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Yankees by the Numbers (Part One)

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. They 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.

1 1/2 

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.

Playing fields for franchise:  Hilltop Park 1903-1912, Polo Grounds 1913-1922, Yankee Stadium (original)  1923-1973, Shea Stadium 1974-1975, Yankee Stadium (refurbished) 1976-2008, New Yankee Stadium 2009 –

Shortstop Everett Scott was the sixth Yankee Captain succeeding Babe Ruth, 1922-1925

On June 6, 1934 – Yankee outfielder Myril Hoag tied an American League record with six singles in six at-bats.

Second baseman Joe Gordon, who played mostly in the 1940s, wore No. 6. He was inducted posthumously into Cooperstown in 2009.

Number of Yankee starters: Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Red Rolfe, Red Ruffing, and George Selkirk in the 1939 All-Star game at Yankee Stadium.

Mickey Mantle’s rookie uniform number, changed by equipment manager Pete Sheehy to #7 after Mantle was recalled from Kansas City.

Number of times Billy Martin had a tour of duty as manager.

Don Mattingly hits a grand slam off Boston’s Bruce Hurst at Yankee Stadium on September 29, 1987, setting a Major-League record with six grand slams in a season.

Joe Torre’s Number retired by Yankees.

“When I was a player and we would play the Yankees in spring training, even though the game didn’t mean anything, it was a special day.” – Joe Torre


The 1939 Yankees led by 24-year-old Joe DiMaggio averaged an amazing 6.4 runs per game as a team.

Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher, an infielder in 1929, was the first Yankee to wear No. 7.

First baseman Lou Gehrig was the seventh Yankee Captain, April 21, 1935 to June 2, 1941.

Joe DiMaggio heads the list of players (minimum of 20 home runs) who recorded more home runs than strikeouts in 7 different seasons.

From (1939-45), New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia threw out the first ball in the Yankees’ home opener, the longest streak for the event in franchise history.

Mickey Mantle’s number, retired June 8, 1969. He wore it from 1951 on.

Mel Allen was the first announcer to broadcast Major League Baseball games over seven decades. His tenure ran from Lou Gehrig to Don Mattingly.

In 1982, Graig Nettles became the seventh Captain in Yankee history.


Record held by Lou Gehrig, most seasons leading league in games played.

Only number to be retired twice by the same team is Number 8 of the Yankees. It was retired in 1972 for catchers Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra. Berra took number 8 in 1948 after Dickey retired but before he was a coach.  Dickey wore #10 in 1929, #8 thereafter.

Catcher Thurman Munson was the eighth Yankee Captain, April 17, 1976 to August 2, 1979.

Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter on May 14, 1996 was the eighth in Stadium history.


Joe DiMaggio’s rookie number.

Third Baseman Graig Nettles was the ninth Yankee Captain, January 28, 1982 to March 30, 1984.

Roger Maris’ number, retired, July 22, 1984

The 1990 Yankees had but one starting pitcher who won more than seven games, nine-game winner Tim Leary; he also lost 19.

Most hits in an inning given up by Roger Clemens, August 2, 2007

The most shutouts by a Yankee in a season: Ron Guidry, 1978.


Of Babe Ruth’s 714 career home runs, 10 were inside-the-parkers. Ruth hit 10 career home runs off the great Walter Johnson. No other player hit more than 5 against the star hurler. With the Yankees from 1920 to 1934, the “Colossus of Clout” won 10 home run titles.

Casey Stengel managed in a record 10 World Series, winning 7 of them

The Yanks used a record 10 pinch hitters on September 6, 1954 in a doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox. They won the opener 6-5, and the BoSox took the second game, 8-7.

Wins by Whitey Ford in World Series.

Yogi Berra leads all with 10 World Series rings. Joe DiMaggio was second with 9.

Second baseman Willie Randolph was the tenth Yankee Captain, January 29, 1982 to August 2, 1979.

Phil Rizzuto’s number 10 retired August 4, 1985.

Aaron Boone’s walk-off homer against the Red Sox on October 16, 2003 was the tenth in Yankee postseason history.

Alex Rodriguez in 2007 became the first player in major league history with 10 straight seasons of at least 35 homers, 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored.



Record set for most RBI’s in consecutive games, Babe Ruth 1931

Most walks in one inning, the third, Yankees versus Senators, September 11, 1949

Most at bats one game, Bobby Richardson, June 24, 1962, game against Detroit went 22 innings.

Pitcher Ron Guidry was the eleventh Yankee Captain from March 4, 1986 to July 12, 1989.



Babe Ruth career home run rate per at bat.

“I could have had a lifetime .600 average, but I would have had to hit them singles. The people were paying to see me hit home runs.” Babe Ruth


The number of ballparks Babe Ruth hit at least one home run in.

The number of times Babe Ruth led the American League in homers.

Billy Martin’s rookie uniform number. First baseman Don Mattingly was the 13th Yankee Captain from February 28, 1991 to October 8, 1995.


Home plate was moved 13 feet forward in 1924, eliminating the “bloody angle” in the right field corner of Yankee Stadium.

Bill Dickey holds record catching over 100 games 13 consecutive seasons.

