Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9- New York Highlanders

It should be noted that this is the last post with my burly beard. Good night sweet prince...
This particular hat strikes a very interesting chord within the history of the New York Yankees/Highlanders franchise. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, prepare to be educated!!! I should first point out that this hat is a New York Highlanders road hat used from 1910-12, and it is the second variation of the interlocking “NY” logo in the team’s history. Actually, one important thing to note is that this is the current “NY” logo used; not the original styling as I will get to that in a future post. This hat was used by the Yankees in April 2012 during the Fenway Park 100 Year Anniversary game, which makes it a throwback. Now, the three years in which this hat was used the Highlanders did not have, or produce a single Hall of Famer under it. The year before, 1909, is the only year the Highlanders suited up a Hall of Famer in Wee Willie Keeler. But once again, I’ll get to that in another post.

1912 is also the last time New York American League franchise would also be known as the Highlanders because of their move into the Polo Grounds in 1913. For those who aren’t familiar with the Polo Grounds, the stadium nestled low alongside the Harlem River, thus making the term Highlanders obscure. The media had been calling the Highlanders the Yankees since 1910 and the franchise soon adopted it as their own.

In 1910 the Highlanders finished their season with a record of 88-63, putting them in second place, but 14 ½ games behind the Philadelphia Athletics who went on to with the World Series against the Chicago Cubs. In 1911 the Highlanders finished 76-76 giving them a sixth place finish, and a record of 50-102 in 1912, which put them in dead last and 55 games behind the Boston Red Sox who won the World Series against the New York Giants.

Needless to say, the Highlanders had a ridiculously awful history in those three years, so what better way to commemorate that than with the years affixed on the front of my cap?

Seriously, even though I obviously wasn’t born during that time period, just looking at stats proved to be embarrassing. Their best hitter during that stretch was an outfielder named Birdie Cree, who played outfield every year with the Highlanders/Yankees from 1908-15. Their best pitcher? No one of relevance; however, they did have a pitcher named Hippo Vaughn, which is kind of cool. However, at 6’4’’ and 215 pounds, the name really didn’t fit the body type.

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