One of the most successful professional sports franchises of all-time, the New York Yankees have won 27 World Series titles since their inception in 1903. Moreover, the team has been a model of success since 1995, during which time it has won five championships and only missed the playoffs in four seasons. Over the last 24 years, the New York Yankees have only had four different managers. Here are the Yankees’ four most recent managers:
A former All-Star infielder with the Cincinnati Reds, Aaron Boone played 12 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) and recorded 126 home runs, 555 runs batted in (RBI), and a .263 batting average. He played 54 games with the Yankees in 2003 and hit the now iconic game-winning home run in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox to send the Yankees to the World Series. In 2009, he retired as a member of the Houston Astros.
In the past, MLB teams sought managers with extensive coaching experience, but executives are increasingly targeting younger managers only a few years removed from their playing careers. Rocco Baldelli, Gabe Kapler, and Alex Cora represent a few examples of this youth wave, whereas Boone was only 45 years old when he was hired by the Yankees prior to the 2008 season. The move paid off, as Boone guided New York to its first 100-win season since 2009. This past season, the Yankees posted a win-loss record of 103-59 and scored its most runs (943) in a single season since 2007. Boone finished second and fifth, respectively, in AL Manager of the Year voting in 2019 and 2018.
Recently hired to serve as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, Joe Girardi managed the Yankees from 2008 to 2017, during which time he led the team to a 910-710 record in the regular season. He also guided the team to a World Series in 2009, following a 103-win season. While New York missed the playoffs four times during his tenure as manager, the team posted a winning record in each of those seasons. Girardi won National League Manager of the Year in 2006 with the Florida Marlins and finished in the top five in voting for AL Manager of the Year in seven seasons. He managed the AL All-Star team in 2010.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman cited perceived communication issues with younger players as a reason for Girardi’s dismissal in 2017. Girardi, meanwhile, understood the nature of the business: “It happens,” he said upon being fired. “It has happened to people who have a lot more wins than me. I think Brian wants something different and he’s going to go out there and try to find that. Joe Torre won an awful lot and they went out and found someone and that guy was me, and Joe has won a lot more than I have.”
One of the most accomplished managers in MLB history, Joe Torre ranks fifth all-time in wins with 2,326 behind only Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, John McGraw, and Connie Mack. In 1977, he began his managerial career with the New York Mets as a player/manager and served strictly as a manager the following season. Torre spent six seasons as manager with the Mets before joining the Atlanta Braves. He later managed the St. Louis Cardinals and in 1996 was hired as a manager of the Yankees.
Over the course of 12 years in this role, Torre guided New York to four World Series titles and two AL pennants. In addition, his teams posted a combined 1,173-767 regular season record for a winning percentage of .605. Torre spent three seasons as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers before retiring in 2010. Four years later, the two-time Manager of the Year was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Yankees missed the playoffs in 13 consecutive seasons from 1982 to 1994, and Buck Showalter was manager of the team in the latter three of those seasons. However, he was named AL Manager of the Year in 1994 and was also at the helm of the team when it made the playoffs in 1995. New York was first in the AL East through 113 games in 1994, but a league strike canceled the rest of the season, including the World Series. It marked the first time the World Series wasn’t contested since 1904. Despite his success in the aforementioned seasons, Showalter was replaced by Torre in 1996.
Yet, Showalter proved himself a capable manager and secured the Arizona Diamondbacks managerial position in 1998. He later managed the Texas Rangers and, in 2018, concluded a nine-year stint as manager of the Baltimore Orioles. Over the course of 20 years, Showalter’s teams have posted a combined record of 1,551-1,517. He is a three-time AL Manager of the Year and managed the 1995 AL All-Star team.