Baseball Reflections

Yankees by the Numbers (Part One)

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By Harvey Frommer

With so many of us biding the time until the 2018 season kicks off, here for your perusal some Bronx Bomber numerology to pass the time. Part trivia, part history, all Yankees, enjoy.


The 1927 Yankees made no changes to their roster all season long. The team began with 10 pitchers, three catchers, seven infielders, five outfielders, and ended that way. Even with access to the best betting sites and free bet bonuses, it’s hard to imagine today’s sports bettor would be willing to bet on what the 1927 Yankees achieved. During the year, the team made no changes to their roster all season long. The team began with 10 pitchers, three catchers, seven infielders, five outfielders, and ended that way.   

Fewest passed balls in a season, 1931 

In 283 innings in 1961, Whitey Ford did not allow a single stolen base.

Number of days Dave Winfield spent in minor-league baseball before reaching the majors. 
           With Derek Jeter‘s No. 2 now retired, the Yankees are the only team with no single-digit uniform numbers.

The Yankees have never had player names on the back of any jersey, unlike most other MLB teams.


After Allie Reynolds pitched his second no-hitter for the Yankees in 1951, the Hotel Edison, where he along with some teammates lived, changed his room number from 2019 to 0002.


Difference between the batting average of George “Snuffy” Stirnweiss: .30854 and White Sox Tony Cuccinello: .30845 in the closest batting race in major league history, 1945. 


Pitcher Clark Griffith, 1903-1907, was the first Yankee Captain

Number of times Babe Ruth was pinch hit for. (Bobby Veach on August 9, 1925.)

Joe DiMaggio was the only player to get at least one hit in All-Star Games at Yankee Stadium, the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field.

      During Joe DiMaggio’s record 56-game hit streak, he had just one hit in 34 of those games. 
       Mickey Mantle hit for the cycle only 1 time in his career. He did it against Chicago at Yankee Stadium in 1957.

Billy Martin number retired August 10, 1986

Derek Jeter is the only Yankees shortstop to win the Gold Glove Award.

      The major league rule banning a sticky substance such as pine tar on a bat beyond 18 inches from the bottom. That rule led to the “pine tar affair,” Yankees against Royals in 1983.

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      When George Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees in 1973, he officially made Robert Merrill the singing voice of the Yankees for as long as the baritone opera singer wanted. The team even gave him his own pinstriped uniform and number sewn on the back. For many years Merrill sang the national anthem at Yankee Stadium.

PAUL DOHERTY: Others sang the anthem in person after Steinbrenner took over, although Merrill’s recording was used primarily with Jerry Vale’s, The Boston Pops (of all Orchestras!!) and at times The New York Philharmonic’s.


Top ERA in a season, Spud Chandler, 1943


  Career earned-run average of Herb Pennock in World Series competition. 

          Most grand slams in a game by a Yankee, Tony Lazzeri, May 24, 1936 at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park.

The number of managerial tours of duty of Bob Lemon, Gene Michael and Lou Piniella. 
    Fewest times in a season grounded into a double play: Mickey Mantle, 1961, Mickey Rivers, 1977.Fewest shutouts by a Yankee pitching staff in a season, 1994.


Alex Rodriguez homered twice in the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium on September 5, 2007 against the Mariners giving him 48 home runs for the season.


Bob Shawkey’s 1920 season league leading ERA title was the first ever won by a Yankee pitcher.


Prior to the Second World War, box seats were regular wooden chairs that went back about two or three rows from third to first base. They cost about $2.50.” – Red Foley, NY Daily News


Lowest earned run average by a Yankee pitching staff, 1904. 


First baseman Hal Chase was the third Yankee Captain, 1909-1912.  

Babe Ruth and Bob Meusel are two of the players in history to hit for the cycle three times.

Babe Ruth’s uniform number, retired June 13, 1948, second Yankee number. While the great Yankee was the first to wear it, he was far from the last. Seven other Yankees wore No. 3. Outfielder Cliff Mapes wore it in 1948 when it was retired. Mapes switched to No. 7 the next year. After he was traded to the Browns in mid-1951, No. 7 went to a rookie named Mickey Mantle.

The Yankee Clipper is the only player to earn a ring for winning the World Series in each of his first four seasons, 1936-1939.  

Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra each won three MVP awards.

Top number of perfect games by a franchise: Don Larsen, David Wells, David Cone.

All three perfect games in Yankee Stadium history were seen by Joe Torre: Larsen’s beauty as a 16-year-old fan, and the ones pitched by David Wells and David Cone from the dugout as Yankee manager. The Yankees have the most perfect games pitched by one club, all at Yankee Stadium.                      

In September, 1998, Yankees outfielder Shane Spencer tied a Major League record by hitting three grand slams in one month.

     Paul O’Neill is the only player to have been in right field for three perfect games: Tom Browning of the Reds (1988), David Wells (1998) David Cone perfect game (1999).


Record time Mickey Mantle was able to run from home plate to first base, fastest for any player in history


Most consecutive losing seasons for Yankees, 1912-1915 and 1989-1992

Shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh was the fourth Yankee Captain, 1914-1921

In 1923, Babe Ruth hit for his highest single-season average: .393. He came within four hits of batting .400.

Lou Gehrig’s number, retired on July 4, 1939, first athlete in any sport. He is the only Yankee to have worn number 4. 

July 15, 2008 is the setting for the fourth All Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

All-time record for All-Star saves by Mariano Rivera


Lou Gehrig’s career RBIs for at bats, second to only Babe Ruth.  


Highest ERA by Yankee pitching staff, 1930


Outfielder Babe Ruth was the fifth Yankee Captain, May 20 to May 25, 1922.

Lefty Gomez was a starter in five All-Star Games, winning 3 of them

Number of times Mickey Mantle hit a ball into the copper facade that hung from the old stadium’s roof. 

Joe DiMaggio’s uniform number, retired in 1952

Yanks won the World Series a record five straight seasons – 1949-53 

October 16th, 2003 – Aaron Boone was the fifth player — and second Yankee — to end a post-season series with a walk-off home run. His solo shot in the bottom of the 11th inning capped a 6-5, Game 7 victory over Boston, giving the Yankees their 39th American League Pennant.

No team in baseball history matches the Yankees for five catchers the quality of Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, Elston Howard, Thurman Munson, and Jorge Posada.

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