Chumps to Champs: How the Worst Teams in Yankees History Led to the '90s Dynasty

Chumps to Champs: How the Worst Teams in Yankees History Led to the '90s Dynasty

by Bill Pennington

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The untold story of the time when the New York Yankees were a laughingstock—and how out of that abyss emerged the modern Yankees dynasty, one of the greatest in all of sports

The New York Yankees have won 27 world championships and 40 American League pennants, both world records. They have 26 members in the Hall of Fame. Their pinstripe swag is a symbol of “making it” worn across the globe. Yet some 25 years ago, from 1989 to 1992, the Yankees were a pitiful team at the bottom of the standings, sitting on a 14-year World Series drought and a 35 percent drop in attendance. To make the statistics worse, their mercurial, bombastic owner was banned from baseball. 

But out of these ashes emerged a modern Yankees dynasty, a juggernaut built on the sly, a brilliant mix of personalities, talent, and ambition. In Chumps to Champs, Pennington reveals a grand tale of revival. Readers encounter larger than life characters like George Steinbrenner and unexplored figures like Buck Showalter, three-time manager of the year, Don Mattingly, and the crafty architect of it all—general manager, Gene Michael, who assembled the team’s future stars—Rivera, Jeter, Williams, O’Neill, and Pettitte. 

Drawing on unique access, Pennington tells a wild and raucous tale.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328849878
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 76,610
File size: 13 MB
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About the Author

BILL PENNINGTON is an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times. A former syndicated columnist, Pennington is the best-selling author of Billy Martin, On Par, and The Heisman.
BILL PENNINGTON is an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times and the author of Billy Martin, On Par, and The Heisman. A former syndicated columnist, Pennington was also a beat writer for the New York Yankees. A fifteen-time finalist and seven-time winner of the Associated Press Sports Editors’ annual writing award, Pennington lives with his family in Warwick, New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part 1 The Long Decline

1 Yankee Circus 3

2 Adrift 11

3 Buck Naked 19

4 Stumped 29

5 Dazed and Confused 38

6 Banished 44

7 "Goodbye, George" 56

8 The Architect 61

9 Prospecting 69

10 Finding One Williams, Hiding the Other 80

11 Scouting and Hope 88

12 Yankee Clipper 96

Part 2 Planting the Seeds

13 Band of Brothers 107

14 The Yankee Way 120

15 Culture Creators 129

16 An Ugly Duckling No More 147

17 Gamers 156

18 A Buzz 170

19 Lost Promise 175

Part 3 Rebirth

20 A Spark 183

21 The Jewels 191

22 The Best Laid Plans Ruined 199

23 Like a Dagger 207

24 Really Bad Hangover 212

25 Limbo 222

26 Jedi Powers 232

27 Yankee Flipper 238

28 Last Stand 248

29 "Did That Just Happen?" 257

30 Purge 271

31 The Living Room Summit 279

32 The Pieces All Come Together 286

33 To the Mountaintop 296

Epilogue 307

Acknowledgments 315

Notes on Research and Sources 318

Bibliography 322

Index 325

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