Cleat Geeks

Old School Saturday; Baseball Yankee Dynasty

Babe Ruth New York YankeesA sports franchise relishes the title “Dynasty.”   The Montreal Canadians in hockey, the Vince Lombardi led Green Bay Packers and the Red Auerbach Boston Celtics.  All three teams are worthy of the dynasty label, but the number one dynasty of all teams is, without a doubt, the New York Yankees.

Love them or hate them, the Yankees are synonymous with World Series Championships, twenty-seven in all.

The Yankees dominated the game.  A period of time from 1950 until 1962, the Yanks were in the World Series eleven times, winning eight.

The Yankee dynasty began in the 1920’s with the arrival of a strong left-handed slugger named Babe Ruth. Babe was known as the “Bambino” and “Sultan of Swat.” Yankee players had nicknames that lasted until today. Babe was joined by Lou Gehrig, the “Iron Horse” and Tony “Push Em Up” Lazzeri.  “Murderers Row”, the 1927 Yankees, are recognized by many baseball experts as the greatest team of all-time.

With Babe Ruth setting records for home runs and Lou Gehrig setting a consecutive games played record, the Yankees were now the Kings of the Baseball World.Murderers--Row

The Yankees seem to always replace one legend with another.  After Ruth and Gehrig, here comes Joe DiMaggio.  Joe D was also known as “Joltin Joe” and the “Yankee Clipper”. DiMaggio was known for his record fifty-six game hitting streak and his marriage to Marilyn Monroe.  Joe was also the leader of nine Yankee World Series wins. The Yankees during this period were known as the “Bronx Bombers.”

Exit Joe enter Mickey Mantle. Mickey was a larger than life figure, massive forearms, blonde hair and an infectious smile. Mickey arguably the game’s best switch hitter led the Yankees to the most dominant period of any team in baseball history. The Yankees of the 50’s were loaded with the likes of Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and Elston Howard.

The advent of television in more homes during the 1950’s added to the Yankees lore. The Yanks were yearly participants in the fall classic.  The whole nation became familiar with the Yanks and their famous pin striped uniforms.

The Yankee and Brooklyn Dodger’s World Series games were fierce. Don Larsen’s perfect game and Jackie Robinson’s stealing of home plate highlighted the New York rivalry.

The Yankees of the 50’s and early 60’s were like rock stars of today.  The Yankees would pack visiting ballparks. People would call in sick and plan vacations to get a glimpse of the Yankees in live action.

In 1961 the Yankees coming off a 1960 seventh game World Series loss to the Pirates, captured the National eye once again.

Mantle&MarisMickey Mantle and Roger Maris assaulted Babe Ruth’s single season home run record of 60.  The nation watched Yankee games to see if one of the M and M boys homered.

Maris went on to break The Babe’s record while Mantle suffered a late season injury to fall short. Maris’ record was marked with an asterisk, by the commissioner, for breaking it in 162 games while Ruth did it in 154.

Yankee managers and owners are also names well known to Old School and modern day fans.  Col. Jacob Ruppert to Don Topping, Del Webb and Larry McPhail to CBS and finally George Steinbrenner and family were the Yankee owners. Miller Huggins, Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel and Joe Torre won multiple championships as Yankee managers.

The Babe, Lou, Joe D, Mickey, Yogi, Whitey, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Thurman Munson, a great Yankee catcher who died in a plane crash on August 2, 1979, are Yankee names known to all generation baseball fans.

The Yankees will always be the standard bearer of greatness in baseball history.  Love them or hate them but respect them for being the greatest Sports Dynasty ever.

Next week Old School baseball announcers.

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