Lou Gehrig had 13 consecutive seasons where he scored over 100 runs, the first player in baseball history to reach that total.

Number of seasons Joe DiMaggio played for the Yankees.

The number of All-Star teams Mariano Rivera appeared in second all-time to Warren Spahn.

Derek Jeter was the 13th Captain in Yankee history from September 3, 2003 to season’s end 2014.

“This is a great honor. Captain of the Yankees is not a title that is thrown around lightly. It is a huge responsibility and one that I take very seriously. I thank Mr. Steinbrenner for having such confidence in me.” – Derek Jeter


The number of players the Yankees lost in the 1918 season to military service.

Team record for runs scored in an inning: fifth inning against Washington, July 6, 1920.
Yogi Berra stayed away from Yankee Stadium for 14 years after George Steinbrenner fired him 16 games into the 1985.


In 1927, Babe Ruth blasted 14% of all the home runs recorded in the American League.


Babe Ruth three times homered 15 times in one month; DiMaggio and Maris accomplished that feat once. Lou Gehrig, career steals of home

The number of consecutive seasons Yogi Berra was a member of the American League All Star team. He actually made 18 teams in all.

July 18, 1999 — David Cone’s perfect game against the Montreal Expos was the 15th regular season perfect game.

$15.00    Bob Sheppard’s per game earnings in 1951 when he began working for the Yankees, allowing for inflation this is approximately $138 today.

Thurman Munson retired uniform number

Babe Ruth, total World Series home runs, second place all time. Most runs allowed by Yankees in post-season competition, Game 6, 2001 World Series.


In their first 16 years Highlanders/Yankees didn’t win a single pennant and had 10 losing seasons.

Number of career grand slams for Babe Ruth

Whitey Ford’s Number retired in 1974. The slick southpaw wore number 19 as a rookie. Returning from the army in 1953, he wore number 16 for the rest of his career.

 I loved Yankee Stadium because I was left-handed. I usually faced mostly right-handed hitting teams.  The centerfield fence was 461 feet away, and left centerfield was 457 feet. As long as you kept hitters from hitting the ball down the line, it was a great park to pitch in.”Whitey Ford

Dallas Green, George Steinbrenner’s 16th manager to be fired.


Monthly home run best: Babe Ruth September 1927.
Number of career homers Babe Ruth’s hit off Rube Walberg, most off any pitcher.

Late in his career, Gehrig’s hands were x-rayed and doctors spotted 17 fractures that had “healed” while he continued to play. Bill Dickey played his entire 17 season career as a Yankee.

In 16 All Star games Mickey Mantle struck out a record 17 times.

Roy White, franchise record for sacrifice flies in a season, 1971.

In his first 17 years Steinbrenner changed managers 17 times.

On his 17th birthday in 1985, Bernie Williams signed a contract to play professional baseball for the Yankees. Number of years Jorge Posada played for Yankees.


Since their first title in 1923, the Yankees have not gone longer than 18 years without a world championship.

Most years with the Yankees: Yogi Berra (1946-1963), Mickey Mantle (1951-1968).

Most World Series home runs, Mickey Mantle. Joe DiMaggio’s original uniform, number given to him by equipment manager Pete Sheehy and later changed to Number 5.

Number of years Frank Messer and Bill White were Yankee announcers


Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in a decade of playing together homered in the same inning 19 times

The 1927 Yankees won the pennant by 19 games, using only twenty-five players. Not one roster change was made that season.

Longest winning streak, 1947.

Whitey Ford’s rookie uniform number.

Dave Righetti began with Yankees with Jim Bouton’s old number, 56, but he became famous wearing #19.

Number of managerial changes Steinbrenner made in eighteen years, before Buck Showalter came along and lasted four years as manager.

Derek Jeter set a five game World Series record with 19 total bases in 2000.                          


Jorge Posada Number retired


In 2001, Paul O’Neill at age 38 became the oldest player to have a 20/20 season.


Babe Ruth hit 21 of his 60 homers in 1927 with the same bat. Whenever he homered, he’d carve a notch around the trademark. Yogi Berra had an incredible total of 21 World Series appearances as a player, coach or manager.

Since Paul O’Neill’s retirement after the 2001 World Series, no Yankee has worn that number. Although Latroy Hawkins actually briefly wore #21 to honor Roberto Clemente in 2008. Yankee fans were not happy.


Allie Reynolds number 22, not retired, but he earned a plaque out in Monument Park.

Most hits recorded in a World Series sixth game, 2001.

Yogi Berra on June 24, 1962, age 37, caught all 22 innings of a Yankees game with the Tigers in Detroit. The Yanks won, 9-7, in the seven hour game.


The 1909 Highlanders improved upon their previous seasons win total by

23 games, largest such increase in franchise history.

Lou Gehrig, MLB record for grand slams

Don Mattingly’s number retired, August 31, 1997.


In 1927, 24 of Lou Gehrig’s 47 home runs were hit at the Stadium.

Yankee record – most times hit by pitch in a season, Don Baylor, 1985



Gene Michael, 25th Yankee manager in history.

