The most celebrated franchise in baseball history has had their fair share of triumph and tragedy in the 100+ years of their existence. During this Christmas week, we want to step into the time machine and take a look back at some of the notable events that have become just as much a part of the fabric of New York Yankees’ history as any event that had occurred on the field of play. We hope you enjoy this holiday remembrance of Yankees’ history through the years, Christmas week edition!
- In 1985, former Yankees’ slugger and historic single-season home run king Roger Maris had his life celebrated by a mass memorial service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner made all of the arrangements, and the service was attended by thousands of baseball officials and fans, including former President Richard Nixon and then-Commissioner of Baseball Peter Ueberroth.
- After helping the Boston Red Sox end an 86-year curse, free agent outfielder Johnny Damon signed with the “Evil Empire.” It was on this day in 2005 that the Yankees introduced a freshly clean shaven Damon to the New York media. Damon would wear his trademark #18 in New York, and help the Yankees win their 27th World Series championship in 2009.
- In another coup against their bitter rival Red Sox, on this day in 2008, the Yankees announce the signing of free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira to an 8-year, $180 million dollar contract. It was firmly believed that prior to the announcement, that Teixeira was headed to Boston. Later in the day, the Yankees also announced that they were turning back the clock to 1923, and would sell certain sections of new seating at the new Yankee Stadium for exhibition games against the Chicago Cubs on April 3rd and 4th. Bleacher seats would be sold for $0.23 each and grandstand seats for $1.10 each.
- In a twist of fate, on this date in 2009, the Yankees announced the signing of free agent Nick Johnson to 1-year deal worth $5.75 million dollars. Johnson had previously been traded by the Yankees to the Montreal Expos for right-handed pitcher Javier Vazquez. The twist comes with the Yankees prior to signing Johnson, re-acquiring Vazquez from the Atlanta Braves for a second tour of duty, thus making he and Johnson teammates.
Be sure to check back in tomorrow for the next day of Christmas week as we continue our trip down memory lane in New York Yankees history!