Over the 20th Century the New York Yankees have proven to be the most successful franchise in professional sports because their dominating players and their overall work ethic to success. The Yankees have made immense contributions to sports. Over the years, the Yankees have continued to remain relevant and even after their demise, their legacy still lives on. Among the most celebrated Yankees are Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe Dimaggio, Marino Rivera, and Derek Jeter. Below are biographies of these baseball players.
Ruth was born on February 6, 1895, in Baltimore. Only Ruth and one sister survived infancy. His other six siblings all passed away. Ruth was a withdrawn kid and always got into trouble, prompting his parents to place him in St. Mary's Industrial School. It is at this school that he learnt about the game of baseball (Luminary Group LLC).
Ruth began playing professionally when he was 19, after Jack Dunn had spotted him. His parents had placed him for adoption at St. Mary’s where he was supposed to remain till he was 21 (Luminary Group LLC). Dunn was hence forced to adopt him so that his contract could be actualized. Ruth was jokingly referred to as Dunn’s baby, which sourced his name “Babe”.
Ruth played for the Orioles for five months after which the Boston Red Sox bought him to play for the team. Ruth took his place as a pitcher and in his first ever World Series, he was able to pitch 29 2/3rds scoreless innings. With this, he was able to break Christy Mathewson's record. As a result, the Red Sox won the World Series that year and other few years that followed (Luminary Group LLC).
Ruth was extremely good as a pitcher, but he also proved good as a hitter. In 1919, he played as an outfielder and set a record. This was however, not good enough to make the Red Sox winners of that league. Soon after this, the owner of “Red Sox” sold him off to the “New York Yankees”. This renewed home for the team and the news hit major headlines in 1920 that Ruth was now part of the Yankees.
The price at which Ruth had been bought was the highest ever at that time. The investment paid off because in 1921, the Yankees won their first World series, thanks to Ruth (Luminary Group LLC). The Yankees won several leagues until 1925 when Ruth developed some health problems that led to the decline of his performance. He was however able to come back and in 1927, he started getting back his lost glory after setting a run record of 60 in just one season.
Ruth retired in 1934 after his performance began slowing down. It is remarkable that by the time of his retirement, even his closest competitor was still far off from achieving what he had.
During his time, Ruth was able to set records that took more than forty years. He simply took the sport to higher levels and is still counted a hero up to date. He succumbed to a malignant tumor on his neck in 1947 (Luminary Group LLC).
Lou Gehrig was born on June 19, 1903 in New York City to German immigrants. Gehrig’s family was not well up and his mother, Christina, had to do odd jobs to support the family. Gehrig’s father, Heinrich, often had trouble finding work due to his poor health.
In 1921, Gehrig went to Columbia on a football scholarship to pursue a degree in engineering. While in Columbia, Gehrig played for the summer professional baseball under an assumed name, Henry Lewis. This was a big risk which resulted in him being banned from playing during his fresh year.
In 1923, Gehrig resumed sports and he started by playing as a first base for the Columbia Nine. Paul Krichell, a baseball scout, got impressed by Gehrig's hitting skills. The baseball scout signed him in as a player and this marked the beginning of a successful career for Gehrig.
Miller Huggins, who was Gehrig’s manager, requested that McGraw allows Gehrig to play for the Yanks’ roster in the World Series in place of Wally Pipp, who was unwell at the time of the game. McGraw turned down this request and declined (The Rip Van Winkle Foundation). This however did not stop the Yankees from winning the game.
Gehrig went on playing for Hartford, and by the end of the first season, he had hit a whole.369. It was only until 1925 that Gehrig joined The Yanks rosters and not as a substitute player, but a full time and main player. Gehrig took the place of Wally Pipp and was actively involved in baseball for the next 13 years.
During his lifetime in the game, Gehrig batting average was .340 and amassed 400 total bases in only five games (The Rip Van Winkle Foundation). This is a record that very few players have been able to achieve. Gehrig is among seven players that have achieved more than 100 extra-base hits in one season. This is an achievement that he accomplished twice, making him one of the greatest Yankees in record.
Gehrig won many awards for his expertise in the game. One prestigious award is the Triple Crown which Gehrig scooped in 1934 with a .364 hit. More awards followed therein, a reason why he is still a role model up to date.
