Yankees Streak On The Line

Photo By Bill Menzel / Gotham Baseball

With the Yankees being led by young players like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Luis Severino, it would seem like the last thing the Yankees are concerned about is time. Judging from their history and the Yankees coffers, the surprising run this season should prove to be the next great run in Yankees history.

If you also look at the Yankees history, you will also see the Yankees are running out of time.

Since Babe Ruth joined the New York Yankees in 1920, the Yankees have made it to at least on World Series in each and every decade. The apex was the 1950s when Yankee teams predominantly featuring Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle would reach the World Series in eight of 10 years winning six titles. The nadir was the 1980s when the Yankees just reached the World Series in the strike shortened 1981 season losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Astonishingly, this was also the only decade where the Yankees did not wear multiple World Series titles.

In the 2010s, the Yankees have yet to reach a World Series. In fact, until this season, the Yankees have yet to even win a game in the ALCS this decade. In a startling turn of events, the New York Mets have actually appeared in more World Series in the decade. That is something that has never happened since the Mets inception in 1962, and no New York franchise has done since the 1910s.

So, believe it or not, there is a bit of pressure on the Yankees franchise over the remainder of this ALCS as the Yankees chances of reaching the World Series are dwindling. Since the institution of the Wild Card format, it has become more and more challenging to reach a World Series. As the 1997 Yankees could attest, or even this year’s Indians team, reaching the World Series is far from a certainty for even the best teams over the course of the regular season.

Overall, while Judge and Sanchez are building their own legacies, they are being entrusted to carry on with the existing Yankees legacy. So no, for this new core of Yankee players, there isn’t much pressure on them to get to the World Series. However, in terms of the broader history of the franchise, time is running out. It really is an interesting dichotomy that we should see play out over the final two games of this ALCS and the ensuing two seasons.

Judge Scores Seven Of Top 10 Topps NOW Cards To Date In 2017

Yankees RF Aaron Judge‘s record-setting rookie year has included plenty of highlights and accolades. One measure of his immense popularity is his appearance on seven of the top 10 Topps NOW cards issued to date in 2017. Judge, featured again today after his two-homer peformance on Monday set the mark for rookie round-trippers (50 and counting), has accounted for the first, second, third, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth highest selling card of the year, topping out at 8997 sold of the one featuring his Home Run Derby title and 8623 of the one commemorating his 495-foot blast at Yankee Stadium and two-homer day on June 11.

Judge also ranks No. 1 with 26 total cards issued with his likeness this year, outdistancing fellow rookies Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers and Rhys Hoskins of the Phillies.

In the A.L. MVP race, Judge is the clear favorite (at least on the Topps front), with contenders Chris Sale (11 cards), Corey Kluber (eight), Mike Trout (six), Francisco Lindor (four) and Jose Altuve (two) distantly behind.

The latest Judge card is available through 3 p.m. Wednesday here.

Topps NOW is the joint venture between Topps and MLB that provides the best images to fans on a daily basis. It has sold just under ONE MILLION cards in less than two seasons, making it the most successful business platform for TOPPS in recent history.

Yankees Record-Breaking Shortstop Didi Gregorius Signs Exclusive Collectibles Deal with Steiner Sports

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 25: Didi Gregorius #18 of the New York Yankees in action during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium on August 25, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Mariners defeated the Yankees 2-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Didi Gregorius continues to have the hot hand.  The New York Yankees shortstop, who made history Wednesday (September 20) by shattering Derek Jeter‘s single-season franchise home run record for a shortstop with his 25th circuit blast of the campaign, has signed an exclusive collectibles deal with Steiner Sports, it was announced today. 

 
Gregorius joins Steiner’s impressive exclusive line up which includes Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Eli Manning, Odell Beckham, Jr., Mark Messier, Henrik Lundqvist and newly-inked Stephen Curry.
 
The Didi memorabilia line which is sure to delight collectors and Bombers fans alike will include autographed game model bats, special inscription baseballs, game-used collectibles, and special edition pieces. Visithttps://www.steinersports.com/collections/didi-gregorius.
 
Gregorius has emerged as a bona fide star, capturing the fancy of Yankees zealots with his charm and demeanor off the field, and a display of power and clutch-hitting that has kept the Bronx Bombers in stride with the Red Sox in the American League East pennant race. The Yankees have won three straight, seven of their last eight, and 10 of their last 12, in large part thanks to Didi’s potent bat.

