Greatest Sports Franchises - New York Yankees

They are one of North America’s most successful sports franchises, beating out the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens’ record of 24 championships in 1999. The New York Yankees were founded in 1901 as the original Baltimore Orioles. Moving to New York two years later, the team has since gone on to showcase some of the most famous names in baseball history, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Yogi Berra, to name only a few. And while they are adored by their fans, they are hated by pretty much everyone else. It’s lonely at the top. In this video, WatchMojo.com continues our series on the Greatest Sports Franchises of All Time with a look at the New York Yankees.
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Most Successful Franchise


Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees are one of the most successful professional sports franchises in North America. Nicknamed the Bronx Bombers for their unparalleled hitting, they surpassed the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens’ record of 24 championship wins in 1999.

A 9-year Drought


After a threepeat in the late 1990s, the Bombers went on a 9-year drought which ended in 2009 when they won their 27th championship.

The Early Years


The team plays in the American League’s East Division and was one of the AL’s eight charter franchises. After being founded in Baltimore as the original Orioles back in 1901, the club moved to New York City in 1903. They were first named the New York Highlanders, until being rechristened the "Yankees" in 1913.

Historic Yankee Stadium


Legendary Yankee Stadium was the club’s home from 1923 to 2008. This ballpark served as a home for some the best ballplayers of all time; including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Yogi Berra. By 2010, the Yankees boasted 44 players in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and 16 retired numbers.

Record-Setting Players


Following the 1919 season, Ruth was sold to the Yankees by the Boston Red Sox. From 1923 to 1935, Ruth and Gehrig both terrorized pitchers while setting numerous home run and RBI records. With New York, pitcher-turned-outfielder Babe Ruth even elevated his game: his record of 60 home runs in one season stood until Roger Maris, another Yankee, broke it with 61 in 1961. Having played 8 games more than Ruth, Maris’ record was marked with an asterisk until Mark McGwire shattered the record with 73 – under rather dubious circumstances, mind you.

Joltin' Joe


The years between 1936 and 1951 marked the era of Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio’s. This all-star set a record of 56 consecutive games with a hit – a record that stands to this day. Like Babe Ruth, DiMaggio too was a larger-than-life character, marrying Marilyn Monroe in 1954.

The Dynamic Duo


In the 1960s, Maris shared the spotlight with Mickey Mantle, another Yankee Great. The duo led the Yanks to World Series championships in both 1961 and 1962. However the team was finally defeated the next year in a clean sweep by the LA Dodgers.

From CBS to Steinbrenner


After being purchased by CBS in 1964, the team did not win a single World Series until 1977. Things started to turn around in 1973, however, when a group of investors led by Cleveland-based shipbuilder George Steinbrenner took over the team for a paltry $8.7 million. The next few years were rebuilding seasons: Steinbrenner first hired former second baseman Billy Martin as manager in the middle of the 1975 season. He would go on to hire and fire Martin five times over the next 13 years. But it wasn’t until 1976 when Steinbrenner acquired slugger Reggie Jackson that things really started looking up. Jackson went on to electrify fans as Mr. October during the post season and World Series, helping the Bronx Bombers win it all in 1977 and 1978.

Decades of Struggle


After that triumph, the club struggled between the late 70s to the 1990s, despite boasting talented players such as Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson. Nonetheless, the Yankees failed to win another championship, and at the end of the 1995 season, Steinbrenner replaced skipper Buck Showalter with Joe Torre.

The rest, as the say, is history.

Back and Better Than Ever


Led by an all-star roster that included pitchers Andy Pettite, David Cone, Mariano Rivera and perennial gold glover Derek Jeter, the Yankees went on to win, and win big: in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Another Drought


Following the 9/11 attacks, the Yankees failed to win despite luring big-name free agents such as Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez. In 2004, the Yanks even lost to their arch-rivals, the Boston Red Sox after being up 3-0 in the ALCS – ultimately ending Boston’s 86-year drought and the Curse of the Bambino.

One Chapter Closes...


The club played their final game in Yankee Stadium in 2008 and moved into their new digs, just in time to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series for their 27th World Series title.
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