Vintage Model
Sports Illustrated|July 29 - August 5, 2019
Vintage Model

Best known for their rich traditions THE YANKEES are setting the pace in the AL by embracing current trends: power hitting, a power bullpen and depth.

Stephanie Apstein

WHEN INFIELDER DJ LeMahieu signed his two-year, $24 million free-agent contract in January, he celebrated by studying. He quizzed himself until he could remember each of the Yankees’ 21 retired numbers and the 22 men who wore them. He was going to be a Yankee, after all. He needed to know his history.

History is everywhere at Yankee Stadium. Batters aim for Monument Park, one of the team’s museums, located beyond centerfield. Flags commemorating the 27 championships ring the stands. Retired numbers adorn the walls of the clubhouse. And on his way to the field, each player passes under a sign inscribed with Joe DiMaggio’s words: i want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.

No, a Yankee can never forget where he is. Players joke that they should teach Yankees History 101 in spring training. Veterans warn rookies to do their homework but not to pretend they know more than they do: You don’t want to get caught mixing up your Red Ruffings and your Whitey Fords.

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July 29 - August 5, 2019