Many histories of the New York Yankees only skim the early years in their rush to pick up with the 1919 season when Babe Ruth joined the team and go on to celebrate the careers of Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Whitey Ford, and the teamís World Series titles. But what about the Yankees before these big names?
The early Yankees, who spent their first 12 years known as the Highlanders and were occasionally known as the Americans and the Invaders, get the attention they deserve in this work. It tells the story up until the 1919 acquisition of Ruth, beginning with 1903 when the team was formed from the remnants of the Baltimore Orioles. Led by future Hall of Famers "Wee" Willie Keeler, Jack Chesbro, and Clark Griffith, they were the most expensive major league team ever assembledóbut they are remembered primarily for their terrible failures, which included losing a club-low 103 games in 1908 and finishing 55 games out of first place in 1912. Yes, the Yankees.
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Jim Reisler is also the author of Voices of the Oral Deaf: Fifteen Role Models Speak Out (2002, $25) and Black Writers/Black Baseball: An Anthology of Articles from Black Sportswriters Who Covered the Negro Leagues (1999, $24.95). He lives in Irvington, New York.
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