Yankees Magazine: On to the Next

After 16 Big League seasons, CC Sabathia remains focused on what's in front of him

Yankees Magazine: On to the Next

More than ever before, CC Sabathia knows exactly what he needs to do to find success on the baseball diamond -- even when he's away from it.

It's a Thursday afternoon several weeks before the start of Spring Training, and the 36-year-old Yankees pitcher is in New York City for lunch. Donning a black Los Angeles Kings cap and a Jordan Brand sweatsuit, Sabathia takes a seat at a table in a private dining room on the second floor. He peers out of a floor-to-ceiling window that overlooks West 48th Street and Sixth Avenue, then turns his focus toward the menu. Within seconds of perusing the list of succulent seafood and hefty steaks and burgers, Sabathia makes up his mind.

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Alfred Santasiere III is the editor-in-chief of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the Spring 2017 issue of Yankees Magazine. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription to Yankees Magazine at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Going off Script

Now entering his 20th season as general manager, Brian Cashman has proven he'll do whatever it takes to try and give Yankees fans the ending they desire

Yankees Magazine: Going off Script

Ask Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Cashman to break his job down into the simplest terms. What follows could pass for a movie's blooper reel.

"Essentially, I'm the director of baseball operations, in charge of creating a culture, the hiring process … no wait."

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Hilary Giorgi is the associate editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the Spring 2017 issue of Yankees Magazine. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription to Yankees Magazine at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Purple at Heart

Joe Girardi's college experiences at Northwestern continue to guide him

Yankees Magazine: Purple at Heart

Joe Girardi's vacation was all set. Before getting swept up in the tornado of another nonstop baseball season, the Yankees manager and his wife, Kim, were going to take their three kids down to Florida for some fun and relaxation -- a welcome respite from the wintry weather in the Northeast.

The trip was scheduled for the week between Christmas and New Year's -- usually a quiet time in the Bronx, save for the annual college football bowl game at Yankee Stadium -- and would offer the skipper a chance to clear his head and recharge his batteries before embarking on the 2017 season.

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Nathan Maciborski is the executive editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the Spring 2017 issue of Yankees Magazine. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription to Yankees Magazine at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Workingman's Blues

Offseason? What offseason? The grind never stops at the game's top level

Yankees Magazine: Workingman's Blues

"This is a simple game," the manager asserts during a legendary shower tirade in Bull Durham. "You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball. You got it?"

In reality, it's much more complex than that. Baseball success can be fleeting, and any day that you're not working is a day that you're letting your competitors get ahead. "Listen, 99 percent of the guys that make it to the Big Leagues have a tremendous work ethic," said Yankees third baseman Chase Headley. "There's a select few guys that are so talented, they can get away with slacking. But there's not many guys like that."

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Jon Schwartz is the deputy editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the Spring 2017 issue of Yankees Magazine. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription to Yankees Magazine at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Small Ball, Big Time

Before they become stars, Yankees prospects join the Minor Leagues' best in the Arizona Fall League

Yankees Magazine: Small Ball, Big Time

It's Oct. 25, 2016, and tonight, on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, a most unlikely World Series will begin, with the Cleveland Indians hoping to end nearly seven decades of futility, and the Chicago Cubs eager to reward a fan base that has waited more than a century for a parade.

Before the flyover and the fireworks and the first pitch, though, there's another game to be played some 2,000 miles to the southwest, part of a small circuit where the sport's future is competing with its present for attention. This game, though … this might be one to remember.

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Jon Schwartz is the deputy editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the 2017 New York Yankees Official Yearbook. The 2017 New York Yankees Official Yearbook is an official Yankees publication. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription to Yankees Magazine at yankees.com/publications

Yankees Magazine: Wait For It

Tim Raines was blazing fast on the basepaths, but making it to Cooperstown required a whole lot of patience

Yankees Magazine: Wait For It

Tim Raines played parts of 23 seasons in the Big Leagues, and as you might expect from someone who ended up earning election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame this year, he did a whole lot well. But if you had to choose one attribute above all others by which to remember him, you'd hardly be alone if you focused on his speed.

Few in the history of the game could match Raines for impact on the basepaths. His three-year tenure with the Yankees (1996-98), during which the team won two World Series titles, came later in his career, when he had been slowed down some by time. Yet he remains the most successful base stealer in the game's history among anyone with more than 400 attempts, having been true on 808 of his 954 tries.

