Where Do the Yankees Rank Among Best-Starts in Baseball History?

MLB Jun 18, 2022

Now 65 games into the 2022 regular season, the New York Yankees are on a blistering pace – they've won nearly 3/4ths of their games and appear headed to the best baseball season in 20+ seasons

With the New York Yankees 4-0 win on Saturday over Toronto, the storied franchise just keeps on winning.  It's been a remarkable few months for the team that typically doesn't live up to the hype.

Incredibly, the Yankees are already 12 games up in the tough AL East, with 4 of 5 teams holding winning records.  No matter what the other teams do, the Yanks appear uncatchable.

Here's a glance at the standings:

We've written about the Yanks' great start already.  Admittedly, we thought the team would cool off, and the W-L results would shift back to normalcy.  But that's not happening, at least not, so far.

Read: Yankees Continue Rolling to Record-Breaking Season

With their 49-16 record after today's win, where do the Yankees rank among the great teams and best starts in MLB history?

We checked out some older data and came up with an interesting comparison from The Sporting News, in 2o20.  Here's the comparison:

Read: The Ten Best Starts in Major League History


Here's a look back at those hottest opening records ever, going back more than a century:

The Ten Best 60-Game Starts in MLB History

(1) New York Giants, 1912
Opening record: 48-11-1

Final record: 103-48

Just like the 2017 Dodgers, the 1912 Giants, well before relocating to San Francisco, couldn't finish with a World Series title. Behind famed manager John McGraw and led by Hall of Fame pitchers Christy Mathewson and Rube Marquard, the Giants were NL juggernauts, but they lost a classic tight eight-game World Series to the Red Sox, 4-3-1 (including a tie in Game 5).

(2) Seattle Mariners, 2001
Opening record: 47-13

Final record: 116-46

Lou Piniella managed this very talented team. They had great lineup balance with Ichiro Suzuki, Edgar Martinez, Bret Boone, Mike Cameron and John Olerud. They also had a strong rotation of versatile arms featuring unlikely late-career 20-game winner Jamie Moyer. Unfortunately, after getting through the Indians in the division series, they lost to the Yankees 4-1 in the ALCS, failing to reach the World Series.

(3) Chicago Cubs, 1907
Opening record: 47-13

Final record: 107-45

This was the Cubs' championship standard that stood for 108 years until the 2016 team made history. The double-play combination of Joe Tinker to Johnny Evers to Frank Chance was on the marquee, but pitchers Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown and Orval Overall were the true dominant forces. Chicago rolled through the NL and took care of Detroit 4-0-1 in the World Series.

(4) New York Yankees, 1939
Opening record: 47-13

Final record: 106-45

This was one of the Bronx Bombers' super teams, led by the two Joes, manger McCarthy and superstar DiMaggio. Joe Gordon, Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing gave the Yankees four more future Hall of Famers. The seventh was Lou Gehrig, who was forced to retire after his ALS diagnosis at midseason, giving his inspiring address on July 4. They rolled through the AL and swept the Reds, 4-0, in the World Series.

(5) New York Yankees, 1998
Opening record: 46-14

Final record: 114-48

The Yankees' modern dynasty was stamped by this effort, setting the tone for the first of three consecutive World Series titles after they ended a long drought (for them) in 1996. Joe Torre and Derek Jeter had plenty of support from a loaded lineup to a mighty five-deep rotation to Mariano Rivera. With a great mix of youngsters and veterans, power and speed, offense and defense, starting and relieving, New York had no weaknesses all the way through sweeping the Padres 4-0 in the Fall Classic.

(6) New York Yankees, 1953
Opening record: 46-14

Final record: 99-52

Here's the Casey Stengel entry for the Yankees. Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle were the leaders here, with Whitey Ford serving as the unquestioned ace of the pitching staff. Despite the significant cool-off over the final two-thirds of the season, New York still padded its World Series haul by taking care of Brooklyn, 4-2.

(7) Philadelphia Athletics, 1929
Opening record: 45-15

Final record: 104-46

This is the first of two Connie Mack teams on this list. Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Cochrane and Al Simmons had terrific offensive outputs together as future Hall of Famers, while Lefty Grove was just developing his legend on the mound. The A's denied the Cubs 4-1 in the World Series.

(8) New York Yankees, 1928
Opening record: 45-15

Final record: 101-53

The 1927 version of the Bombers gets romanticized for its offense more, but the follow-up season was almost identically strong, powered again by Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Miller Huggins easily managed the Yankees to a World Series repeat with a second straight sweep, only vs. the Cardinals instead of the Pirates.

(9) Philadelphia Athletics, 1913
Opening record: 45-15

Final record: 96-57

Mack had a red-hot team 16 years before, too, although this one had to survive being below .500 after a sizzling start. Eddie Collins and Home Run Baker provided plenty of offense, but there were more future Hall of Famers on the pitching staff in Eddie Plank, Chief Bender and Herb Pennock. These A's beat the then New York Giants 4-1, long before their Bay Area series sweep in 1989.

(10) Detroit Tigers, 1984
Opening record: 44-16

Final record: 104-58

Sparky Anderson managed the best MLB team of the 1980s, powered by intense leader Kirk Gibson and six All-Stars — Lance Parrish, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Chet Lemon, Jack Morris and Willie Hernandez. Hernandez, a dominant left-handed reliever, won both the AL Cy Young and MVP awards. These Tigers didn't let up until after they rolled through the Padres for what's still the franchise's most recent ring.