Chumps to Champs: How the Worst Yankee Teams in History Became the Torre-Era Dynasty

CHUMPS TO CHAMPS                            BILL PENNING TON

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


Mr. Pennington takes you back in time when the Yankees were not the place to be. Not only was their owner banned from the game, but free agents also did not want to come and play in New York either. Some like Greg Maddox was offered more money by the Yankees but signed with the Braves. Who could blame him? I remember going to a Yankee game in the old stadium in the early ’90s and for the most part, it was not packed. By the end of the ’90s and into the 2000’s it was difficult to get a ticket to see a game. What was good about this book really is you get a behind the scenes look at what took place in the organization that played in the 81 series against the Dodgers but would not be back in the series until 96 the longest such drought in Yankee history. The good with George Steinbrenner gone the team began to hold on to their young talent instead of trading them away, Willie Magee, and Fred McGriff to name just two and in return nothing. Now Gene Michael in charge the minor leagues was being restocked and they were holding on to the homegrown players. Then adding players like Paul O’Neil, Jimmy Key, David Cone. Then the author takes you through the rise of Bernie Williams and the drafting of what would become the core four. He also goes into the story of number 1 overall pick Brien Taylor who was looking like he was on his way to the big leagues until a fight ruined his shoulder and his career. You see the rebuild, the strike of 94, and the playoff loss in 95, bringing in Tino Martinez, Joe Torre as the new manager and then the World Series victory of 96 then the other ones in 98, 99, 2000 and then 2009. Overall I found this to be an excellent book and I was glad the author was able to talk with so many people which added to the story. Very much worth the read. I received this book from I gave it 5 stars Follow us at

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