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Jon Schwartz is the deputy editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the New York Yankees 2017 Official Spring Training Program. The New York Yankees 2017 Official Spring Training Program is an official Yankees publication. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription to Yankees Magazine at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Ring Leaders

In Matt Holliday and Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees signed a pair of highly talented, championship-winning veterans willing to share their knowledge

Yankees Magazine: Ring Leaders

The Twitter universe seemed unanimous in its belief that 2016 had a case for "Worst Year Ever." And that was true even before the Yankees didn't win the World Series.

In the Bronx, the threshold for success is still sky-high. Win or else. The 2016 Yankees didn't win it all. Worst Year Ever? Not quite.

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Hilary Giorgi is the associate editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the 2017 New York Yankees Official Yearbook. The 2017 New York Yankees Official Yearbook is an official Yankees publication. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription to Yankees Magazine at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: One of a kind

Family man, World War II vet and 10-time world champion, Yogi Berra represented everything that is good in the game and in life

Yankees Magazine: One of a kind

Social media has reached a point where the phrase itself has become an oxymoron; with so much negativity spreading among its various forms, precious little of it seems social. A major exception was the day America learned of the passing of Yogi Berra. The outpouring of warmth and affection for this overwhelmingly popular figure was reassuring, as if the gentle man himself was participating in the conversation.

And while he spent some time in other Major League uniforms, it was with the Yankees that Yogi Berra established himself as one of baseball's most unlikely, and nevertheless outstanding players, and to some extent was the franchise's unofficial mascot. It was said that even fans who hated the Yankees could never feel that way about Yogi.

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Jack O'Connell is a staff writer for Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the October 2015 issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Brooklyn's Finest

Willie Randolph's journey from Brownsville to Monument Park is the stuff of legend

Yankees Magazine: Brooklyn's Finest

As Willie Randolph walked along a cobblestone path on the banks of the Hudson River in Edgewater, N.J,, he pointed to the New York City skyline.

"That is my town," said Randolph, who was at the scenic location for a Yankees Magazine photo shoot. "That really is the greatest city in the world."

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Alfred Santasiere III is the editor-in-chief of Yankees Magazine. This article appeared in the June 2015 issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Strong foundation

All around his native Puerto Rico, the building blocks of Jorge Posada's success remain

Yankees Magazine: Strong foundation

Jorge Posada is back where it all began. He's in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, a small section of town in the middle of San Juan. The former Yankees catcher is visiting family on the island, and on this hot summer afternoon, he's at the house where he grew up.

Wearing a pair of jeans and a light blue collared shirt, Posada Minor League who resides in Miami -- walks into his childhood bedroom. These days, he has more gray hair than he did when he retired from baseball in 2012 after 17 seasons with the Yankees, but he still has the build of a Major Leaguer.

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Alfred Santasiere III is the editor-in-chief of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the September 2015 issue of Yankees Magazine. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: A lifetime of memories

From his rookie year through his coaching career, Mel Stottlemyre forged a winning legacy

Yankees Magazine: A lifetime of memories

As Mel Stottlemyre sits next to his wife, Jean, in the main dining room at the Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie, Wash., and answers questions about his career as a Big League pitcher and his tenure as Yankees pitching coach, his humility is never more apparent.

Sure, there are plenty of opportunities for Stottlemyre to brag about the great seasons he had on the mound in the 1960s. He certainly could take credit -- even a little bit -- for the tremendous success Yankees pitchers had under his watch during the glorious late-'90s championship run. But that's not who Mel Stottlemyre is.

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Alfred Santasiere III is the editor-in-chief of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the July 2015 issue of Yankees Magazine. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Ol' Blue Eyes and the song we know by heart

Frank Sinatra would have turned 100 this year. Here's how his ode to the City that Never Sleeps became a Yankee Stadium staple.

Yankees Magazine: Ol' Blue Eyes and the song we know by heart

King of the hill. Top of the heap. A-number-one. Everything that George Steinbrenner ever wanted his Yankees to be can be found in the lyrics of a song, one that has been played after each game in the Bronx for parts of four decades.