In 1938, Gehrig’s performance in the field declined. He was later diagnosed with a gall bladder problem. Gehrig was placed on treatment but this only made him weaker. Gehrig quit the game in 1939 after a streak of loses. He was diagnosed with a degenerative disease better known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This disease has since been named after the player; Lou Gehrig's disease. It marked the end of his career as a baseball player. Gehrig succumbed to ALS in 1941. He is now remembered for his skill and talent (The Rip Van Winkle Foundation).
Joe DiMaggio was born on November 25, 1914, in Martinez, California. His parents were Italian immigrants who made their living by fishing. When Joe was 14, he quit school and joined his elder brother Vincent, who at the time was playing with the minor league San Francisco Seals. Vincent also played for many other leagues teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates. Joe’s younger brother, Dominic, was also involved in the game and he played for the Boston Red Sox (Encyclopedia Britannica).
The New York Yankees bought the contract that Joe's has signed for with San Francisco. In 1936, Joe started playing for the New York Yankees. Right away after his admission, Joe started playing for major leagues that the team participated in.
Throughout his time as part of the Yankees, Joe was a consistent hitter. Joe topped when it came to batting for a number of years. His skill enabled him to keep records that no one has been able to break yet.
Besides his ability of hitting, Joe proved himself a good fielder too. In 1947, he only made one error in 141 games, another record to his name (Encyclopedia Britannica). In most of the games that he Joe played as the central fielder, he did not struggle much to dive so as to catch the ball. He was always on the perfect spot to have an easy catch of the ball.
Joe helped the Yankees to a series of World Series Titles. For this, he scooped many awards, one being the award of the Most Valuable Player Award for the American League for a number of years. He retired from the game in 1951.
Joe is still remembered for his expertise and the fact that he took some time off the field to take part as a militant during the II World War. For his achievements, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. Joe passed on in 1999 (Encyclopedia Britannica)
Mariano Rivera was born on 29 November, 1969. He was signed in for the Yankees in 1990 and has since achieved a lot as a Yankee. He started off as a starter pitcher, which later changed to a relief pitcher (CBS Interactive). His good performance earned him the place of a closer in 1997. He has led in many major league saves and still continues to give his best for the team. It is hoped that he will one day be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Derek Sanderson Jeter was born on June 26, 1974, in Pequannock, New Jersey. He was always an utter fan of the Yankees but little did he know that he was to be part of the team at some point (MLB Advanced Media).
Derek played for a number of small leagues while still in high school. He went on to play for his varsity’s team, earning many awards as a junior player. In 1992, he became the first player to be picked by the Yankees at first round of games organized by the Yankees. This was the beginning of his career with the (Yankees MLB Advanced Media).
A year later, Derek was voted the "Most Outstanding Major League Prospect" because of his outstanding performance. He has since then won award after award and still goes on to up to now.
Derek has since established a foundation meant to help youths to lead healthier lives by taking part in activities such as sports (MLB Advanced Media). The Turn 2 Foundation has helped many youths to keep off from crime and drugs, and has helped them start businesses as well as fund many youth programs. To add to his record, Derek was made captain of the team in 2003, an achievement that not many have been able to achieve.
In July 2011, Derek was named AL Player for the week and an All-Star, for the 12th time. He still goes on to give his best to the team till date.
In conclusion, the above biographies tell of great stories that these Yankees have achieved. Most of them have had very humble beginnings but out of their hard work, have made great strides as players and even in their personal lives. They are therefore worth emulating and looking up to.
The Rip Van Winkle Foundation. About Lou at The Official Web Site Lou Gehrig, 2009.
Retrieved 2011, from http://www.lougehrig.com/about/bio.html 2009.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Biography at Joe DiMaggio, 1994-2011. Retrieved 2011, from
CBS Interactive. 42 Mariano Rivera, RP New York Yankees at CBS Sports, 2011. Com.
Retrieved 2011, from http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/players/playerpage/8019/mariano-rivera
MLB Advanced Media. Derek Jeter — Biography-2 at About Derek, 2011. Retrieved 2011 from
Luminary Group LLC. Bibliography at Ruth Babe, 2011. Web. Retrieved 2011, from