New York Yankees
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New York Yankees
There are plenty of teams in Major League Baseball, but there's only one New York Yankees. A statement like that might make some fans cringe (especially those in Boston, Queens, or Los Angeles), but it's a sentiment that's rooted in truth. After all, no other club can claim the sort of success that the Bronx Bombers have enjoyed over the course of their lifespan. With more than 30 players in the Hall of Fame and almost as many world championships, the Yanks aren't just one of baseball's most accomplished franchises -- they're one of the most successful organizations in all of professional sports. If you don't believe it, just ask one of their fans. They'll be more than happy to tell you all about it.
American League baseball came to New York in 1903 when a lifeless Baltimore franchise was purchased and moved to Manhattan. Originally known as the Highlanders, the team's identity was solidified a decade later with the introduction of pinstripes on their uniforms and a new name, the Yankees. While fans of opposing clubs will gleefully point out that the team didn't make their first postseason until 1921, it's Yanks fans who have the last laugh, as the team would capture 20 world championships between the years of 1923 and 1962. Running parallel to this astonishing streak was the Hall of Fame play from guys such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio.
Whether it was Ruth's celebrated diet of hot dogs and beer, DiMaggio's reputation for dating Hollywood starlets, or Gehrig simply showing up to work 2,310 times in a row, these players didn't do just one thing to become synonymous with the pinstripes, they did dozens upon dozens and became legends of the sport. To pay proper respect, the team built Monument Park in Yankee Stadium for scholars and students to visit and learn more about the proud baseball traditions of the Bronx. With such a staggering list of alumni, it's no wonder that the Yankees are also one of the only teams to annually celebrate Old Timer's Day. Past and present Bombers gather to celebrate all that they've accomplished, and even find time to square-off in a friendly little game.
Future Hall of Famers such as Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter, and Mariano Rivera would help bring world championships to modern-era Yankees teams in both the '70s and '90s. The faces had changed, but the logo and uniforms were still the same, and a whole new generation was able to celebrate Bronx victories in the Fall Classic.
When the club wins, Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" gets piped in through the stadium's speakers. With lyrics like "I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps, and find I'm king of the hill, top of the heap," these aren't just words to a song for Yankees fans. It's a way of life.