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Famous Yankee Notes and Quotes

"Hitting the ball was easy. Running around the bases was the tough part" - Mickey Mantle

"When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a baseball player and join the circus. With the Yankees I have accomplished both" - Graig Nettles

"What the hell difference does it make?" - Babe Ruth referring to the date which he continued to acknowledge as his Birthday, which was February 7. According to the official records in Baltimore, Maryland, Ruth was born on February 6, 1895.

"He was a real country boy, all shy and embarrassed. He arrived with a straw suitcase and two pairs of slacks and one blue sports jacket that probably cost about eight dollars."- Whitey Ford, of newcomer Mickey Mantle at the start of the 1951 season.

On February 26, 1935, the Yankees released "Babe Ruth" to sign with the Boston Braves as a player/coach. It was the end of an era and what an era it was.

"You just can't imagine the kind of guy he was without seeing him play. He was a circus, a play, a movie, all rolled into one..." - "Lefty" Gomez of "Babe Ruth"

On February 28, 1991, Don Mattingly was named the tenth captain in team history. He won nine Gold Glove awards from 1982-1995. He was AL batting champ in 1984 and MVP in 1985.

On March 1, 1969, Mickey Mantle announced his retirement from baseball after 18 great seasons in pinstripes. It was also March 1, but then 1951 when Mantle would join the Yankees for spring training in Phoenix, Arizona.

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"Here's the pitch. Mantle swings. There's a tremendous drive going into deep left field! It's going, going! It's over the bleachers...over the sign atop the bleachers...into the yards of houses across the street! It's got to be one of the longest runs I've ever seen! How about that!" - Mel Allen's broadcast of Mickey Mantle's 565-foot, "tape measure" home run on April 17, 1953 at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C.

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"They started something here, and the kids are keeping the ball rolling..."-Babe Ruth, after being inducted into the Hall-of-Fame on June 12, 1939 along with Willie Keeler.

On May 29, 1921, Babe Ruth put a home run over the right field roof at the Polo Grounds in a 9-4 Yankees' win over Philadelphia. That season the Babe would hit 59, eclipsing his old mark of 54.

On June 1, 1925, in the eighth inning of a game with Washington at Yankee Stadium, Lou Gehrig stepped to the plate to pinch-hit for shortstop "Pee Wee" Wanniger and the "Iron Horse" was off-and-running on his historic playing streak of 2,130 games.

On May 24, 1936, Tony Lazzeri became the first player in history to hit 2 Grand Slams in one game. He did it against the Philadelphia A's in a 25-2 win. He drove in 11 runs that day, still an A.L. record.

Did you know that Mickey Mantle was named after Detroit great, catcher Mickey Cochrane? His father was a huge admirer of the player who was almost killed when he suffered multiple skull fractures he sustained after being hit by a fastball.

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"He's a smart-assed kid who's always sassin' people and gettin' away with it."-Casey Stengel of Billy Martin in 1977 after Martin aired his grievances to the public on the subject of the Yankees having 3 catchers.

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He said they would. And they did. On May 5, 1977, plans were announced for a new candy bar called "Reggie, Reggie, Reggie." The proposed name proved to be more than a mouthful, but eventually the "Reggie Bar" hit the market and like its namesake, Reggie Jackson had a good run until Reggie left New York, after his run in pinstripes.

Yankees' co-owner and general manager Larry MacPhail knew the way to a woman's heart in 1946, with the Second World War just ended. On May 2 in 1946 MacPhail gave away 500 pairs of nylon stockings to ladies in attendance at a game with Cleveland. The promotional gimmick went over well.

On May 9, 1903, the New York Highlanders wrapped up a three-game series with the Boston Pilgrims that included a first-ever 6-1 win for the Highlanders over the "Boys from Beantown". In time the Highlanders would become the "Yankees" and the Pilgrims would become the "Red Sox" and theirs would become one of baseball's most storied rivalries.

