From 1920 to 1960, the Yankees averaged about five World Series titles each decade, winning 18 championships over a 40-year period. Since the 1960s, the Yankees have only averaged winning about two championships a decade. It seems that their long tradition of winning baseball championships may be mellowing.
In fact, the Yankees only made it to the World Series once in the 1980s and lost to the Dodgers.
After Major League Baseball revamped the playoff system in 1969, it has been more difficult for high-powered teams like the Yankees to get into the World Series. Yet, the Yankees still find the money and the players to put together high-caliber teams.
The shift to the new playoff format also brought some measure of parity to the league despite the high payrolls for a select few teams. Over the last 10 World Series, there have been eight different winners. Even with the more difficult playoff system, the Yankees have managed to get five World Series wins in the 20-year period between 1990 and 2010.
World Series Wins by Decade: 27
1920s: 1923, 1927 , 1928
1930s: 1932,1936,1937 ,1938,1939
1950s: 1950,1951,1952 ,1953,1956,1958
1970s: 1977, 1978
Playoff Appearances: 51 since 1921
The overall playoff record for the New York Yankees, including the World Series, is 202-137.
Memorable World Series Moments
With the most championships over any other team in professional sports, the Yankees have a long and storied World Series history. As a fan, I have only witnessed just a short snapshot of great Yankees playoff moments that started in the 1970s.
Yankees' 1978 World Series
Over his 14-year career, Yankees shortstop Bucky Dent batted just .247 and only had 40 total home runs. That is just a couple of home runs each season. But in the 1978 American League East tiebreaker game, Bucky Dent snapped off a three-run home run that barely cleared the Green Monster in left field. Dent would come away with the Most Valuable Player Award in the 1978 World Series after batting .417 in the series.
Yankees' 1981 World Series
In their only World Series appearance of the '80s, the Yankees faced off against the Los Angeles Dodgers. With home-field advantage, the Yankees jumped out to a two-game series lead after winning on the pitching of Ron Guidry, Goose Gossage, and Tommy John. The two-game lead was squandered when the Yankees lost four games in a row. The Dodgers won the series 4-2.
Yankees' 1996 World Series
In 1996, the Yankees opened the 1996 World Series in opposite fashion to the 1981 series. They started by losing the first two games to the Atlanta Braves. But the Yankees were able to battle back to win the series 4-2. John Wetteland garnered the MVP Award after posting four saves in those four victories with a 2.08 ERA.
Yankees' 1998 World Series
The Yankees made quick work of the San Diego Padres with a four-game sweep, and Scott Brosius was named the 1998 World Series MVP. Brosius had a "Bucky Dent-like" performance in this series. Scott's 11-year career batting average was just a few points higher than Dent's. But, for the 1998 World Series, Brosius toted an average of .417, matching Dent's batting average from the 1978 World Series.
Yankees' 1999 World Series
The Yankees faced off against the Atlanta Braves in 1999 and for a second year in a row, the Yankees cruised to a 4-0 sweep. Another relief pitcher picked up the MVP title for the Yankees, but this time it was Mariano Rivera. Rivera did not give up a run in any of his appearances and came away with a win and two saves.
Yankees' 2000 World Series
This World Series was the "Subway Series" showdown between the Yankees and the Mets. Mike Piazza and Rogers Clemens also had a showdown in the second game. After a Clemens' pitch shattered Piazza's bat, a shard of wood landed at Clemens' feet. Clemens then flung the shard toward Piazza with a bench-clearing incident ensuing. Despite the raised tempers, the Yankees won the game, and continued on to win the series 4-1. Derek Jeter got the MVP with a .409 batting average.
Yankees' 2009 World Series in the New Stadium
The Yankees moved into their new stadium for the start of the 2009 season. In their very first season in the new stadium, the Yankees came away with their 27th World Series win against the Philadelphia Phillies. Hideki Matsui was the MVP after posting a .615 batting average with three home runs and eight RBIs.
Since the 2009 World Series win, the Yankees have made the playoffs in each successive year. However, they have not been able to advance far enough to the World Series. At the end of the 2012 season, the Yankees were able to eek out a division championship and will carry home-field advantage against the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS.
J.A. McLynne has watched the Yankees since since childhood.
- Sports & Recreation
- World Series