Today In Yankees History: The Babe Goes Yard

Babe Ruth in 1921; in his second year in NY, Ruth hit 59 HRs and had arguanlu his best season ever . Source: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/babe-ruth-1921-everett.html

On Sept 15, 1921, the Yankees sweep a doubleheader from the St. Louis Brown.  In the first game, Babe Ruth hits home run No. 55 in New York’s 10 – 6 win over the Browns. The Yanks take game t2, 13 – 5. (source: BR Bullpen)

Baseball Almanac: The 1921 New York Yankees played 153 games during the regular season, won 98 games, lost 55 games, and finished in first position. They played their home games at the Polo Grounds (Park Factors: 102/99) where 1,230,696 fans witnessed their 1921 Yankees finish the season with a .641 winning percentage.

In 1921, both the New York Giants and New York Yankees played their home games at the Polo Grounds, which in 1921 had a seating capacity of 38,000.  None of the games were a sellout. The two teams — who had a better rivalry — would meet in the 1921 World Series, the first-ever Subway Series.  It was the first-ever postseason berth for the Yankees, but the Giants won 5 games to 3.  The World Series was a best-of-series in !903, 1919-21.

 

 

Gleyber Torres signs with Topps Authentics

The Topps Company has added top, young prospect Gleyber Torres to its Topps Authentics lineup. The New York Yankees top prospect has signed an exclusive deal for autographed memorabilia with Topps Authentics.

Fans can learn more and order pieces by clicking here.

Topps Authentics, the memorabilia arm of The Topps Company, will offer signed baseballs and bats by Torres, who is rated in the top three of all MLB prospects, on Topps.com.

“I’m happy to be part of this big family,” said Torres, who has appeared on Topps’ Bowman line of baseball cards. “I’m happy to be here and everything Topps has done for me.”

Look for Torres’ signed memorabilia on Topps.com.

Topps Authentics is also the exclusive home for signed memorabilia for MLB standouts Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Luis Severino, prospect Mickey Moniak and more.

Take Me Out to the…Casino! Former Yankees First Baseman Tino Martinez Heading to Empire City Casino On August 16

Tino Martinez (Wikimedia Commons/Clare_and_Ben)

Empire City Casino continues to bring New York baseball’s most popular players to the largest entertainment destination in the northeast. Former New York Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez, a key player on four “Bronx Bombers” World Series championship teams, will appear at Dan Rooney’s Sports Bar at the casino on Wednesday, August 16th when the Yankees play their crosstown rival Mets in a “Subway Series” game at Citi Field.

Martinez will meet and greet fans to sign autographs and take photographs beginning at 6:10 p.m. The first 75 attendees will receive an exclusive Empire City Casino baseball for Martinez to sign. Martinez will watch the game with baseball devotees inside Dan Rooney’s, a sports pub featuring over 40 large screen TVs and upscale pub food and cold brews available for purchase. Hungry visitors can enjoy the signature half rotisserie chicken with roasted potatoes, or dive into a mouthwatering award-winning Dan Rooney’s burger topped with brie cheese, marinated onions, and honey mustard.

During his 16-year career with the Yankees, Mariners, Cardinals and Devil Rays, Martinez drove in 1,271 runs as a two-time All-Star. He enjoyed six seasons with 100 or more RBI, while slugging 339 home runs. A first-round draft pick out of the University of Tampa, his clutch hitting helped to lead the Yankees to world championships in 1996, ’98, ’99 and 2000. He was also an Olympic gold-medalist in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea.

Attendees can come early and take a chance on the record-breaking $2-million jackpot currently available only at Empire City Casino on the IGT Wheel of Fortune Triple Stars® slot machine. Or check out Empire City’s newest games, including Titanic – Heart of the Ocean and Wan Shi Ru Progressive. Empire Club members 55 and over who earn at least 10 Empire Points on Wednesdays in August can receive $10 free play & free valet. Visit empirecitycasino.com for details.

Leiter, Stengel Among Irish Baseball HOF Inductees Tuesday

The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (IAB HOF) today announced the names of its 2017 inductees, who include accomplished former players, one of baseball’s greatest managers, and two current broadcasters.

The induction ceremony will take place on Tuesday, June 13, at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.), which houses the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. Voters include past inductees and a distinguished panel of baseball historians.

Current and Former Players

  • Al Leiter: A longtime player for the New York Mets (1998-2004) and Yankees (1987-89; 2005), Leiter was a three-time World Series champion and a two-time All-Star. He now serves as a commentator for YES Network and MLB Network.

Broadcasters

  • Pat Hughes: The play-by-play voice of the Chicago Cubs Radio Network since 1996, Hughes broadcasted the Cubs’ historic World Series victory in 2016.

