fought encounter, and found themselves on the losing end the following season as well. It was finally in 1923 that they managed to beat the Giants four games to two, and win their first World Series title in history. Their best run came between 1947 and 1953, when they managed to win six titles within seven years, while they won their last championship in 2009, by beating the Philadelphia Phillies four game to two in the finals.
The Yankees have been blessed by some of the greatest batters the game has ever seen, and there was no one greater than Babe Ruth. He started his career at their fierce rivals, the Boston Red Sox, but truly made his name with ‘the Pinstripers,' forcing baseball fans everywhere to buy the New York Yankees tickets. He holds numerous batting records for the Yanks, including records for Batting average (.349), On-base percentage(.484), Slugging percentage (.711), On-base plus slugging (1.195), Runs (1,959), Total bases (5,131), Home runs (659)and Walks (1,852).
Not many people thought that a player like Ruth would ever be seen again in the blue and white pinstripes, and that maybe true; but there were some who got really close. Ruth's own teammate, Lou Gehrig did some amazing things in his time, being named AL MVP twice and setting the team records for Triples (163) and Runs batted in (1995). More recently Derek Jeter has captured the imagination of Yankees fans with his dynamic batting displays which helped him set records for Plate appearances (12,602), At bats (11,195) Hits (3,465) Singles (2,595), Doubles (544), Stolen bases (358) and Games played (2,747).
The quality of pitchers playing for the franchise may have varied with time, but there is no denying that some pretty remarkable players have pitched for the Yankees over all these years. One of the greatest was Baseball Hall of Famer, Whitey Ford. He won six World Series titles with the team, and was even voted as the series MVP in 1961. He was a ten-time all star and set the team records for Wins (236), Shutouts (45), and Innings pitched (3,170). He also shares the record for Games started (438) with another Yankee pitching legend, Andy Pettitte.
Pettitte was a five-time World Series champion with the Yanks, and played for them for fifteen years. In that time he set the record for Strikeouts with 2,020 to his name so far. Another pitching great was Mariano Rivera who not only managed to set multiple team records, but also several that have never been beaten by any player in the MLB. He held the team and AL record for Games played, with eleven hundred and fifteen games as well as the team and MLB records for Saves (652) and Games finished (952).
What Comes Next?
Last year, the Yankees played their 115th season of baseball and managed to continue their amazing 23-year old run of posting winning season records. They won 87 games, and lost 75, finishing at number two in the AL East. They managed to qualify for the wildcard game, but they lost out in the end and were unable to qualify for the conference finals.
However, in spite of their loss, they have shown great improvement over the last few seasons, and gave a glimpse of the quality they still possess. With just a few quality acquisitions for their squad, many believe the Yankees will once again be ready to challenge for all the major titles, and show the baseball world what it has been missing all these years. So get the New York Yankees tickets and catch them live in action.