YANKEES By The
Numbers, numbers, numbers. Yankee baseball has always been
about numbers. Salary numbers, uniform numbers , record numbers - making
for fascinating history and trivia. In 1929, the New York Yankees
introduced identifying numbers sewn on the backs of player jerseys, the
first time that uniform numbers were used on a full-time basis. The
"original" ten Yankee uniform numbers were:
#1 - Earle Combs
#2 - Mark Koenig
#3 - Babe Ruth
#4 - Lou Gehrig
#5 - Bob Meusel
#6 - Tony Lazzeri
#7 - Leo Durocher
#8 - Johnny Grabowski
#9 - Benny Bengough
#10 - Bill Dickey
Beginning with Lou Gehrig's number 4 in 1939, the Yankees have retired 14
uniform numbers to honor 15 players and managers. Two single digit numbers
have yet to be retired: Number 2 (worn by Derek Jeter) and Number 6 (worn
by Joe Torre). Torre had originally requested #13 but it belonged to
utility man Jim Leyritz.
In two different stints with the Yankees, Charlie Keller wore four
different numbers. From 1939 to 1943, and then again in 1949, he wore #9.
From 1945 to 1948 he wore #12. In 1952, his final year as a player, the
man they called "King Kong" alternated between #28 and #99 in the two
games he played.
Jim Bouton was given #56 in spring training in 1962. When it was obvious
that the hyper hurler was going to make the team, he was given #27. But
Bouton wanted to keep #56 to "remind me of how close I was to not making
And we've got your number in the following list:
Zero Fewest passed balls in a season: 1931
The number of days Dave Winfield spent in minor-league baseball before
reaching the majors.
.00009 The 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.
1 The number of times Babe Ruth was pinch hit for. ( Bobby Veach on August
9, 1925.) Joe DiMaggio is 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.
1.95 The career earned-run average of Herb Pennock in World Series
2 The number of times Babe Ruth hit grand slam homers on consecutive days.
The number of managerial tours of duty of Dick Howser, Bob Lemon, Gene
Michael and Lou Piniella.
The fewest shutouts by a pitching staff in a season, 1994.
The fewest times in a season grounded into a double play: Mickey Mantle,
1961, Mickey Rivers, 1977.
Most grand slams in a game, Tony Lazzeri, May 24, 1936 at Philadelphia.
The number of times a pitcher gave up home runs to the same batter in All
Willie Mays homered off Whitey Ford in 1956 and then again in 1960.
2.57 Lowest earned run average by a Yankee pitching staff, 1904.
5 The number of times Mickey Mantle reached the gothic iron facade that
hung from the old stadium's roof.
6 The number of times Billy Martin had a tour of duty as manager. The
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.
9 Myron Hoag's uniform number. Charlie Keller's uniform number from 1939
to 1943 and in 1949. From 1945 to 1948 he wore #12. In his final
year,1952, Keller played in two games and alternated between #28 and #99.
Joe DiMaggio's rookie number. Roger Maris' number, retired July 21, 1984.
The most .300 hitters in the 1930 season. The most shutouts in a season:
Ron Guidry, 1978.
12 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.
14 The number of players lost in the 1918 season to military service.
The record for the most consecutive years playing in 100 games or more:
The team record for runs scored in an inning: fifth inning against
Washington, July 6, 1920.
Lou Gehrig, career steals of home.
15 Babe Ruth three times had 15 homers in one month; DiMaggio and Maris
accomplished that feat once.
The number of Yankee retired numbers, most for any team.
Babe Ruth, total World Series home runs, second place all time.
Thurman Munson uniform number, retired, 1979.
Yankees have won more than 100 games a season, a record (thru 2001
Most runs allowed by Yankees in post-season competition, Game 6, 2001
Babe Ruth three times had 15 homers in one month; DiMaggio and Maris
accomplished that feat once.
16 Whitey Ford uniform number, retired, 1974.
Hall of Famers have a Yankee logo on their plaque.
Dallas Green was fired on August 16, 1989 becoming the 16th manager fired
The "Boss" also disposed of four coaches that day for good measure.
Monthly home run best: Mickey Mantle (16) May 1956.
17 Monthly home run best: Babe Ruth September 1927.
Mickey Mantle struck out a record 17 times in 16 All Star at bats.
Roy White, franchise record for sacrifice flies in a season, 1971.
Years Bill Dickey played for the Yankees.
The trade that sent Larsen to the Yankees was the largest in history.