Hall of Famers/Legends

  • Casey Stengel: An eight-time World Series Champion (one as a player, seven as Yankees manager), Stengel was named to the MLB All-Time Team in 1997. He also famously managed the 1962 Mets and wore the uniform of all four New York pro teams. In 1966, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
  • The O’Neill Brothers: Four O’Neill brothers — Mike, Jack, Steve and Jim — from Connemara, Ireland, played in the Major Leagues. Steve hit .333 in the 1920 World Series, won a title as the manager of the 1945 Detroit Tigers, and never had a losing season in 20 years of managing. Mike played six years for the Cardinals and Reds and was the first 20th century NL pitcher to hit a Grand Slam. Jack played five years as a catcher with the Cardinals and gave signals to his brother, Mike, as Gaeilge (in Gaelic). Jim played shortstop for the Washington Senators in 1920 and 1923.

“This year’s ballot includes a popular modern player, four Irish-born Major League brothers, an award-winning radio announcer, and ‘Baseball’s Greatest Character’, Casey Stengel,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia.

The IAB HOF will also present its Pete Caldera-Duke Castiglione “I Didn’t Know He Was Irish” Award, given to an honoree whose Irish roots are not widely known. This year’s honoree is Mike Siano of MLB.com.

Foley’s created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers of Irish descent. Inductees are chosen based on a combination of factors: impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, connections to the Irish community, and, of course, ancestry.

The game of baseball has welcomed immigrants from its earliest days, when an estimated 30 percent of players claimed Irish heritage. Many of the game’s biggest stars at the turn of the 20th century were Irish immigrants or their descendants. Some of them included Michael “King” Kelly, Roger Connor (the home run king before Babe Ruth), Eddie Collins, Big Ed Walsh and managers Connie Mack and John McGraw. Today, major league teams regularly sign players born in Latin America, Japan, Canada, and elsewhere.

Shaun Clancy created the Hall after learning about the rich heritage of Irish Americans during the sport’s infancy. He decided to celebrate his roots and those who helped make the game great by creating a shrine to Irish Americans in baseball in 2008.

Appel Talks ‘Stengel,’ Latest Biography

Stengel BookMarty Appel‘s acclaimed biography of “The Ole’ Perfessor,” Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character, hit bookstores virtual and otherwise this week, and Gotham Baseball was fortunate enough to score an advance copy. There are great reviews here and here and here (and elsewhere), and Appel took out a few minutes in between radio and TV spots to talk to us about Stengel and some of the background on the excellent work.

Gotham Baseball: Coming off writing your epic definitive history of the Yankees, what made Casey Stengel your next book topic?
Marty Appel: It was a suggestion from the publisher, and MLB Network named him Baseball’s Greatest Character … so I thought, yes, sounds like a project I’d enjoy.

GB: It’s been more than 30 years since Robert Creamer’s landmark biography of Stengel. What did you learn in your research that readers will find markedly different from what Creamer wrote?
MA: I always thought Bob Creamer’s book was a masterwork. I was fortunate enough to write mine in the Internet age, when I could visit the archives of small newspapers from minor league towns he played and managed in. A lot of material there was not available 30 years ago. And then the family gave me an unpublished memoir by Casey’s wife Edna, which was a wonderful find. It showed a side of Casey we never knew about.

GB: Do you think “turning 70” was the primary reason Stengel was let go after the 1960 season and, in hindsight, wasn’t keeping Ralph Houk the right move?
MA: The move was very much prompted by a fear of losing Houk to either Boston or Detroit (two teams he actually later managed!). They thought, “well, Casey’s 70, he’ll retire in a year or two, but if we let him go now, we keep Houk. I think that prompted it. We’ll never really know what would have happened had he won that seventh game in Pittsburgh.

GB: Would Casey Stengel have been completely forgotten today if he didn’t get the call to leave Oakland, or might he have gotten another MLB managing job and still ended up well-known?
MA: I think he might have disappeared from memory. We don’t really recall who won minor league championships, as he did with Oakland. And at 59, not sure there was another major league job coming his way. He’d be remembered like Charlie Grimm perhaps – only by serious fans.

GB: What do you think is the net effect of Stengel’s time with the Mets on his legacy?
MA: The fan base of today is largely built on what he did with the Mets in four seasons. The ‘Amazins’ is still used; he rallied the fans to chant “Let’s Go Mets” and he made it fun to root for that team. The Mets got a lot right when they started – the mascot, the logo, the song, the uniform, the fan involvement – but mostly, hiring Casey was genius.