Frank Sinatra's powerful vocals to "New York, New York" have provided a bright, celebratory anthem following the final out of each Yankees victory. And it has been the reassuring refrain that has followed the fans as they exit any defeat, confidently boasting of better days ahead.

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Pete Caldera is a baseball writer based in New Jersey. This article appeared in the September 2015 issue of Yankees Magazine. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: From center field to Monument Park

As a player, Bernie Williams occupied hallowed ground. In retirement, he joins the greats who came before him.

Yankees Magazine: From center field to Monument Park

Bernie Williams' time in the sun was rapidly approaching. The prospect had spent parts of the 1991 and '92 seasons with the Yankees, and the team's brass liked what they saw. Williams, who signed out of Puerto Rico when he was 17 years old, was now 24 and about to take over the most famous position in sports -- center field for the New York Yankees.

By the time the Yankees began Spring Training in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 1993, they had already traded away Roberto Kelly, the player who had manned the position for the previous four seasons. In exchange for the All-Star center fielder, the Yankees acquired right fielder Paul O'Neill.

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Alfred Santasiere III is the editor-in-chief of Yankees Magazine. This article appeared in the May 2015 issue of Yankees Magazine. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Masters of the universe

Our ranking of the top 10 home runs in Yankees history will surely spark some debate, but the legacies of the players who authored them are set in stone

Yankees Magazine: Masters of the universe

En route to more pennants and more championships than any team in Major League history, the Yankees have produced a galaxy of unforgettable moments, forged by players whose names are forever etched in Yankees lore. And like meteors streaking across the night sky, many of those moments happened in the blink of an eye.

The millisecond when bat meets ball can yield nearly infinite results. But when the planets align and all the factors leading up to the moment of impact come together just right, one swing can be life-changing. Just ask Aaron Boone.

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This article appears in the Commemorative Home Run Edition of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Bedlam in the Bronx

My '76 home run sent the Yankees to the World Series and punctuated the 'thrill of a lifetime' in New York

Yankees Magazine: Bedlam in the Bronx

When I was traded to the Yankees from the Cleveland Indians in April 1974, I remember it was a Friday night and we had just been playing the Angels. Nolan Ryan was pitching, and we were down by two runs in the eighth inning. I came up with the bases loaded and hit a double down the left-field line to score three runs. We went on to win, and after the game, in the clubhouse, it was like we had just won the World Series.

My manager, Ken Aspromonte, called me, Dick Tidrow and Cecil Upshaw into his office and told us we had been traded. The next morning, I was on a plane to New York, and that afternoon, I was in a Yankees uniform playing a home game at Shea Stadium (Yankee Stadium was being renovated at the time).

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Hilary Giorgi is the associate editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the Commemorative Home Run Edition of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Bringing a city to its feet

In the aftermath of 9/11, Derek Jeter gave New York a reason to smile

Yankees Magazine: Bringing a city to its feet

This was the type of moment Derek Jeter had dreamed about when he was a little kid playing baseball in the backyard of his childhood home in Kalamazoo, Mich.

It was Game 4 of the 2001 World Series. His team needed to win this crucial game to even the Series. Jeter's close friend and the team's first baseman, Tino Martinez, had hit a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. Now, it was Jeter's turn to face Arizona Diamondbacks closer Byung-Hyun Kim for the second time that night. With two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, Jeter knelt down and said a silent prayer. Then, he stepped to the plate.

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Alfred Santasiere III is the editor-in-chief of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the Commemorative Home Run Edition of Yankees Magazine. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Legends never die

When it comes to Babe Ruth, it can be hard to separate the myth from reality. Maybe that's because the truth is just too unbelievable.

Yankees Magazine: Legends never die

"Less than a god, but more than a man. Like Hercules or something." --The Sandlot

Ask an American meteorologist about dramatic weather events, and you'll probably hear about some of history's most memorable storms -- Hurricane Katrina, Sandy, Rita, Andrew. You name it. But probably not the tornado from The Wizard of Oz.

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Jon Schwartz is the managing editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the Commemorative Home Run Edition of Yankees Magazine. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Anything and everything

Ever since he was drafted, Rob Refsnyder has searched for his niche. It turns out, he has several.