"Playing eighteen years in Yankee Stadium for you folks was the best thing that could ever happen to a ball player."- Mickey Mantle on "Mickey Mantle Day" at Yankee Stadium, June 8, 1969.

The Yankees all-time leader in career appearances is Mickey Mantle with 2,401 games played for New York from 1951 to 1968, followed by Lou Gehrig who played in 2,164 games from 1925 to 1939.

The Yankees were already 11 games into the 1961 season by the time Roger Maris hit the first of his record-breaking 61 home runs. Mantle already had 7 home runs by that time and the "M&M Boys" would wage a spirited war throughout the 1961 season.

On June 17, 1978, "Louisiana Lightning", Ron Guidry would strike out 18 against the California Angels,
setting an American League Record by a left-hander. The record that the southpaw from down South broke had been set in 1916 by a young Boston Red Sox hurler named George Herman Ruth. On July 2, 1978, Guidry hurled the Yankees to a 3-2 decision over the Tigers at the Stadium. The win upped Guidry's record to 13-0 for the season, the best start ever for a Yankees' pitcher. The Louisiana southpaw would finish with a brilliant 25-3 record for the year and a league-leading 1.74 era. 
A season like that for a Yankee would generally yield an excellent payday for the future!

Many a home run had been hit in "The House that Ruth Built", but never had anyone put one into the seats in dead centerfield...until Mickey Mantle, on June 21, 1955 in a game with the Kansas City A's. Over the years dead centerfield at Yankee Stadium had been not-so-affectionately known as "Death Valley". But "The Mick" put one into the ninth row, dead center, a mighty blast that was measured at 486'. Mantle would be the American League home run king in 1955, and again in 1956, 1958, and 1960.

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"...Guys on the street shook hands and said they'd miss me, and the first time I came to bat for Kansas City in Yankee Stadium, they gave me a terrific hand. I just want to tell them all, 'thanks'." -Billy Martin, upon returning to New York for the first time after being traded to the Kansas City A's in 1957.

The Fourth of July, 1939. "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day." In pre-game ceremonies at Yankee Stadium, Lou Gehrig stood before 61,808 cheering fans a dying man. Moved by the tributes offered him and by the adulation of the fans, he told the assembled throng, "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth..."

It was July 6, in 1941, that Joe DiMaggio hit safely in his 47th and 48th games in a double-header with Philadelphia at Yankee Stadium on the way to his monumental 56-game hitting streak. And on this day in 1941, a monument was dedicated in the Stadium's outfield in memory of Lou Gehrig: "A Man, A Gentleman, and A Great Ball Player."

"The reason I'm a Yankee is that George Steinbrenner out hustled everybody else..." - Reggie Jackson, upon signing with the Yanks in 1976.

"Have faith in the Yankees, my son. Think of the great DiMaggio..." - Santiago to Manolin, from The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

** Pedro Martinez - "I wish I'd never see them again.  I wish they'd disappear from the league.  
Then we'd be winners."  "I hate this part.  I'm just sick of being in the paper every day.  Sick of it.  Can't you guys give me a month off." (Pedro on the Yankees) Keep crying Pedro!

Quotations About The New York Yankees Franchise

"A baseball club is part of the chemistry of the city. A game isn't just an athletic contest. It's a picnic, a kind of town meeting." - New York Yankees President Michael Burke

"All ballplayers want to wind up their careers with the Cubs, Giants, or Yankees. They just can't help it." - Pitcher Dizzy Dean

"Baseball is like the United States of America. It's too big to be loused up by one man and one monumental mistake. It's even too great to be loused up by three recent monumental mistakes and a passel of small ones. The worst boner was the sale of the New York Yankees to the Columbia Broadcasting System and the clumsy manner in which it was consummated." - White Sox Owner Arthur C. Allyn

"During the 1920s New York Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert once described his perfect afternoon at Yankee Stadium. 'It's when the Yankees score eight runs in the first inning,' Ruppert said, 'and then slowly pull away.'" - Peter Golenbock in Dynasty: The New York Yankees (1975)

