- Founded: 1901 (charter American League member)
- Formerly known as: Baltimore Orioles, 1901-1902. New York Highlanders, 1903-1910. "Yankees" and "Highlanders" used interchangeably over the next couple of years.
- Home ballpark: Yankee Stadium, New York City
- Uniform colors: Midnight Blue with white or gray (Home uniform has distinctive pinstripes)
- Logo design: Interlocking NY
- League pennants won: 1921, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
- World Series championships won: 1923, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1961, 1962, 1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000
In October 2001, New York defeated the Oakland Athletics 3 games to 2 in the Divisional Series, and then defeated the Seattle Mariners in the American League Championship Series, 4 games to 1, before losing a close World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In World Series play, the Yankees have won 26 and lost 12, over an 80-season span. This level of success is unmatched in professional sports in the United States.
The team originated in Baltimore and played its first two years there under manager John McGraw. When the league wrested control of the club from McGraw in order to move it to the more lucrative New York market, McGraw left for the competition in that market, the New York Giants and achieve substantial success with them. The Highlanders, as they were known, enjoyed brief moments of success, finishing in second place in the American League in 1904 and 1910, but spent much of the 1900s and 1910s in the cellar.
Under new ownership in the late 1910s, the Yankees, as they were now called, acquired a number of players who would later contribute to their success, mostly from the Boston Red Sox, whose owner, Harry Frazee, was unwilling to pay high salaries to the players on his team despite that team having won four World Series titles in the 1910s. The Yankees acquired pitchers Carl Mays, Bob Shawkey and Herb Pennock, catcher Wally Schang, and most notably, pitcher-turned-outfielder Babe Ruth. Led by manager Miller Huggins, the Yankees went through their first period of great success, winning six AL pennants and three World Series during the decade. The 1927 team featured the one-two punch of Ruth and Lou Gehrig and is sometimes considered to be the best team in the history of baseball (though similar claims have been made for other Yankee squads, notably those of 1939 and 1998).
Other highlighted periods of the team's history:
- the 1930s, under manager Joe McCarthy: in the post-Ruth era, the Yankees won four straight World Series titles from 1936 through 1939 behind Gehrig and a bevy of new stars like Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing.
- the 1950s, under Casey Stengel: bettering the McCarthy-era clubs, Stengel's squad won the World Series in his first five years as manager, 1949 through 1953. In twelve years, Stengel won 10 pennants and seven World Series titles. They were led by catcher Yogi Berra, outfielder Mickey Mantle and pitcher Whitey Ford, but unlike the star-studded McCarthy teams, the Yankees of the 1950s owed most of their success to Stengel's use of platooning and his ability to get the most out of average and slightly-above-average personnel.
- the 1970s, under Billy Martin, et al: George Steinbrenner purchased the club in 1973, renovated Yankee Stadium, hired and fired Billy Martin a number of times, feuded with star outfielder Reggie Jackson, and presided over the resurgence of the Yankees in the late seventies. Jackson's three home runs in one game in the 1977 World Series (earning him the nickname "Mr. October") defined the period as much as Martin and Steinbrenner.
- the 1990s, under Joe Torre: The Yankees entered the 1990s as a last-place team. Under general manager Bob Watson and manager Buck Showalter, the club shifted its emphasis from buying talent to developing talent through its farm system. Showalter, due to personality clashes with owner George Steinbrenner and his staff, left after the 1995 season, during which the Yankees returned to the postseason for the first time in 14 years. Joe Torre replaced Showalter and led the Yankees to a World Series victory in 1996. Bob Watson was dismissed when the Yankees failed to repeat in 1997, and was replaced by Brian Cashman. Torre and Cashman have, however, essentially won with the foundation laid by Watson and Showalter before them, particularly the development of players like Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams, and the acquisition of linchpins Tino Martinez and Paul O'Neill.
Players of note
- Baseball Hall of Famers: Yogi Berra, Jack Chesbro, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Lefty Gomez, Lou Gehrig, Waite Hoyt, Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Red Ruffing, Babe Ruth, Dave Winfield
- Current stars: Roger Clemens, Derek Jeter, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams
- Not to be forgotten: Hal Chase, Tommy Henrich, Elston Howard (AL MVP, 1963), Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson.
- Retired numbers: #1 Billy Martin, #3 Babe Ruth, #4 Lou Gehrig, #5 Joe DiMaggio, #7 Mickey Mantle, #8 Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey, #10 Phil Rizzuto, #15 Thurman Munson, #16 Whitey Ford, #23 Don Mattingly, #32 Elston Howard, #37 Casey Stengel, #42 Jackie Robinson, #44 Reggie Jackson