FEBRUARY 10, 1971 | NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Former New York and San Francisco Giant, St. Louis Cardinal and Philadelphia Phillie Bill White was named the radio play-by-play man for the New York Yankees on this date in 1971.
He became the first Black to be the regular play-by-play guy for any major league team. The Associated Press described the development in the vernacular of the day, “the first Negro to hold such a job in the majors.” White held the play-by-play job for 18 years.
White was a pretty good player too. In a 13-year career, mostly as a first baseman, he was a 5-time all-star and a 7-time Gold Glove winner – as the best in the league at his position. Oh, and I almost forgot, Bill White was president of the National League from 1989 to 1994.
Associated Press (AP), February 11, 1971
FEBRUARY 1, 1999 | NEW YORK, NEW YORK – The New York Yankees traded a young prospect named Mike Lowell to the Florida Marlins on this date in 1999. They got three minor league pitchers in return; Mark Johnson, Eddie Yarnall and Todd Noel.
With Mike Lowell, and several other quality players, the Marlins won their second World Series in 2003 – beating the Yankees.
Lowell became a 4-time all-star with tw.o World Series rings, one as Most Valuable Player (2007 for the Boston Red Sox). Eddie Yarnall appeared in just seven games for the Yankees and was out of baseball by 2001. Mark Johnson was picked up by the Detroit Tigers after never making it out of the Yankees farm system. He appeared in handful of games for the Tigers in 2000, but he too was also out of baseball by 2001. Todd Noel never made it to the major leagues and is no where to be found.
With Mike Lowell, and several other quality players, the Marlins won their second World Series in 2003 – beating the Yankees. Lowell was traded to the Boston Red Sox after the 2005 season and helped them win the World Series in ’07. They made the playoffs in ’08 winning the American League Division Series but losing to the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Championship Series.
If the goal of any move a team makes is to get to the post-season, the Yankees succeeded, more often than Lowell’s teams. The Yankees have been to the playoffs nine of the last ten years, appearing in four World Series, winning two of them, but they didn’t accomplish any of that with players from the Lowell trade. The odds are Yankee fans probably do not think the Lowell trade in 1999 was a good one.
Yankees post season
Marlins post season
Red Sox post season
JANUARY 25,1945 | NEW YORK, NEW YORK • The New York Yankees were sold today in baseball history for $2.5 million to Larry MacPhail, Dan Topping and Del Webb.
Compare that sale price to the value of MLB teams today. The increases are almost incomprehensible. Even comparing for inflation, they’re way beyond the hikes in costs of every thing else.
The increase in team values over just the last 9 years is staggering, as this list from Forbes Magazine comparing 2007 to 2016 (teams are ranked by their value in 2016):
1. Yankees $1.2B $3.4B
2. Dodgers $632M $2.5B
3. Red Sox $724M $2.3B
4. Giants $459M $2.25B
5. Cubs $592M $2.2B
6. Braves $458M $1.75B
7. Mets $736M $1.65B
8. Cardinals $460M $1.6B
9. Angels $431M $1.34B
10. Nationals $447M $1.3B
11. Phillies $457M $1.24B
12. Rangers $365M $1.23B
13. Mariners $436M $1.2B
14. Tigers $357M $1.15B
15. Astros $442M $1.1B
16. White Sox $381M $1.05B
17. Orioles $395M $1B
18. Pirates $274M $975M
19. Diamondbacks $339M $925M
20. Twins $288M $910M
21. Reds $307M $905B
22. Blue Jays $344M $900M
23. Padres $367M $890M
24. Brewers $287M $875M
25. Royals $282M $865M
26. Rockies $317M $860M
27. Indians $364M $800M
28. A's $292M $725M
29. Marlins $244M $675M
30. Rays $267M $650M
Comparing the cost of living in 1945 with today:
- The average cost of a new home today ($360,000) is 78 times what it was in 1945 ($4,600).
- The average cost of a gallon of gas today ($2.33) is 16 times greater than the average gallon in 1945 ($0.15).
The value of the Yankees is 1,360 times greater than it was in 1945.
The New York Times, January 26, 1945
Census Bureau – home prices
NEW YORK, NEW YORK • George Steinbrenner bought the New York Yankees for $10-million on this day in baseball history. He put together a group that bought the team from CBS, but Steinbrenner was clearly the boss.
George Steinbrenner would prove to be the most domineering owner since Connie Mack. Where would the Yankees be without him? Where would Seinfeld be without him? He was more famous, or infamous, than many of his players. He was not one to sit back and let the baseball people run the team, although that’s what he said was his intention in 1973. As time went on he assumed more and more control of the daily operations, and grew more and more impatient, going through a slew of managers in a short time. He was also loyal, he hired former Yankee second baseman Billy Martin as manager five times, which of course means he fired him five times.
George Steinbrenner was born July 4, 1930. He grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, the son of a Great Lakes shipping tycoon. He did well enough in the family business to have enough money to pursue the Yankees. Despite having little experience in baseball, he made a successful bid on the Yankees at the age of 42.
Prior to purchasing the Yankees, Steinbrenner’s experience was in other sports. He ran track and played football in college. He was an assistant football coach at Northwestern and later at Purdue. Steinbrenner got into sports ownership in 1960 when he bought the Cleveland Pipers of the National Industrial Basketball League.
As owner of the New York Yankees, Steinbrenner found himself in the baseball commissioner’s dog house more than once. He was suspended from baseball for two years in 1974 after making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon’s presidential re-election campaign. He was suspended again in 1990 after making payments to a confessed gambler who had some dirt on one of his former players, Dave Winfield.
But you can’t argue with success. During Steinbrenner’s reign the Yankees went to the World Series ten times and won seven of them. And that $10 Million investment in 1973 is now estimated to be worth over $3 Billion.
George Steinbrenner died in 2010 at the age of 80.
More on George Steinbrenner
MLB Team values