"Hating the Yankees is as American as pizza pie, unwed mothers, and cheating on your income tax." - Columnist Mike Royko

"Hating the Yankees isn't part of my act. It is one of those exquisite times when life and art are in perfect conjunction." - White Sox Owner Bill Veeck

"Have faith in the Yankees, my son." - Ernest Hemingway in The Old Man and the Sea (1952)

"Here at NBC there is just one more reason to hate the Yankees (who were owned by CBS)." - NBC Anchorman Chet Huntley

"I'd like to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee." - Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio

"I imagine rooting for the Yankees is like owning a Yacht." - Jimmy Cannon

"I'm going to buy the Yankees. I don't know what I'm going to pay for them, but I'm going to buy them." - Yankee Owner Dan Topping

"In a tough age which called for tough men in baseball, the Yankees were the toughest. They were managed by a perfectionist, bossed by a president who hated second place, and owned by a man who could say, even with a seventeen-game lead in 1936, "I can't stand the suspense. When are we going to clinch it?" - David Voigt in American Baseball (1970)

"It's great to be young and a Yankee." - Hall of Fame Pitcher Waite Hoyt

"I would rather beat the Yankees regularly than pitch a no-hit game." - Hall of Fame Pitcher Bob Feller

"One night I was watching a quiz show on TV and the question was, 'Name a baseball team synonymous with winning.' One girl said, 'Dodgers.' The other girl said, 'Giants.' That made me madder than hell. I kept saying, 'Yankees, you dummies.' And of course the answer was the Yankees." - Manager Billy Martin

"Only over my dead body will (Larry) MacPhail buy the Yankees." - Ed Barrow

"Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for U.S. Steel." - Joe E. Lewis

"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Hall of Fame Pitcher Bob Feller

"The majority of American males put themselves to sleep by striking out the batting order of the New York Yankees." - James Thurber

"The more self-centered and egotistical a guy is, the better ballplayer he's going to be. You take a team with twenty-five assholes and I'll show you a pennant. I'll show you the New York Yankees." - Pitcher Bill 'Spaceman' Lee

"The myth is that you put a Yankee uniform on a player and he becomes great." - Manager Birdie Tebbetts

"The secret of success in pitching lies in getting a job with the Yankees." - Hall of Fame Pitcher Waite Hoyt

"To be manager of the Yankees under the malevolent dictatorship of George Steinbrenner is like being married to Zsa Zsa Gabor - the union is short and sweet." - Sportswriter Bob Rubin

"Wall Street bankers supposedly back the Yankees; Smith College girls approve of them. God, Brooks Brothers, and United States Steel are believed to be solidly in the Yankees' corner... The efficiently triumphant Yankee machine is a great institution, but, as they say, who can fall in love with U.S. Steel?" - Gay Talese in There Are Fans - And Yankee Fans (1958)

"What does George (Steinbrenner) know about Yankee pride? When did he ever play for the Yankees?" - Manager Billy Martin

"When I first signed with the Yankees, the regulars wouldn't talk to you until you were with the team three or four years. Nowadays the rookies get $100,000 to sign and they don't talk to the regulars." - Hall of Fame Pitcher Lefty Gomez

"When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a baseball player and join a circus. With the Yankees I've accomplished both." - Graig Nettles

"You kind of took it for granted around the Yankees that there was always going to be baseball in October." - Hall of Fame Pitcher Whitey Ford

"You see, the Mets are losers, just like nearly everybody else in life. This is the team for the cab driver who gets held up and the guy who loses out on a promotion because he didn't maneuver himself to lunch with the boss enough. It is the team for every guy who has to get out of bed in the morning and go to work for short money on a job he does not like. The Yankees? Who does well enough to root for them, Laurence Rockefeller?" - Jimmy Breslin in Can't Anybody Here Play This Game? (1963)

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