The New York Yankees are undeniably the most successful franchise in Major League Baseball (MLB). The team traces its history back to 1903 when, as the New York Highlanders, it posted a win-loss-tie record of 72-62-2.
The franchise adopted the Yankees name in 1913 and appeared in its first World Series in 1921. After losing in the World Series in back-to-back years, New York won its first MLB championship in 1923 by scoring a 4-2 best-of-seven series victory over the New York Giants.
Since then, the Yankees have won an additional 26 World Series titles in 39 appearances. Not only do both of these figures lead all MLB franchises by a wide margin, New York is also the only MLB team to win four consecutive World Series titles, having done so twice from 1936 to 1939 and 1949 to 1953.
Below is a recap of the four most recent Yankees’ World Series titles:
In only his second season as manager following the departure of longtime bench boss Joe Torre, Joe Girardi guided the Yankees to its first World Series in nearly a decade. The team finished the regular season with a win-loss record of 103-59, which was its best record since the 2002 season. It beat the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the American League (AL) Division and AL Championship Series, respectively, before meeting the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.
New York dropped the first game by a score of 6-1 before winning three consecutive games to grab a commanding lead in the series. Phillies’ pitcher Cliff Lee won his fourth game of the playoffs in Game 5 to extend the series to six games, but Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte led the team to a 7-3 victory in Game 6.
Pettitte won two games in the World Series and allowed only nine hits through 11-and-two-third innings pitched. Mariano Rivera, meanwhile, recorded saves in Game 2 and 4. Hideki Matsui was named World Series MVP after registering a .615 batting average to go along with three home runs and 8 runs batted in (RBI).
The 2000 World Series is especially memorable for the Yankees as it was preceded by its least successful regular season among its 27 World Series titles. New York won only 87 games that season compared to 98 the previous year. Its second-lowest win total in a World Series-winning year is 92, which it registered in 1996 and 1958.
This year also marked the first time a team had won three consecutive World Series titles in 26 seasons and was the first time in more than four decades that the Yankees played its cross-town rivals, the New York Mets, in the World Series.
The Yankees won Game 1 by a score of 4-3 in a 12-inning marathon thanks to a game-winning single to left field by Jose Vizcaino. It won three of the next four games, including the decisive Game 5, to score a 4-1 series victory over the Mets. Derek Jeter was named World Series MVP with a .409 batting average, two home runs, and three walks in 22 at-bats.
The Yankees cruised to a 4-0 sweep of the Atlanta Braves in the 1999 World Series, capping off an impressive playoff run in which it lost only one of 12 games. Moreover, New York finished atop the AL East in the regular season for the second consecutive season with a record of 98-64.
In the playoffs, the Yankees beat the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox before meeting the Braves in the World Series. It won four consecutive games by a combined score of 21-9, with Game 3 (6-5 Yankees) being the only close contest.
Scott Brosius and Jeter were among the team’s most effective hitters with a .375 and .353 batting average, respectively, while Rivera earned World Series MVP recognition. The Hall of Fame closer was credited with the win in Game 3 and earned saves in Game 1 and 4.
The 1998 regular season was the most successful in Yankees’ franchise history and the third-best all-time behind only the 1906 Chicago Cubs (116-36) and 2001 Seattle Mariners (116-46). New York finished the season 22 games ahead of the second-place Red Sox with a record of 114-48. The season featured All-Star performances by hitters like Brosius, Jeter, and Paul O’Neill as well as pitching performances by Pettitte, Orlando Hernandez, and David Wells.
New York continued its dominance in the playoffs by winning 11 of 13 games, commencing with a four-game sweep over the San Diego Padres in the World Series. After winning the first two games at home, New York registered a come-from-behind 5-4 victory in Game 3 in San Diego.
The team trailed 3-0 heading into the seventh inning and cut the deficit to one. In the following inning, Brosius hit a three-run home run off Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman to give the team a 5-3 lead.
San Diego answered with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Rivera closed out the game for his fifth save of the playoffs. New York won Game 4 by a score of 3-0. Brosius, who had two home runs and six RBI in the series, was named World Series MVP.