The All-Time New York Yankees

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The All-Time New York Yankees

For those of you looking for Ruth, Mantle, Jeter, ect....you have found the wrong story.

The article is a tribute to the FOOTBALL Yankees.

This franchise, like many in its time, had a journey that is fascinating and historical.

The first incarnation of the Yankees was founded in 1926 in the first incarnation of the American Football League. This AFL was founded by Hall Of Famer Red Grange's agent C.C. Pyle.

Pyle and Grange started the AFL for a few reasons.

The main reason is because the NFL refused Pyle's request to join the seven year old NFL, a move vehemently opposed by New York Giants owner Tim Mara.

Another big reason was due to a salary dispute between the Chicago Bears and Grange.

Grange had signed a contract with the Bears in 1925 for $100,000, a huge contract for that era. He took the Bears on a barnstorming tour, playing 19 games in 67 days. This moment is often credited for getting the NFL off of the ground and legitimized.

The other reason was how the 1925 NFL season ended, which left a bitter aftertaste for many of their fans.

The Pottsville Maroons were initially named champions after defeating the Chicago Cardinals. The Cardinals then scheduled some faux games, trouncing opponents that were mostly disbanded franchises.

After the Maroons played an exhibition game on the home field of the Frankford Yellow Jackets, the Yellow Jackets protested to NFL commissioner Joe Carr. Carr suspended the Maroons and fined them, then awarded the championship to the Cardinals. The Cardinals refused the award.

The AFL lasted one year, but has some noteworthy moments. One of the charter members of the NFL, the Rock Island Indepenents, joined their league for that season. Another team was called the Los Angeles Wildcats, a traveling team based out of Chicago and owned by Pyle and Grange.

The team, also called the Pacific Wildcats, was named after its star George "Wildcat" Wilson, and had Hall Of Famer Ray Flaherty. Wilson would later go on to lead the Providence Steam Roller to their lone NFL championship in the 1928 season.

Flaherty would join the Yankees in 1927, and stayed until they folded the next year. He then joined the Giants in 1928 and played for them for eight seasons, helping them win a championship in 1934.

Most of the AFL teams folded before Thanksgiving, leaving just four actually still playing football. One team, the Brooklyn Horseman, merged with the Brooklyn Lions of the NFL after playing just four games.

The Lions folded after their lone season in 1926 themselves, but the team was never officially withdrawn from the league. Mara bought the rights, then leased the franchise to Pyle so the Yankees could join the NFL.

The Yankees and Giants would share Yankee Stadium, but the Yankees were essentially a road team. They were only able to play four actual home games before they were forced to fold after the 1928 season, after the agreement between the two teams ended.

The AFL tried to come back in 1936, and another version of the Yankees was born. Both the team and league were not successful, and both folded after the 1937 season.

In 1940, the AFL tried again. The Yankees also tried again. They named themselves the Americans in the beginning of 1941 after a switch in ownership, but the league folded because of World War II.

The 1940 Yankees owner tried to bring back the franchise as a traveling team in 1941, with just four members of the original team. They folded after losing all six of their games.

Another new incarnation of the Yankees came back in 1946, and also played in Yankee Stadium. This Yankees team was part of the All American Football Conference. The Yankees were very popular at that time, and featured running back Spec Sanders.

The Yankees would go to the AAFC Championship Game in each of their first two seasons, but would lose both times to the Cleveland Browns.

The 1947 team also saw Buddy Young join the team. Known as "The Bronze Bullet", Young was considered one of the greatest football players of that era.

Standing just 5'4", Young was an All American in his freshman year at the University of Illinois. He, like many players, then joined the military to serve because of World War 2.

Young also was a trailblazer, being one of a few African American players to play professional football then. After leaving the franchise in 1952, he joined the Baltimore Colts and became the first Colt to ever have his jersey number retired.

Flaherty left the Yankees mid-way in the 1948 season, and would coach the AAFC Chicago Hornets the next season. After that season, the Brooklyn Dodgers of the AAFC folded and merged with the Yankees.

The Yankees would make the playoffs in 1949, but would lose to the San Francisco 49ers in the Division championship game. The AAFC then folded and was absorbed by the NFL.

The Boston Yanks were founded in the NFL in 1944, and stayed there until 1948. The team then moved to New York, renaming themselves the Bulldogs. Many of the AAFC Yankee players would join this team, and the team switched back to their Yanks name in the 1950 season. The team would last in New York until 1951, then announced they were moving to Dallas and be called the Texans.

Due to the prevalent bigotry that was throughout the South at that time, as well as the civil rights movement at that time, the team only lasted seven games in Dallas. They featured two African American stars in Young and George Taliaferro, as well as two future Hall Of Famers in Art Donovan and Gino Marchetti.

Another player on that team was Fritz Von Erich. Von Erich later became a very successful professional wrestler and promoter. His family is also known because five of his sons died young, four of which were professional wrestlers.

The Texans folded after that one season, and was bought by Carroll Rosenbloom. Rosenbloom then started the Baltimore Colts with this franchise, though the NFL does not officially recognize this lineage.

Without further delay, here is your All Time Yankees :
(Unfortunately, Not All Players Pictures Were Found)

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