Classes, Lectures & Tours
The Baseball Dynasties
Baseball’s great dynasties – the Giants and Yankees
The great baseball dynasties are those of the New York Giants (1904-1924) and the New York Yankees (several periods). For each of their leagues the Giants and Yankees represent the franchise with the most Hall of Famers, the most historic ballpark and the longest period of dominance.
Both clubs used local circumstance to make themselves champions, re-creating themselves from also-rans into masters and then symbols of the of the game’s then-prevailing style of play – the inside game for the Giants, the lively ball for the Yankees.
The Giants’ rise dates to a connection with the most influential people in New York, this from a lesson learned in 1888. City Hall, annoyed at the team for providing what it considered an insufficient number of free tickets the year before, cut a major street directly through the outfield of the original Polo Grounds. The same area helps us understand the role of the team in establishing the hot dog, the World Series, the seventh-inning stretch, “Casey at the Bat” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
The Yanks in the 1910s saw opportunity in the walking distance between their office and an ordinary theater eight blocks away. The sites of Hilltop Park, the latter Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium I and II show that the ballparks reflected and even determined the club’s character and its fortunes.
New York itself made the Giants and Yankees paramount. They remain respectively as baseball’s team of grand heritage and its team of greatest distinction.