As one of the owners of the New York Yankees, I feel honored to be part of New York City’s longstanding history of bringing baseball to the city. With the Yankees and Mets both starting the season off hot, New Yorkers of both fandoms have something to root for this year. Then again, even during their worst moments both teams have their faithful fans to make sure they are there when their team turns it back around. No matter the season, New York has a deep history with baseball.
Even though New York is home to multiple high caliber franchises from every sport, it can be argued that the city remains a baseball one at heart. Since its first game in 1858, pitting the Brooklyn all-stars against the Manhattan all-stars, the city has fallen in love with taking in games across the five boroughs. Baseball fans are sure to recall some of the major clubs that helped create the city’s legacy. Clubs like the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants not only brought history to the game, but also brought it to the city.
With players like Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays suiting up in New York, the city housed amazing talent with history-making players. While the two clubs departed for the west coast in 1957, the city fondly remembers these organizations to this day. If you get the opportunity, speak with an older fan from New York. Get them to discuss the era where the Dodgers and Giants were in town and you’re sure to hear some legendary tales. Some may still hurt for them moving, but you’re sure to hear some legendary tales as well.
Then, 1962 saw the Mets come to Queens and fill the void. By 1969, the Miracle Mets made history like their rivals in the Bronx.
Outside the Dodgers and Giants, New York was also a significant destination for the Negro leagues, the National Colored Base Ball League. In fact, the city supported the first Negro baseball league game back in 1859.
Currently, Major League Baseball’s headquarters are located in Manhattan–a symbol that baseball and New York are deeply connected.
Today, baseball is still alive in the city. You may not be able to find lots filled with kids playing pickup games as easily as you used to, but the game is still being played by kids of all ages. From the minor league teams through the five boroughs to children donning their school’s jerseys in the spring, New York’s passion with baseball doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.