The New York Yankees Are About To Become The First American League Team To Win 10,000 Games
You can love ’em or hate them, but the record speaks for itself. While seven National League franchises have attained 10,000 career wins, the New York Yankees will reach that mark sometime in September, becoming the first American League team to do so. They currently have 9,971 wins. (All statistics as of August 2, 2015.)
No other American League team is close to hitting this number. It will probably take another eight or nine years for another A.L. team to get there because the Boston Red Sox are second in A.L. career victories with 9,193.
Following Boston, the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers are neck and neck with 9,064 and 9,061 wins respectively.
Bear in mind that some of National League teams have been around since 1876 so N.L. teams had a bit of a head start in reaching 10,000 wins. There is also futility for some teams. Realize the Philadelphia Phillies who came into existence in 1883 have still not won 10,000 games (total wins 9,505).
The franchise with the most wins all-time are the San Francisco Giants, who started playing in New York in 1883 and moved to San Francisco in 1958. The Giants have won 10,837 games and have the second highest winning percentage of all-time at .538.
But this pales in comparison to the Yankees. Their dominance in the 20th century has led them to compile a winning percentage of .569.
Rather than comment on why the Yankees have been so successful you can look to three facts.
1- The Yankees play in the largest market and generate the most revenue in ticket sales and broadcasting.
2- For the last 40 plus years under the Steinbrenner family, the Yankees have thrown insane amounts of money at players. Some of whom have helped win games, but many who did not deserve it and fizzled under the glare of the Bronx spotlight.
3- Not including the period of Yankee ownership by CBS from 1964 -1973, before free agency the Yankees made many sweetheart deals with owners they were chummy with to acquire top talent. With the Yankees big bankroll they could also throw money at teams that needed cash to get great players.
Lopsided trades that helped build the Yankees dynasty include: the 1920 acquisition of Babe Ruth from the Red Sox; the 1930 trade for Red Ruffing from the Red Sox; and 1959’s trade for Roger Maris from the Athletics.
When the Yankees win their 10,000th game sometime in September do you think Yankees radio announcer John Sterling will say “for the 10,000th time – the Yankeeeeeeeeees win”?
UPDATE 10/1/2015 – The Yankees won their 10,000th game tonight against the Boston Red Sox and clinched a wild-card playoff spot. I did not listen to John Sterling.