New York Yankees: 7 Worst Teams in Franchise History
The New York Yankees are undoubtedly one of the greatest sports franchises of all time.
Deeply rooted in tradition and committed to excellence, the Yankees lead the MLB in World Series Championships with a stunning 27 rings.
To put that in perspective, the next team on the list is the St. Louis Cardinals, with 11.
No matter how great a franchise may be, no team is exempt from having disastrous seasons.
The Yanks are no exception.
Since their origin in 1901, the franchise has enjoyed some of the most successful seasons in sports history.
Unfortunately, reality doesn't always permit teams to take the bright days without the dark ones.
To help us be thankful for the New York Yankees we root for today, here is a list of the worst teams in franchise history.
7) 1989 New York Yankees
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Coming in at number seven is the 1989 New York Yankees.
Under Dallas Green and Bucky Dent, the Yanks finished the season with a 74-87 record, earning them 5th place in the American League while trailing 14.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees went into the season looking like a potentially serious contender.
Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there.
The Yankees's best hitter, Dave Winfield, was out for the entire season with a back injury.
For reasons many may never understand, the Yankees also decided to trade two of their best players: the young and promising Al Leiter and the speedy base-stealing Ricky Henderson.
Armed (or not so armed) with a lackluster pitching staff, the 1989 Yankees will go down as one of the worst teams in franchise history.
6) 1966 New York Yankees
Next on the list is the 1966 New York Yankees.
In their 64th season as the Yankees, the franchise posted a 70-89 record, finishing 26.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles.
The Yanks finished in 10th place for the first time since the 1912 New York Highlanders.
Led by Johnny Keane and Ralph Houk, the Yankees played their home games at the famous Yankee Stadium.
Unfortunately, they weren't able to fill the seats.
On September 22 of the 1966 season, only 413 paid attendants were present to watch the New York Yankees take on the Chicago White Sox.
Seeing 413 fans in a stadium that seats 65,000 was quite discouraging, and perhaps helped to exemplify the 1966 season as a whole.
The turnout that day will go down as the smallest in the history of Yankee Stadium.
5) 1990 New York Yankees
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Next up is the 1990 New York Yankees.
During this season, the Yankees finished last in the American League with a 67-95 record.
The season was a disaster in more ways than one.
The Yankees best player in 1990 was Jesse Barfield, who, once a superstar outfielder, never performed to the standard the Yankees had hoped.
Don Mattingly struggled with back issues all season, causing him to only play 102 games and post the worst stats of his career.
On June 6th, Manager Bucky Dent was actually fired right before a game at Fenway Park against the Red Sox.
On July 30th, Commissioner Fay Vincent banned owner George Steinbrenner from baseball for life after he paid a private investigator to find "dirt" on Dave Winfield after a disagreement.
To make matters worse, most of the information that Steinbrenner was receiving was from a small-time gambler and rackets-runner named Howard Spira, who once worked for Winfield's charity foundation.
As the story goes, George Steinbrenner was reinstated in 1993 under commissioner Bud Selig.
4) 1913 New York Yankees
In 1913, the New York Highlanders officially became the New York Yankees after a move from Hilltop Park to the Polo Grounds, which they shared with the New York (now San Francisco) Giants.
Unfortunately, the change of scenery didn't do much to help the struggling franchise.
The team was managed by Frank Chance, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1946.
Chance played first base and was the manager of the Chicago Cubs, where he won four National League Championships in five years (1906-1910).
Needless to say, his success didn't follow him to the American League.
The New York Yankees finished the 1913 season with a 57-94 record, awarding themselves 7th place in the American League.
3) 1912 New York Highlanders
1912 marked the last season for the New York Highlanders before becoming the New York Yankees the following year.
In their final season at Hilltop Park, the Highlanders landed themselves in 8th—or last—place in the American League.
The team was managed by Harry Wolverton, who, as a former player, used to insert himself into the game as a pinch hitter.
Unfortunately, Wolverton struggled as a manager and pinch hitter, leading to his release following the 1912 season.
The significant event that the 1912 season did bring upon, however, is the pinstriped uniforms.
This season would serve as a trial for the new pinstriped jerseys, which were packed away afterwards, only to be brought back as the permanent home uniforms in 1915.
2) 1908 New York Highlanders
Coming in at number two is the 1908 New York Highlanders.
This year, the squad managed to post the most losses in franchise history.
The Highlanders came in eighth place at 51-103— 17 games out of seventh place.
The team's record can be accredited to numerous events.
In September, first baseman Hal Chase left the team after allegedly throwing games.
After manager Clark Griffith left, the Highlanders lost 70 of their last 98 games under new manager Kid Elberfeld.
On June 30, Cy Young threw a no hitter against the team.
In the fall, Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators shut out the Yankees in three consecutive games on September fourth, fifth, and seventh.
Some may call this team the worst in franchise history, but the outrageous circus that ensued during another famous season landed the 1908 Highlanders at number two on my list.
1) 1902 Baltimore Orioles
Coming in at number one on my list of the worst teams in franchise history is the 1902 Baltimore Orioles.
The Baltimore Orioles played their home games at Oriole Park and were managed by John Mcgraw and Wilbert Robinson.
The team finished last in the American League, with a 50-88 record.
Their lackluster performance was accompanied by the circus that came to town and stayed all year.
During the season, the Baltimore Orioles fell into horrible debt, owing the league $12,000 dollars (equivalent to $322,328 in current dollar terms).
On July 17, 1902, Andrew Freedman, owner of the New York Giants baseball club, purchased the team with the assistance of John T. Brush, principal owner of the Cincinnati Reds.
The two new owners decided to release all of the Orioles' good players so that they could add them to the roster of the clubs that they already owned.
While Brush took a few of the best players, Freedman went to town, adding over five of the best Orioles players to the New York Giants.
Once it was brought to his attention, American League President Ban Johnson seized the team and attempted to restock the roster by obtaining players on loan from other American League teams.
Needless to say, the team never recovered, leading to the worst season in franchise history and an oncoming move to New York.