Saturday, April 6, 2019

And We Have Won 500 Games. And We Might Win 500 More...

Okay, coming off an off-day—doesn't that sing?—we have..."Fun with Statistics!"

I know it was probably obscured by all the thrills and great play of their opening homestand.  But lost in the excitement was the fact that the Yankees posted their 500th win at Yankee Stadium III.

Michael Kay had already made much of the fact that, going into the 2019 season, the Yanks had a 498-312 record at home in their first 10 years at the House That Hal's Greed Built, which he claimed was the best home record in baseball, at .615.

I have no reason to doubt him.

But the interesting thing?  That .615 is just a click above the Yankees' ALL-TIME home winning percentage of .614.

To give you the rundown:

Hilltop Park (where the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center is today), 1903-1912:

Yanks at home: 398-345 .536 (leaving the team just 2 wins shy of winning 400 or more games in 5 different venues).   Average at-home record: 40-35.  6 winning seasons at home, 4 losing seasons.  Place was a ramshackle arrangement, featuring a big pit in right field.

They won 50 or more games 1 time, with their Hilltop best of 53-23 .697, in 1906.

In this period, the Yankees also played 1 contest at Newark's Wiedenmeyer's Park, capacity 19,000.  The place was an almost literal dump—located right next to a real dump, the smell and smoke from which often delayed contests.

Usually, the era's minor-league and Negro-League squads (Cuban Stars, Newark Eagles) were forced to play there, until it fortunately burned down in 1926, and was eventually replaced by the much-superior Ruppert Stadium.

But the rogues who ran the Yanks brought the team out there for a Sunday, July 17, 1904 game against Detroit, in order to evade NYC's blue laws.  (Yanks won, 3-1.)

Polo Grounds, way down in Egypt Land, 1913-1922:

The Yanks as lowly tenants of the Giants:  416-335 .554.  Average at-home record: 42-33.  6 winning seasons at home, 4 losing ones.

Yanks started off with their worst-ever home record, 27-47 in 1913.   They got much better, due mainly to a guy named Ruth, who loved to play there, and compiled 2,  50-wins-plus seasons, including a Polo Grounds best 53-25 .679 in 1921.

Yankee Stadium I, 1923-1973.

The House That Ruth Built, and the bonanza the jealous Giants forced the Yanks into.

Here is what home-field advantage is all about.  The Bronx Bombers went 2,553-1,410 in the Great Gray Cathedral, good for a .644 winning percentage.

Average at-home record: 50-28, with 48 winning seasons at home and just 3 losing ones.  The Yankees won 50 or more games at home in 30 of those 51 seasons, including 2 of the team's 3, 60-plus-win seasons at home—62-15 .805 in 1932, and 65-16 .802 in 1961.

In fact, if you take away the 9 seasons after "The Collapse"—1965-1973—the Yanks in Yankee Stadium I went 2,155-1,082, good for a .666 home winning percentage.

Yes, you read that right.  For 42 seasons, if you went to Yankee Stadium, it was a 1-2 bet that the home team was going to win.  THAT'S what you call a fully loaded Death Star, Mr. Cashman.

The Shea Captivity, 1974-1975.

Back to being tenants, the Yanks went a respectable 90-69 .566.  Both their home seasons were winning ones, with an average record of 45-35.  Ho.  Also, hum.

Yankee Stadium II, 1976-2008.

In The House That the Taxpayers of New York Built, the Yankees were 1,581-1,020  .608.

Their average record at home was 48-31, a stat distorted a little bit by the fact that two good years (1981: 32-19; 1994: 33-24) were curtailed by management lockouts.  Throw in the projected full seasons in those years, and you get an average of...49-32.  Hey, I said "a little bit."

In all, the Yanks had 31 winning seasons at home and just 2 losing ones in Yankee Stadium II, and 17 of 50 or more wins (it most likely would've been 18 with an uninterrupted 1981).

Their best record, unsurprisingly, was in 1998, when the Yanks went 62-19 at home—their only other 60-plus-win season, good for a .765 percentage.

Yankee Stadium III, 2009-

Well, all of the above.  Plus an average home record of 50-31, no losing seasons (as yet) and 6, 50-wins-plus seasons.  Best single season mark—again, no surprise—was in 2009, at 57-24 .704.

What's it all amount to?

According to my no-doubt faulty calculations, the Yanks at Home are an all-time 5,537-3,482 (including Wiedenmeyer's!) for that .614.  On the road, by contrast, they have gone 4,738-4,299 .524.

Got it?  Are you not entertained, as John Oliver likes to say?

If the season gets even more boring?  At-hoe and road playoff records.


Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

Da da da (da da da)
Da da da (da da da)
Da da da dun diddle un diddle un diddle uh da

JM said...

Numbers are what baseball is all about. Great job, Hoss!

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...


There’s no Yankee who I more want success for than Clint. Papi and Pheeny are breaking out the fancy feast.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, JM!

And I should have added:

—Yesterday marked the 96th anniversary of Opening Day at the late, lamented Great Grey Cathedral, the original Yankee Stadium. Babe Ruth supposedly said he would give his left nut to hit a home run in the game. He did, bashing a three-run shot in the third inning that was all the Yankees needed. No word on his testicles.

Sailor Bob Shawkey pitched a three-hit, complete game for the win over the Red Sox and Howard Ehmke. Also, no Yankee was picked off third with the bases loaded.

Also yesterday:

—In the last year of the real, original Yankee Stadium, Ron Blomberg drew a bases loaded walk to force in a run, in the game's first appearance by a DH. Yanks squandered a 3-0 lead, losing 15-5 to the Sox and Luis Tiant.