Yankees Classics

Yankees Classics is a program on the YES Network which features classic New York Yankees games.

Each Yankees Classics episode is hosted by Yankees radio announcer John Sterling, who discusses the game's impact on Yankees history at the beginning and end of the telecast.[1]

Network broadcast library

When it debuted in 2002 as one of the first series to air on YES, Yankees Classics consisted entirely of regular season games from the team's local broadcasts, via WPIX, MSG Network, and WNYW. In 2003, YES acquired rights to rebroadcast playoff games that aired nationally on Fox. In 2007, YES and Major League Baseball acquired rights to games that aired on ABC as part of MLB's then-TV deal with ESPN, including Bobby Murcer's five runs batted in during the game the night of Thurman Munson's funeral. Other games included in this transaction are Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS and Game 6 of the 1977 World Series. In 2008, YES and MLB gained the rights to NBC's telecasts of 1978 and 1999 World Series games.

Graphics and announcers used

The logos of the original broadcasters originally were covered by the YES Network logo; eventually, the logos were then replaced by the Yankees logo. The announcers used were a combination of the Yankees radio announcers and national broadcasters used during the telecast, with the audio feed constantly changing during the game from one announcing team to the other, possibly to prevent advertisements or station promos to be heard, or to include Yankee broadcasters Sterling and Michael Kay giving calls of a Yankee home run, or of Sterling's signature victory closing: "Ballgame over! Yankees win! The-e-e-e Yankees win!" Regular season games since YES' launch in 2002 simply take the TV broadcast, with most out-of-date sponsor plugs removed.

Typically scheduled air dates

A specific Yankees Classic often is shown on its anniversary or on a day when the current team is playing the same opponent. (For example, on October 2, or when the Yankees are scheduled to play the Boston Red Sox, the 1978 playoff game for the American League Eastern Division title, featuring the improbable home run by Bucky Dent, often is broadcast.) Other possibilities include honoring a Yankee on his birthday by showing a Yankees Classics in which he was the game's hero. (For example, on June 26, Derek Jeter's birthday, YES may broadcast Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, which Jeter won with an extra-inning home run; this was his "Mr. November" game.)[2] Games featuring individual Yankee achievements, such as Ron Guidry's 18-strikeout game, no-hitters, and David Cone's 1999 perfect game often are shown, for example, to coincide with programs about Yankee pitchers.

As with other re-broadcast games, some innings are skipped due to time restrictions.


Yankees Classics has been criticized for showing recent games, including those from the current MLB season, when there are many games which haven't been seen in decades. For example, although the memorable 1978 playoff game against Boston has frequently aired,[3] YES has not shown any games from the 1978 ALCS. Also there have thus far been no shows featuring any of the games from the 1977 ALCS, 1981 ALDS or 1981 ALCS. Curiously, outside of Dave Righetti's July 4, 1983, no hit game, there have been no broadcasts of any Yankees games from the 1980s.[4] It is not clear why this is but some have speculated that complete tapes of the games no longer exist or are technically unsuitable for broadcast.

It has also been observed that while episodes of the biographical program Yankeeography make reference to losing efforts in the careers of its subjects, the Yankee Classics series has yet to air anything but games won by the team. This meant that the game in which Derek Jeter surpassed Lou Gehrig's record for most hits as a Yankee, would never be aired as the Yankees lost the game to the Baltimore Orioles. However, this game was later aired on Yankees Classics, only edited until the point where Jeter got the hit).[5]


  1. ^ http://web.yesnetwork.com/announcers/bio.jsp?id=jsterling
  2. ^ http://www.yankeenumbers.com/classicsview.asp?cls_ID=38
  3. ^ http://www.yankeenumbers.com/classicsview.asp?cls_ID=26
  4. ^ http://www.yankeenumbers.com/classics.asp
  5. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/12/sports/baseball/12yankees.html
Harmonica Incident

The Harmonica Incident took place on a New York Yankees team bus on August 20, 1964, en route to O'Hare International Airport. Infielder Phil Linz, slightly resentful at not being played during a four-game sweep by the Chicago White Sox that was believed at the time to have seriously set back the Yankees' chances at that year's American League pennant, began playing a harmonica in the back of the bus. Manager Yogi Berra, feeling that Linz's behavior was inappropriate given the team's recent poor performance, angrily called on him to stop, whereupon Linz threw the harmonica and loudly complained about being singled out despite not having been at fault for the losses.Journalists on the bus following the team reported the incident in the next day's newspapers, and it became national news. Although Linz was fined for the incident, he received an endorsement contract from harmonica manufacturer Hohner after the company saw an increase in sales. The contract more than made up for Linz's lost money from the fine. Radio stations in Boston urged fans of the Red Sox, whom the Yankees played immediately afterward, to greet Linz at the plate in Fenway Park with a harmonica and kazoo serenade. At an exhibition game against the crosstown New York Mets, Mets players tossed harmonicas onto the field.