GB: Will you ever reveal if that’s a Mets or Yankees hat on the cover of the book? Which would Casey have wanted?
MA: He was a Mets fan til the end, but he wore Yankee underwear. He probably would have wanted that cap with all the logos he wore at Old Timers Days. It’s a Mets cap – but it’s the face that won over the designers. It’s a great photo. We didn’t want anyone to think it was a “Mets book” or a “Yankees book.” It’s the story of a baseball lifer – 55 years – who was, as they said, the game’s greatest character.

GB: Any other book projects, Yankees or otherwise, upcoming that you can talk about?
MA: Waiting for the next big idea. Maybe Gary Sanchez!

Sanchez Takes Mantle’s Vaunted No. 7 Topps® Card

Sanchez2Yankees star catcher Gary Sanchez, who hit 20 home runs in 53 games in his rookie season in 2016, may or may not be the next Mickey Mantle in the Yankees lineup. But the powerful 24-year-old is following in The Mick’s footsteps in another way for Yankees fans and card collectors—the storied No. 7 card in the recently released Topps® 2017 Series 1 Baseball set.

Card No. 7 had been reserved for Mantle since his death in 1995. Beginning with the 1996 flagship set, Card No. 7 had been either Mantle or, for a few years, no one. That meant a gap in the checklist for the years in which Topps did not have an agreement with the Mantle estate to include his card in that particular year.

Enter Sanchez, whose exploits earned him runner-up status in the American League Rookie of the Year voting, despite playing less than half the season in pinstripes.

“Baseball fans are witnessing a great time in baseball right now with an impressive young group of players,” said Kevin Eger, Topps Brand Manager. “We felt it was time to offer Card No. 7 to a young, emerging star, but we still wanted it to be a New York Yankee. Gary Sanchez is part of the re-emergence for the Yankees, helping to bring that certain mystique back to the team. He felt like a natural fit for Card No. 7.”

The Sanchez card was issued earlier this month along with N.L. MVP Kris Bryant’s No. 1 card, the “Ultimate Card Giveaway” of two million cards from throughout Topps’ 66-year history and a series of First Pitch™ insert cards in its Series 1.

Annual Major League Baseball Topps® All-Star Rookie Team is Revealed

seagerrookiecupsmallThe Topps® MLB All-Star Rookie Team continues its decades-long tradition by honoring Major League Baseball’s top rookies.

Eleven MLB players were named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team led by three Los Angeles Dodgers: Corey Seager (shortstop), who was named National League Rookie of the Year, Kenta Maeda (right-handed pitcher), and Julio Urias (left-handed pitcher). They are joined by New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who excited baseball fans with his power by hitting 20 home runs in just 53 games.

For the first time in Topps history, collectors can get a card of members of the Topps All-Star Rookie Team immediately though the on-demand TOPPS NOW™ program. The Topps® MLB All-Star Rookie Team set will be available exclusively for one week on Topps.com.

Also joining them on the Topps All-Star Rookie Team are two young stars from Texas in Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, the second overall draft pick in 2015, and Texas Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara, who hit a home run in his first MLB game.

Rounding out the Topps All-Star Rookie Team include Philadelphia’s Tommy Joseph (first baseman), San Diego’s Ryan Schimpf (second base), Washington’s Trea Turner (outfield), Cleveland’s Tyler Naquin (outfield), and St. Louis’ Seung-hwan Oh (relief pitcher).

The Topps All-Star Rookie Team began in 1959. The winners also receive a gold “cup” on their official Topps baseball card in the 2017 set, which has been a tradition for many years.

Past honorees of the Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Team have included former MVPs such as Buster Posey, Ichiro, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Cal Ripken Jr. In addition, 20 former Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Team members have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame including Ken Griffey Jr., and Mike Piazza. Last year’s Topps MLB All-Rookie team included three current Chicago Cubs in Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber.

The Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Team – nicknamed the Topps Rookie Cup – is awarded to one player for each position, a right-hander starter, a left-handed starter, and a relief pitcher.

Here is the full list of the 2016 Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Team:

C – Gary Sanchez NYY
1B – Tommy Joseph PHI
2B – Ryan Schimpf SDP
3B – Alex Bregman HOU
SS – Corey Seager LAD
OF – Trea Turner WAS
OF – Nomar Mazara TEX
OF – Tyler Naquin CLE
LHP – Julio Urias LAD
RHP – Kenta Maeda LAD
RP – Seung Hwan Oh STL