New York Yankees

New York Yankees Origin

At the end of the 1900 season, the American League re-organized and, with its president Ban Johnson as the driving force, decided to assert itself as a new major league. Previously a minor league (known as the Western League until 1899), the American League carried over five of its previous locations and added three more on the East Coast, including one in Baltimore, Maryland, which had lost its National League team when that league contracted the year before. The intention of Johnson and the American League had been to place a team in New York City, but their efforts had been stymied by the political connections that owners of the National League New York Giants had with Tammany Hall. When the team began play as the Baltimore Orioles in 1901, they were managed by John McGraw. As a result of a feud with league president Ban Johnson, who rigidly enforced rules about rowdyism on the field of play, McGraw jumped leagues to manage the New York Giants in the middle of the 1902 season. A week later the owner of the Giants also gained controlling interest of the Orioles and raided the team for players, after which the league declared the team forfeit and took control, still intending to move the franchise to New York when and if possible. In January 1903, the American and National Leagues held a "peace conference" to settle conflicts over player contract disputes and to agree on future cooperation. The NL also agreed that the "junior circuit" could establish a franchise in New York. The AL's Baltimore franchise became the New York franchise when its new owners, Frank Farrell and William Devery, were able to find a ballpark location not blocked by the Giants. Farrell and Devery both had deep ties into city politics and gambling. Farrell owned a casino and several pool halls, while Devery had served as a blatantly corrupt chief of the New York City police and had only been forced out of the department at the start of 1902.
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