Completed in two stages, it involved 17 players. On Nov. 18, 1954, Larsen,
Bob Turley and Billy Hunter came to the Yankees for Harry Byrd, Jim
McDonald, Hal Smith, Gus Triandos, Gene Woodling and Willie Miranda. The
deal was finalized on December 1 with Mike Blyzka, Darrell Johnson, Jim
Fridley and Dick Kryhoski also coming to New York for Bill Miller, Kal
Segrist, Don Leppert and minor leaguer Ted DelGuercio.
August 1989 Bucky Dent replaced Dallas Green as manager - the 17th
managerial shift since 1973 when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees.
Late in his career, Gehrig's hands were x-rayed and doctors spotted 17
fractures that had "healed" while he continued to play.
On his 17th birthday in 1985, in his native Puerto Rico, Bernie Williams
signed a contract to play professional baseball for the Yankees.
18 Most years with the Yankees: Yogi Berra (1946-1963), Mickey Mantle
Most World Series home runs, Mickey Mantle.
19 Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in a decade of playing together homered in the
same inning 19 times.
Longest winning streak, 1947.
Managerial changes Steinbrenner made in eighteen years, before Buck
Showalter came along and lasted four years as manager.
Whitey Ford's rookie uniform number.
Derek Jeter set a 5-game World Series record with 19 total bases in 2000.
21 Babe Ruth hit 21 of his 60 homers in 1927 with the same bat. He used to
carve a notch around the trademark each time he homered.
25 Fewest total players used in a season, 1923, 1927.
Most consecutive games with a home run, 1941.
Don Zimmer's age when he was on the 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers, who played the
Yankees in the World Series. A broken cheekbone kept Zimmer from playing.
Uniform number selected by Jason Giambi when he signed with the Yankees in
December 2001. The 2 and 5 added up to "7," Mickey Mantle's retired
number, the player Jason's father idolized growing up. The new Yankee
would have preferred #16 but that was Whitey Ford's number, long retired.
31 Number of managers all time through Joe Torre.
36 Frank Crosetti wore Yankees pinstripes for a record 36 years.
45 Forty five different players wore the Yankee uniform in 1913 including
Reggie Jackson played in 45 league championship games.
50 The bat that Babe Ruth hits his 50th home run with in 1920 was
auctioned off to raise money to help starving Amenians in Turkey.
Fewest wins in a season by a Yankee team, 1912.
Most players used in a season by a Yankee team, 1989.
Mariano Rivera saved 50 games in 2001, setting a new team record and
recording the third-highest total in AL history.
56 Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak included 56 singles and 56 runs
scored. It covered 53 day games 3 night games, 29 at Yankee Stadium, 27
road games. He had 223 official at bats, a batting average of .408, 91
hits, 16 doubles, 4 triples, 15 home runs and 55 RBIs. DiMag struck out 7
times, walked 21 times, was hit by a pitch twice.
104 Bill Virdon, Manager of the Year award winner in 1974, was fired after
104 games in 1975.
126 Cal Ripken, most games played at Yankee Stadium by an opposing player
June 18, 1982 - September 30, 2001
.309 Highest team batting average for a season, 1930
$400 - the amount Mickey Mantle was paid in 1949 to finish out a minor
413 - Smallest home attendance for a game, September 25, 1966
420 - Fewest strikeouts in a season, 1924
.439 - Highest World Series batting average, Bobby Brown.
454 2/3 - Number of innings Jack Chesbro pitched for Highlanders,1904
457 - Babe Ruth, all time season leader in total bases - 1921: 101
singles, 44 doubles, 16 triples, 59 home runs
.471 -Joe Torre's career winning percentage as a manager prior to coming
to the Yankees in 1996.
1921 - In the 1921 World Series, it was brother versus brother - Bob
Meusel of the Yankees against Emil Meusel of the Giants. It was also the
first time in baseball history that the World Series was played at one
stadium, the Polo Grounds. It was the final best-of-nine games World
$6,595.38 - The amount payable in 1927 in bi-weekly checks to Babe Ruth
that added up to the record salary he earned of $70,000.
$7,500 - Mickey Mantle's 1951 rookie salary
$8,000 - Joe DiMaggio's rookie season salary, 1936.
$10,000,000 - amount George Steinbrenner and his group paid to purchase
the Yankees on January 3, 1973.
$189,000,000 - The amount of Derek Jeter's 10 year deal signed in 2001.
# # #
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About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
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