The New York Yankees, with 27 World Series titles, are the most successful major league baseball team in history. The New York Yankees have a history of star players that would fill a team of baseball All Time Greats with the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter.
The New York Yankees franchise began playing in the new American League in 1901. Orginally they were in Baltimore and known as the Orioles. The franchised moved to New York in 1903 and began playing their home games at a new ballpark in Manhatten. The ballpark was one of the highest points in the city and was called Hilltop Park. The team became known as the Highlanders but were only mildly successful over the next decade.
When the National Leagues New York Giants lost their home, the Polo Grounds, to a fire in 1911, they shared Hilltop park with the Highlanders for a few years. When the new Polo Grounds opened in 1913, both clubs began playing at the new park and the American Leagues club nickname Highlanders was abandoned for the more popular name, Yankees. The New York Yankees became the American League clubs official name in 1913.
When the Yankees acquired Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox in 1918, they began their official dynasty. After drawing more fans to the Polo Grounds than their National League counterpart Giants and appearing in thier first World Series in 1921 which the lost to the Giants, they were asked to leave the Polo Grounds. The New York Yankees broke ground on a new ballpark in the Bronx across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds later that year. The Yankees lost the World Series to the Giants for the second season in a row in 1922 and in 1923, they moved into their new home, Yankees Stadium. For the 3rd year in a row the Yankees and Giants would meet in the World Series. This time the Yankees won and captured their first of 27 World Series titles.
In 1929 the Yankees became the first baseball team to make numbers a permanent part of the uniform. The other major league teams quickly followed and by 1932, uniform numbers became standard for all major league teams. The initial designation of numbers for the Yankees was made according to the player’s position in the batting order. So, in 1929 the leadoff batter Earle Combs wore #1, and Mark Koenig was #2, Babe Ruth was #3, Lou Gehrig #4, Bob Meusel #5, Tony Lazzeri #6, Leo Durocher #7, Johnny Grabowski #8, Benny Bengough #9, Bill Dickey #10.
The Yankees went to 3 straight World Series again in 1927 – 1929 winning two of those Series behind stars like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and manager Miller Huggins. The Yankees won the World Series in 1932 over the Chicago Cubs behind manager Joe McCarty and stars Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri. In 1936 they Yankees began a string of 4 straight World Series titles and 6 out of 7 in a span of 8 seasons. That dyansty was led by Joe Dimaggio and manager Joe McCarthy. The Yankees won the World Series in 1947 under manager Bucky Harris but Harris was replaced in 1949 by Casey Stengel. Stengel led the Yankees to 5 striaght World Series titles from 1949-1953 with stars like Yogi Berra, Joe Dimaggio and Phil Rizzuto. From 1949-1958 the Yankees appeared in 9 World Series and won 7. After an off season in 1954, the Yankees were back in the Series in 1955, loosing to the Dodgers, and would reach the Series 9 more times from 1955 – 1964 winning 4 more World Series titles. In a span of 18 seasons, the Yankees had won 15 AL pennants and 10 World Series titles. An unprecedented stretch likely to never be seen again in major league baseball.
After the 1964 World Series loss to the St Louis Cardinals, the Yankees hit a long drought of futility. Over the next 11 seasons the Yankees would finished below .500 on 5 occassions and finish 2nd only once. In 1976, the Yankees would find new glory winning the AL pennant behind manager Billy Martin and stars like Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson. The Yankees won the World Series in 1977 and again in 1978 over the National League Los Angeles Dodgers. They won the AL penant in 1981 but this time lost the World Series to the Dodgers. After the 1981 season the Yankees would see their longest stretch of futility since their beginnings in 1901. They failed to reach the World Series and the playoffs for the next 13 seasons.
The Yankees newest dyanasty began in 1995 when they reached the playoffs for the fist time in 14 seasons. The Yankees won the World Series in 1996 behind new stars like Derek Jeter and Marino Rivera and manager Joe Torre. After loosing in the AL Playoffs in 1997, the Yankees won the next 3 World Series titles in 1998-2000. After loosing in the Playoffs and 2 World Series from 2001 – 2007, the New York Yankees won their 27th and last World Series title in 2009 behind stars Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Manager Joe Girardi.
The Yankees lost in the AL Playoffs in 2010 and 2011 but expectations remain high for the most storied franchise in baseball history.