BRONX, N.Y. — The year 2022 means a year ending in two for the New York Yankees. Some were terrific title two’s. Others were transitional two’s. A couple were plain old terrible two’s.
Only time will tell if the 2022 squad will have a special season. Below, we take a look back at the years ending in two.
Speaking of terrible two’s, 1912 marked the end of the Highlanders. This club went 50-102-1 and finished dead last, 55 games out of first place. Starting pitcher Jack Warhop paced the club with a 7.2 WAR. Not much else wasting space on this bunch.
In the final year that they called the Polo Grounds home, the Yankees claimed their second consecutive American League Pennant. The Yankees posted a record of 94-60. Ace pitcher Bob Shawkey posted a team-best 6.9 WAR and won 20 games with a 2.91 ERA. Babe Ruth swatted 36 home runs with a 1.106 OPS. Unfortunately, again, the Yankees fell to the New York Giants (4-0-1) in the Fall Classic.
This season marked the final World Series title for Ruth in pinstripes. The Babe called his shot against the Chicago Cubs, as the Yankees dominated with a 4-0 sweep. During the regular season, the Bronx Bombers went 107-47-2. That season saw Ruth post a club-best 8.5 WAR. Ruth clocked 41 homers, Lou Gehrig smacked 34, and Tony Lazzeri had a .905 OPS.
These Yankees went 103-51 and earned the AL Pennant. Joe Gordon posted a club-best 7.7 WAR. Charlie Keller posted a .930 OPS. Tiny Bonham, Spud Chandler, and Hank Borowy all sported ERA’s well under three. Unfortunately, the Yankees would fall to the St. Louis Cardinals (4-1) in the World Series.
Mickey Mantle took the mantle as starting centerfielder and sported a team-best 6.4 WAR. Yogi Berra clocked 30 home runs. Allie Reynolds, Vic Raschi, and Ed Lopat all posted ERA’s well below three. The Yankees equaled the run of the 1936 to 1939 run with their fourth consecutive World Series title, which would eventually yield a MLB record fifth in 1953. The team went 95-59 and defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers (4-3) in the Fall Classic.
This marked the end of more or less 40 years of Yankee dominance. Mantle won the AL MVP and had a team-best 6.0 WAR. Mantle posted a 1.091 OPS. Roger Maris hit a team-high 33 homers. Bill “Moose” Skowron hit 23 homers, Elston Howard clubbed 21, Tom Tresh had 20 taters and Clete Boyer socked 18. Ralph Terry, who would earn World Series MVP, and Whitey Ford anchored the pitching staff. New York went 96-66 and won the Fall Classic (4-3) against the San Francisco Giants, as Willie McCovey lined out to Bobby Richardson at second base.
The only good thing about this season is that it marked the final one of CBS ownership. The fourth-place Yankees went 79-76. Bobby Murcer posted a team-best 9.6 WAR and clubbed 33 homers. It was Sparky Lyle’s first year in pinstripes and he posted a sparkling 1.92 ERA.
There wasn’t much to write home about with this season, as the Yankees began one of their longest postseason droughts. New York went 79-83 and finished in fifth place. Rich “Goose” Gossage led the team with a 4.5 WAR, and boasted a 2.23 ERA, 102 K’s and 30 saves. Dave Winfield crushed 37 home runs. The season marked Don Mattingly’s debut in the Bronx.
If you’re wondering when was the last time the Yankees had a losing season, this was the year. Buck Showalter took the helm as manager and began to change the clubhouse culture. New York went 76-86 and finished in fourth place. Starting pitcher Melido Perez paced the team with a 5.9 WAR and struck out 218 batters. Danny Tartabull cracked 25 home runs.
On paper, this was perhaps the best Yankee team of the aughts that didn’t win a championship. The club had an All-Star infield. Newcomer Jason Giambi slugged 41 bombs and had a club-best 7.1 WAR. Alfonso Soriano nearly joined the 40/40 club. Bernie Williams pounded out 204 hits. Mike Mussina paced the staff with a 4.6 WAR. The Yankees also welcomed the “Boomer” back to the Bronx. The 103-58 Yankees won the AL East but were bounced in the ALDS against the Anaheim Angels, to which shortstop Derek Jeter quipped, “it’s not the same team.”
This more or less marked the last legs of a dominant Yankee run dating back to 1994 and a 2009-2012 run that left fans wanting so much more. It saw the season start with Mariano Rivera tearing his ACL and Jeter with a broken ankle. The club even brought in Ichiro Suzuki to help make another push. Curtis Granderson slammed 43 homers and Robinson Cano and his club-best 8.4 WAR, rocked 33. Jeter racked up 216 hits. Hiroki Kuroda paced the staff with a 5.2 WAR. CC Sabathia pitched his butt off against the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS and Raul Ibanez came up big in the clutch. Yet, the team that went 95-67 and won the AL East, ran out of gas and was swept (4-0) by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS.