Harvey Frommer / Yankees
Talking Yankee Factoids, Trivia, Oddities
By Harvey Frommer
With the “Baby Bombers” now part of the scene, with the Yankee future becoming brighter and brighter, with all the renewed interest in the franchise, herewith for your reading pleasure and edification some interesting sidebars that are part of the franchise history
A reference with the name "Yankees” first appeared in print in the Boston Herald in 1904. It referred to the American League baseball team in New York City. Sportswriters Sam Crane of the New York Journal and Mark Roth of the New York Globe, are credited with first using the name "Yankees" in their writing about the team.
The iconic “bat in the hat” logo was introduced in 1947. It has been the Yankees' primary logo ever since. The artwork was originally credited to Henry Alonzo Keller, a sports illustrator who worked in New York. However, the New York Times reported in 2009 that the logo could have other origins.
According to the family of Sam Friedman, an artist who worked at the “21” club in the 1940s and ’50s, it was their ancestor who sketched the logo onto a bar napkin for Yankee owner Dan Topping, a regular “21” patron. The Yankee boss man allegedly immediately decided that would be the new logo for his team. That Yankee logo is the oldest still in use in the major leagues.
Negro League teams who played at the Stadium when the Yankees were on the road were not allowed to use their dressing rooms. Instead they were obliged to use the visitors’ dressing room.
Pitcher Herb Pennock was born to a wealthy Pennsylvania family and graduated from elite prep schools. Babe Ruth was raised in an orphanage. Pennock was refined, dignified, sophisticated. The great Ruth was the opposite of Pennock. Nevertheless, they were friends for almost three decades. The friendship began when both were young lefty hurlers for the Boston Red Sox in 1916 and 1930s.
The official fight song for the Yankees "Here Come the Yankees" was written in 1967 by Bob Bundin and Lou Stallman. Not used as too often now at Yankee Stadium, it is still frequently played in instrumental form, most times in radio broadcasts.
The first monument honoring a Yankee legend was created in 1932 for Miller Huggins. Monuments and plaques were located in centerfield in front of the fence as part of the playing field about 450 feet or so from home plate. Outfielders always had to be wary running back for long fly balls. At one time ticket holders exited through the centerfield gates viewing monuments on their way out of the Stadium. The monuments were on the field, in front of the fence. Starting in 1976, the monuments and plaques were behind the fence in Monument Park.
Created by Larry MacPhail, YANK Newsletter was first published in 1946 and had a long run. It was published about 6 times a year. Its final season was 1967 when it was published in a newspaper format.
Travel by Airplane
In 1946, the Yankees became the first team to regularly travel by airplane. The team leased a United Airlines plane nicknamed the "Yankee Mainliner.” Despite the advantages of flying, four players, including Red Ruffing, still chose to take the train.
The Yankees are one of four teams today lacking a mascot. From 1982 until 1985, the team mascot was Dandy, a pinstriped bird. That did not work out.
George Steinbrenner liked to dine at Elaine's on Second Avenue in Manhattan. With his team at home, he would often partake of an early supper.
Yankee outfielder and future broadcaster Bobby Murcer took over Mickey Mantle's locker after “the Mick” retired in 1968
Some of the material in this article was excerpted from Frommer’s The Ultimate Yankee Book http://www.frommerbooks.com/ultimate-yankees.html
One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan,, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey Frommer is an expert on the New York Yankees and has arguably written more books, articles and reviews on the New York Yankees than anyone. In 2010, he was honored by the City of New York to serve as historical consultant for the re-imagined old Yankee Stadium site, Heritage Field