New York Yankees with Another Post-Season Appearance

There was a party in the Bronx on Sept. 19 when a dream became a reality. Manager of the New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, led his team to be champions of the American League East Division for the first time in seven years and make their third consecutive post-season appearance. Boone also became the first manager to win one hundred games in his first two seasons as manager of a team. The Yankees had a 9-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, and they wasted no time celebrating. Players were interviewed in the lively clubhouse about their thoughts on winning the division and moving forward to October while being drenched and sprayed with champagne. This is the Yankees’ 55th post-season appearance and their first division title since 2012.

When people think of America, the term “Yankees” surely comes to mind. However, even the greatest of greats do not start on top. The New York Yankees, originally formed as the Baltimore Orioles, were purchased by Frank Farrell and Bill Devery in 1903 for a price of $18,000, which is the equivalent of over $500,000 in today’s money. After the team was moved to New York, they were known as the Highlanders, and their home field was the highest point in Manhattan, Hilltop Park. Before the 1920s, when the Yankees truly became the magnificent franchise they are today, the history of the organization is uneventful. That all changed when Boston Red Sox manager Ed Barrow sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees. He became “The Great Bambino” and set the precedent for the team’s success in the coming decades.

Many other players proceeded after Ruth: Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Roger Marris, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter were all greats of their respective eras. Today, they are remembered as legends who helped the team become dominant in baseball. Since Ruth joined the team in December of 1919, the Yankees have achieved 40 World Series appearances, 27 World Series victories, and 40 American League Pennants. The Yankees are dubbed the most successful franchise in the history of Major League Baseball and in the world of sports. Despite all this fame, the past few years have not been as action packed as the franchise or fans have expected. Their last World Series appearance was in 2009, and this year, the team suffered when several impactful players got injured and were on the Injured List (IL).

From injuries to power-hitters at the plate, like outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, shortstop Didi Gregorius, centerfielder Aaron Hicks, right fielder Aaron Judge, first baseman Luke Voit, and catcher Gary Sánchez, their season seemed in distress to many. They also lost starting and relieving pitchers Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, and Dellin Betances to injuries that required several months to heal. However, all of these players have returned in time for some of the regular season, as well as the post-season in October. While they were out, the team adapted to a “next man up” policy, calling prospects up from the minor leagues and other teams. Additions such as DJ LeMahieu from the Colorado Rockies and Edwin Encarnación and James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners contributed to the success of this team.

As the regular season is coming to a close, selected students and teachers were interviewed about their views and hopes for the Yankees this post-season. When freshman and Mets Fan Katie Straub was asked if she thought the Yankees could go all the way to the World Series, she stated, “No, because I don’t like them.” One would consider this a typical response from a Mets fan because of the never-ending rivalry just one subway stop apart. Sophomore Jessica Torres shared her thoughts of the team as a whole: “They are the best team in the MLB, and I hope they will make it to the World Series because their players are awesome, and they won their division.” Science Teacher Jon Zaccaro weighed in on how the team has handled its ups and downs with the injuries this season: “They are doing awesome! It seemed like every week there was a new injury, but they adapted to the next man up policy, and it seemed to have worked just fine.” He was also asked what he would change if he were the manager, to which he responded, “I’d say I would get more starting pitching; it has proved to be a much-needed addition.”

As the post-season quickly approaches, there seems to be a buzz in the air with the anticipation for who will be the newest World Champions of Major League Baseball. Time will tell who the victor will be, and Yankee fans could not be more excited for the postseason to unfold. But, with tough potential matchups against teams like the Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, and Houston Astros, getting to the World Series will not be a walk in the park for the Yankees. Nonetheless, this team has proven that the game is never over until it is over. With comeback wins and unstoppable defensive and offensive plays, the Yankees are a fierce competitor. As the saying goes, the “Chase for 28” is on.