My 5 things you didn’t know about the New York Yankees include a tidbit about their original name, which isn’t the New York Highlanders. With spring training in full swing, it’s time to learn some not so well-known information about the 2009 World Champions. These 5 things you didn’t know about the New York Yankees aren’t in any particular order. The Bronx Bombers’ history is full of interesting trivia.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About The New York Yankees Item 1: The Team Originated in Baltimore
According to UltimateYankees.com, this iconic sports franchise played two seasons as the Baltimore Orioles in 1901 and 1902 before they relocated to New York in 1903, when the name was changed to the Highlanders after Frank Farrell and Bill Devery paid just $18,000 for the team. The team’s first year in New York saw them go 72-62, which is respectable, but still 17 games behind the Boston Americans.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About The New York Yankees Item 2: The Team Has Played the Boston Red Sox the Most Times in Home Openers
According to Baseball-Almanac.com, through the 2009 season, the home openers for the Bronx Bombers have seen them go 72-36-1 against opponents, with 14 of those wins coming against the Boston Red Sox, the most victories against any team on this special day in the baseball season. But since these two teams have played 24 times, the New York Yankees have also lost the most games against their heated rivals 9 times. There was one tie, 4-4, on April 14, 1910. The only team the Yanks have a losing record against in home openers is the Detroit Tigers (2-3). In 2010, they will open against the Los Angeles Angels on April 13, who they beat in1-0 on April 10, 1968 (the only time the Angels have been the home opener prior).
5 Things You Didn’t Know About The New York Yankees Item 3: The Famous Pinstripes Were Originally Black, Not Navy Blue
According to Yankees.com, this team first donned the famous pinstripes to open their home season in 1912, but they were in black, not the navy blue that we see today (even though they can look black since they are really dark). The navy blue pinstripes would become a permanent fixture on the home uniforms beginning in 1915.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About The New York Yankees Item 4: Only Derek Jeter Has Been Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year
Sports Illustrated has been around since 1954, so Bronx Bomber fans might think that Mickey Mantle must’ve won this prestigious honor, especially since he won the Triple Crown in 1956. What about Roger Maris for his feat of 61 home runs in 1961 or even Ron Guidry, who went 25-3 in the 1978 season with a 1.74 ERA? None of these men ever got that honor. It took until last year, when Derek Jeter became the first Yankee to get this milestone. According to Big League Stew, his winning netted him his 12th cover shot on the magazine overall.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About The New York Yankees Item 5: Babe Ruth’s 1923 Home Run Bat that “Christened” Yankee Stadium’s Opening was the 3rd Sports Memorabilia Item to Fetch 1 Million Dollars-Plus at Auction
On April 18, 1923, Babe Ruth hit the first home run at the Old Yankee Stadium, a 3 run job that beat the Bosox 4-1, according to Wikipedia. According to Google News, that bat became the third piece of sports memorabilia to fetch over a million dollars at auction when it was sold in 2004 for 1.265 million dollars (including commission) to a private bidder. Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball from 1998 fetched three million and Honus Wagner’s 1909 baseball card got 1.265 million prior.
Sources for this article about 5 things you didn’t know about the New York Yankees:
Welcome to the Yankee History Page:
New York Yankees Opening Day History: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/opening_day/odschedule.php?t=NYA, Baseball-Almanac.com
Yankee Uniforms and Logos:
Ron Guidry: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/guidrro01.shtml, Baseball-Reference.com
‘Duk: Derek Jeter is first Yankee to be named SI’s Sportsman of the Year:
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Derek-Jeter-is-first-Yankee-to-be-named-SI-s-Spo?urn=mlb,205545, November 30, 2009, Big League Stew (Yahoo! Sports Blog)
Yankee Stadium (1923): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yankee_Stadium_(1923), Wikipedia
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1346&dat=20041203&id=LS8xAAAAIBAJ&sjid=D_4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=1228,1325257, Google News, featuring AP writer Larry McShane’s article “The Price for Babe Ruth’s Bat Is a Big Hit”, appearing at the Lakeland Ledger December 3, 2004