Fewest total players used in a season, 1923, and 1927.
Most consecutive games with a home run, 1941.
Mel Allen spent 25 years as Yankee broadcaster in his first term as Yankee broadcaster (1939-1964).


No Yankee pitcher has won 26 games in a regular season since Lefty Gomez in 1934. Only Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle recorded more hits by age 26 than Derek Jeter.


Number of General Managers that worked during George Steinbrenner’s tenure.


Average age of what was arguably the best team of all time, the 1927 Yankees.


Of the 60 record-setting home runs hit by Babe Ruth in 1927, 28 were at Yankee Stadium.


Joe DiMaggio, most homers by a Yankee rookie, 1939.

Mel Allen was a Yankee broadcaster for 29 seasons, television and radio.

Whitey Ford over a 16 year career allowed but 29 bases to be stolen off him.

Paul O’Neill was awarded the 29th plaque in Monument Park.


Wee Willie Keeler’s bat length, measured in inches, shortest ever.

Yogi Berra, most home runs in a season by a Yankee catcher, 1952, and 1956. Eddie Lopat, Mel Stottlemyre, Willie Randolph all wore #30.

Roger Maris, of his 61 home runs in 1961, 30 were hit at Yankee Stadium.


Bobby Richardson retired from the Yankees at the age of 31 and became baseball coach at the University of South Carolina.


Most passed balls as a team in a season, 1913

Earle Combs was given uniform #1 and as a leadoff man could have become the first Yankee player to bat identified by a uniform number. However, Yankees had a rain delay that day. Cleveland played its game before the Yankees and it’s likely one of their players wore the #1 first in 1929. So Combs would have been the first Yankees but not major leaguer to wear a number.

When Combs became a Yankee coach in 1936, he chose uniform #32.

Uniform number of Elston Howard, retired July 21, 1984

Number of Yankee managers all time through Joe Girardi

Second longest hitting streak in franchise history, Hal Chase, 1907

Number worn by Bill Dickey as Yankee coach.

33 1/3                 

Mariano Rivera’s longest post-season scoreless innings pitched.



Pitcher Foster Edwards in 1930 was the first Yankee to wear this number.


Outfielder Dixie Walker in 1931 was the first Yankee to wear this number.


Frank Crosetti wore Yankees pinstripes for a record 36 years. Reggie Jackson was the 36th Yankee elected to the Hall of Fame


Of the 37 players who performed for the 1949 Yankees, only Yogi Berra still played for the team in 1960.

Casey Stengel’s number, retired, 1970


The Yankees belted more than 100 home runs per season 38 times from 1920-1961

Number of career homers hit by Phil Rizzuto


Joe DiMaggio, number of attempted career steals.

Most consecutive winning seasons, 1926-1964

Alfonso Soriano, most home runs by a second basemen, set in 2002.


The original Yankee Stadium had 40 turnstiles that ticked like clocks tallying up the gate. Number of pounds Babe Ruth lost to play his younger self in 1942’s “Pride of the Yankees”

Phil Rizzuto spent parts of 40 seasons as a Yankee broadcaster

Mickey Mantle, most total RBI’s in World Series play


In 1904, the record number of games won by Highlanders hurler Jack Chesbro


Willie Keeler, most sacrifice hits one season by a Yankee, 1905

Mariano Rivera, last player to wear No. 42, retired by Major League Baseball to honor of Jackie Robinson.


1994 Yankees lost 43 games in a strike-shortened season.

Alfonso Soriano, 43 stolen bases, Yankee rookie record, 2001


1927 Yankees, fewest franchise defeats in a full season

Reggie Jackson’s number, retired 1993.


Forty five different players wore the Yankee uniform in 1913 including seven catchers.


Don Mattingly’s rookie number.

Mickey Mantle and Derek Jeter played their final home game on the same date, September 25 and the final game of their careers on the same date, September 28 in the same ballpark Fenway Park, 46 years apart.

Dave Righetti set big league record in 1986 for saves, since surpassed.

Andy Pettitte Number retired


Most home losses by the Yankees, 1908, 1913


Jack Chesbro, most complete games in a season, 1904


Lou Gehrig, career high most homers in a season by a Yankee first baseman, 1934, 1936

Yogi Berra threw out 49% of would-be base stealers

The 1979 Yankees had 49 different players, a franchise record

Ron Guidry’s number, retired 2003


Fewest wins in a season by a Yankee team, 1912.

The bat Babe Ruth slammed his 50th home run with in 1920 was auctioned off to raise money to help starving Armenians in Turkey. Most players used in a season by a Yankee team, 1989. Number of games saved by Mariano Rivera in 2001, new team record, third-highest total in AL history.

Some of the material in this article was excerpted from Frommer’s The Ultimate Yankee Book

One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, , Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey Frommer is an expert on the New York Yankees and has arguably written more books, articles and reviews on the New York Yankees than anyone. In 2010, he was honored by the City of New York to serve as historical consultant for the re-imagined old Yankee Stadium site, Heritage Field.

 A professor for more than two decades now in the MALS program at Dartmouth College, Frommer was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of

Harvey Frommer
I'm the author of 10 books. If you're looking for autographed copies just go to my Twitter @Sportsology and DM me.

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