Sunday April 05, 2015
The Decline and Fall of the New York Yankees ... Kinda Sorta
When I was reading Marty Appel's history of the New York Yankees, “Pinstripe Empire: From the Babe to the Boss,” I was really looking forward to 1965. You know why.
From 1921 to 1964, a span of 43 years, the Yankees won 29 pennants and 20 world championships. Essentially they were in two out of every three World Series (67% of them), while winning nearly half of all Series titles in those years (46% of them). No wonder author Douglass Wallop had to enlist Satan to stop them. (And of course, Satan is really a Yankees fan, so he wasn't much help.)
Their run ended in '64, the year after I was born. For 10 years, they sucked. Then Steinbrenner instigated their rise (late '70s), fall (the '80s), rise again ('96-'03) and fall again (post-'09). Since '64, the Yankees have won 11 pennants (22%) and seven titles (14%)—paltry numbers compared to what they did before.
That's why I was so looking forward to 1965.
But I wondered: Sure, the Yankees in my lifetime have paled compared to the dynasty years. But how do their numbers stack up again the rest of Major League Baseball?
Yeah. Still on top. And in terms of World Series titles, it's not even close:
MLB Pennants and Titles Since 1964
|Team||Pennants||World Series titles|
This is why I root against them. Even after their fall, they're still the most successful team in baseball.
This 1966 Topps card displays the previous year's sixth-place finish of the former World Champions. The '66 team would do it better, finishing in last place in the A.L. for the first time since 1908. Can you name the only other year the Yankees finished in last place?