Yankees Magazine: Anything and everything

The temperature is creeping toward 100 degrees, and Rob Refsnyder is sitting in the Yankees dugout dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, drinking … a hot coffee. Granted, it's cooler in the dugout than on the field, but still, a hot coffee on a sweltering July day?

"Now, I'm ready," he said after the first sip.

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Hilary Giorgi is the associate editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the October issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Flipping the script

From backup catcher to October hero, Jim Leyritz helped swing the momentum of the '96 Series with a Game 4 home run

Yankees Magazine: Flipping the script

With five outs separating the Yankees from a 3-games-to-1 deficit in the 1996 World Series, backup catcher Jim Leyritz stepped to the plate at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The team was down by three with two runners on. Leyritz dug in and launched a 2-2 pitch from the Atlanta Braves' Mark Wohlers to left field to tie the game.

The Bombers went on to win, evening the series, and followed up the performance with two more victories -- including a Game 5 gem from Andy Pettitte that Leyritz caught -- clinching the first World Series title for the franchise since 1978.

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Hilary Giorgi is the associate editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the October issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: On the outside looking in

Greg Bird flew high during his brief Big League stint in 2015. After a lost 2016, he's ready to lift off once again

Yankees Magazine: On the outside looking in

Greg Bird hit 11 home runs in 46 games in 2015 and started at first base in the American League Wild Card Game. But as high points go, a surprising, low-key moment demands attention. Consider a night at The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center on the outskirts of Denver in January. The returning hero, Bird stood before a banquet hall crawling with local baseball coaches and -- along with former high school teammate Kevin Gausman, who now pitches for the Baltimore Orioles, and their high school coach, Dean Adams -- shared stories and lessons from the Major Leagues. Bird was poised, endearingly cocky, and he was substantial. He was a New York Yankee, able to walk with the confidence and the self- assuredness of a citizen of ancient Rome.

The next day, he worked out at his old Grandview High School stomping grounds, young students peeking around corners and following behind him to catch a glimpse. He took some batting practice with an old coach. That afternoon, he visited a Topgolf driving range with some high school buddies, laughing with abandon, relishing each other's company, enjoying being home. Spring Training was about six weeks away, and then the rest of his life. Where would he fit on the team? Would he even keep his place on the 25-man roster with a healthy Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez holding down the first base and designated hitter slots? Bird wasn't too worried, and he wasn't willing to dwell on it.

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Jon Schwartz is the managing editor of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Coming into his own

Bernie Williams hit his stride in 1996, and the timing couldn't have been better for the center fielder or the Yankees

Yankees Magazine: Coming into his own

The 1996 postseason brings back good memories for Bernie Williams.

"I couldn't play any better against Texas in the first round of the playoffs," he recalls. "I don't remember the numbers, but I do remember the feeling. It was unbelievable being in that zone, and I carried it over to the Orioles series."

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Kristina M. Dodge is an executive editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the October issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Into the fire

Just 23 on Opening Day, Andy Pettitte played a huge role in the Yankees' 1996 championship

Yankees Magazine: Into the fire

In just his second year in the Majors, Andy Pettitte was entrusted by first-year Yankees manager Joe Torre to be one of the leaders in his pitching rotation. In return, the young left-hander had arguably the best season of his career, going 21-8 with a 3.87 ERA and finishing second in the American League Cy Young Award voting. And his postseason was nearly as good.

Other than one disastrous World Series outing, Pettitte was undefeated in October, with his crowning moment coming in Game 5 of the 1996 World Series in Atlanta. With the Series tied two games apiece, Pettitte went toe-to-toe with Braves ace John Smoltz at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, besting the future Hall of Famer with a 1-0 victory that put the Yankees one game away from their first championship since 1978 as they headed back to Bronx.

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Hilary Giorgi is the associate editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the October issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Playing the long game

In Charleston, development doesn't always reveal itself in the standings

Yankees Magazine: Playing the long game

Change is expected, even encouraged, in the Minor Leagues. But it can be painful, too. With success comes upward mobility; the players who thrived at a lower level move on to the next, leaving their former team in the hands of those left behind.

Such is life in the Minors.

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Hilary Giorgi is the associate editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the October issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Heading for home

After 14 seasons, Mark Teixeira walked away with his head held high

Yankees Magazine: Heading for home

There goes Mark Teixeira, celebrating. He didn't start tonight's game. In fact, he spent the whole night watching from the bench. Yet there he is, grinning from ear to ear, pumping his fist as he bounds out of the Yankees dugout and shuffle-hops joyously toward home plate.