The incident had divergent effects on the team. For the players, it ended well: Berra's authority as their manager was decisively established and they went 30–11 through the end of the season, clinching the pennant that had seemed out of reach. For the team's management, which had been dogged all season by reports that Berra could not control his former teammates, it confirmed that impression, and efforts to find a replacement for Berra (that had reportedly already been underway) succeeded shortly afterwards, with Johnny Keane, who was considered likely to be fired from his position as St. Louis Cardinals' manager after the season concluded, secretly agreeing to become the Yankees' manager. His team also came back from deep in the standings to win the National League pennant, and then defeat the Yankees in that year's World Series. The day afterwards, Berra was fired and Keane shocked his superiors by resigning instead of accepting a contract extension. Keane took over for Berra a few days later.

Despite its role in catalyzing the team that season, the incident has been seen as the beginning of the end of the Yankees' 15-year postwar dynasty, since it also coincided with the announcement that the CBS television network was buying the team. Keane was never able to fully earn the respect of either the aging, injury-plagued stars or the few promising younger players, and in the 1965 season the team failed to win the pennant after recording its first losing season in 40 years. When the subsequent season started with even worse results, Keane was fired, though that did not prevent the Yankees from finishing in last place. They would not return to the World Series until 1976, after CBS had sold the team to George Steinbrenner.

John Sterling (sportscaster)

John Sterling (born John Sloss; July 4, 1938) is an American sportscaster best known as the radio play-by-play announcer of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees. Sterling called 5060 consecutive Yankees games, beginning in 1989, before taking an 8-day (4-game) break in July 2019.

Mike and the Mad Dog

Mike and the Mad Dog was an American radio show hosted by Mike Francesa and Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo, originally aired in afternoons on WFAN in New York City from September 1989 to August 2008. The show featured Francesa and Russo talking about sports and taking phone calls from listeners. From 2002 the show was simulcast on television on the YES Network. On the radio, the show was simulcast beginning 2007 on WQYK in Tampa, Florida and from 2004 until 2007 on WROW in Albany, New York.

Old-Timers' Day

Old-Timers' Day (or Old-Timers' Game) generally refers to a tradition in Major League Baseball whereby a team, most prominently the New York Yankees, devotes the early afternoon preceding a weekend game to celebrate the baseball-related accomplishments of its former players who have since retired. The pattern has been copied intermittently by other sports but has failed to catch on.

Ross Tucker

Ross Finch Tucker (born March 2, 1979) is a former American football offensive lineman and current sports broadcaster. Tucker was an All-Ivy League offensive lineman at Princeton University, then played seven seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Tucker retired as a player after suffering a neck injury during the 2007 season. He has worked for NBC Sports Network, Westwood One, Sirius XM NFL Radio and the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network. He currently hosts the Ross Tucker Football Podcast distributed through PodcastOne.

YES Network

The Yankee Entertainment and Sports Network (YES) is an American pay television regional sports network that is temporarily owned by The Walt Disney Company, with a minority stake by Yankee Global Enterprises until a sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group and The Blackstone Group becomes final in mid-2019. Primarily serving New York City, New York and the surrounding metropolitan area, it broadcasts a variety of sports events, as well as magazine, documentary and discussion programs; however, its main emphasis is focused on games and team-related programs involving the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (owned by minority partner Yankee Global), the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, the WNBA's New York Liberty and New York City FC of Major League Soccer.

YES Network's offices are based at the Chrysler Building in Midtown Manhattan. YES programs, including Yankees and Nets pre- and post-game shows, are produced in studios that are located in Stamford, Connecticut. The channel is available on cable and IPTV providers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and parts of Pennsylvania; it is available nationally on some cable systems (as part of a designated sports tier), via satellite on DirecTV, and regionally on Frontier U-verse, Verizon FiOS and Cox Communications.

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