American League baseball franchise founded in 1901, which played its first two seasons in Baltimore as the Orioles. After moving to New York in 1903 and playing at Hilltop Park in Manhattan, they became known as the Highlanders. Their most famous player at this point was pitcher Jack Chesbro, who in 1904 set a record, which will undoubtedly never be broken, of 41 victories in a single season.
The team changed their name to the Yankees in 1913 after they moved into the Polo Grounds, which they shared with the National League's New York Giants. In 1915, the team was purchased by Colonel Jacob Ruppert, who initiated the famous pinstripe uniforms the following season. It wasn't until 1920, however when the Yankees purchased Babe Ruth's contract from the Boston Red Sox, that the team became a powerhouse. In 1921 and 1922 they won the American League pennant but lost each time to the Giants in what was the first two subway series. However, they outdrew the Giants, thanks largely to Ruth's heroics, and it soon became obvious that they needed a home of their own.
In 1923, they moved across the East River to the Bronx and celebrated by winning their first World Series, once again against the Giants. Throughout the 1920's the Yankees were a dominant team, especially in 1927, when they were dubbed "Murderer's Row" with the likes of Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, and the wonderfully named Urban Shocker. In 1929, they sported another innovation, uniform numbers, which in those days merely signified where the player batted in order, hence Babe Ruth was number 3, batting third and Gehrig number 4, batting cleanup.
The Yankees domination continued throughout the 1930's. The 1937 team in particular boasted both Lou Gehrig and a new up and comer named Joe Dimaggio. However, Gehrig's health took a turn for the worse during the next season when he developed ALS, an incurable muscular disease, which forced him to retire.
The Yankees continued their winning ways becoming the dominant baseball franchise though the early 1960's So dominant, in fact, that they could even win with Casey Stengel, a manager who had failed with just about every other team he had skippered.
After a sale to CBS in the mid 1960's the Yankees went into a steep and sudden decline. They even finished in last place in 1966, something unthinkable just a few years previously. Fortunately, there was a rescuer, albeit a controversial one in Cleveland area shipbuilder George Steinbrenner who purchased the club in 1973. The Yankees soon returned to greatness winning the World Series in 1977 and 1978 behind the home run hitting heroics of Reggie Jackson and much to the chagrin of Boston Red Sox fans, Bucky Dent.
The 1980's were a frustrating decade for the team as they were generally competitive but could not seem to get over the hump and win a championship. The 1980's became known as the "decade of lean" and was particularly tragic for the team's best player in this era, Don Mattingly.
In 1996, the Yankees began a new dynasty by winning the World Series in four of the next five years, behind such stars as Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter. As one can imagine, the Yankees have by far and away the largest number of retired uniforms. They are: