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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

A Quick Look at Last Place in Yankees History

by Paul Semendinger

August 9, 2023


Dating back to the Yankees' earliest days, the following are the times the Yankees have been in last place in August or September in any season:

1908 - Finished in last place (8 teams) with a record of 53-103-1. Two managers led the team, Clark Griffith, and Kid Elberfeld. There was a new manager in place for the 1909 season.

1912 - Finished in last place (8 teams) with a record of 50-102-1. Manager Harry Wolverton did not return for the 1913 season.

1913 - Finished in 7th place (8 teams) with a record of 57-94-2. Manager Frank Chance was brought back for the 1914 season, but he was replaced with 20 games to go that year.

1966 - Finished in last place (10 teams) with a record of 70-89-1. Manager Johnny Keane was replaced 20 games into that season.

1967 - Finished in 9th place (10 teams) with a record of 72-90-1. Manager Ralph Houk returned for the 1968 season (and remained manager through the 1973 season.)

1990 - Finished in last place (7 teams) with a record of 67-95. Two managers led the team. Bucky Dent was replaced after 49 games by Stump Merrill who returned to manage in 1991. Merrill would be replaced as manager after the 1991 season.

2023 - How the season finishes is yet to be determined...


This quick history demonstrates that:

  • It is very rare for the Yankees to be in last place in August (or later) in any season.

  • Of the managers who brought the team to a last place finish, only one, Ralph Houk, continued managing for any significant length of time after that last place finish.


The pre-1920 Yankees (the pre-Babe Ruth Yankees) had never finished in first place. Once Babe Ruth arrived, the Yankees became the sport's greatest team.

Since Babe Ruth, and up to this year, the Yankees had only been in last place this late in a season three times. Two of those years, 1966 and 1967, were after the bottom fell out and the Yankees were adrift with an ownership group (CBS) that did not seem to focus much, if at all, on the team. The CBS years were among the worst in the team's history.

The other worse period in Yankees' history were the late 1980s into the early 1990s when the team was also in shambles. In that time George Steinbrenner was suspended from the game. It wasn't a fun time to be a Yankees' fan.


The 2023 Yankees have now joined this small and unproud group of teams who were among the worst in this franchise's very successful history.

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