First baseman Tyler Austin, who celebrated his 25th birthday two days earlier with his second career home run, just hit his third -- an opposite-field shot into the right-field stands on a two-out, full-count, bottom-of-the-ninth pitch from Rays reliever Erasmo Ramirez that sends the suddenly surging Yankees to their fifth win in a row.

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Nathan Maciborski is the deputy editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the October issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Show time

The Yankees' talented youngsters learn to live the Major League lifestyle

Yankees Magazine: Show time

There is a Yankee in Times Square. Two in fact. There is also an Elsa and an Olaf, both of Frozen fame, a Hulk, a Mickey Mouse and an Elmo. The costumed characters are limited in their movements by turquoise boxes painted on the sidewalk below their feet. The "zoning" is the result of a New York City regulation established to set boundaries between those visiting, or passing through, the popular Manhattan tourist spot and street performers eager to earn a living.

The Yankees are not in costume; they're dressed in street clothes. The taller of the two is wearing a lightweight orange T-shirt and jeans; the other, darker denim and a white polo shirt. They move freely and come bearing gifts -- Yankees baseball caps -- and distribute them to the characters, posing for photos afterward.

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Kristina M. Dodge is the executive editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the October issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: The Captain of Captains

An icon in Cuba, Antonio Pacheco is molding the next generation of Yankees

Yankees Magazine: The Captain of Captains

Judging by the photos that surfaced online from time to time this summer, Derek Jeter is probably not looking to become a Minor League coach. The future Hall of Famer looked perfectly content golfing with former teammates in the Dominican and marrying model Hannah Davis in Napa.

But imagine, for a moment, if Tampa's most famous resident got the itch to return to baseball and decided to pop over to Steinbrenner Field and lend a hand. After the starstruck factor wore off, wouldn't the young members of the Single-A Tampa Yankees benefit immensely from having someone of Jeter's caliber around?

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Nathan Maciborski is the deputy editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the September issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: All in

When Gary Sanchez arrived at a crossroads, he seized the opportunity to become a Big League catcher

Yankees Magazine: All in

Gary Sanchez was preparing for Spring Training in 2015 when he had a decision to make.

The then-22-year-old had been considered one of the top 100 prospects in baseball for four straight years, but had fallen off those lists that winter, the result of poor discipline behind the plate. His offensive talent was not in dispute, but his lack of basic catching skills presented a multitude of questions about his future at the position.

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This article appears in the September issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Together, a long journey

With baseball in their blood, infielder Ronald Torreyes and his father built a Major League career from their home country of Venezuela

Yankees Magazine: Together, a long journey

It's 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and the grounds crew is on the field, setting up for batting practice. There is movement and some friendly ribbing, but the decibel level is low, a hum in an otherwise quiet Yankee Stadium. In a couple of hours, the Yankees will file through the dugout doors and onto the field to stretch, long toss, take their hacks in the cage. Fans will make their way into the seating bowl. Peanuts, popcorn and beer will flow.

Joe Girardi comes bounding up the dugout steps, a Yankees ball bag in hand. Trailing behind him is his son, Dante. They politely maneuver their way around the grounds crew and find some space in the middle of the diamond for a time-honored tradition that has long bonded parent and child.

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Kristina M. Dodge is an executive editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the July issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: The evolution of Chad Green

In a year that's seen much change, a pitching prospect is committed to making the permanent jump to the Bigs

Yankees Magazine: The evolution of Chad Green

Here's the bottom line: It's hard to get a Major League hitter out.

Chad Green knows this, but he's not scared.

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Hilary Giorgi is the associate editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the July issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.

Yankees Magazine: Brick by brick

Over more than a decade in the game, Brian McCann has accumulated a wealth of knowledge. Now he's sharing it.

Yankees Magazine: Brick by brick

Brian McCann reached the Big Leagues when he was 21 years old. He had played just two-plus seasons in the Minor Leagues and -- suddenly -- he was thrust into an Atlanta Braves uniform. The team had made the postseason 13 consecutive times, but when the catcher debuted on June 10, 2005, the club was 2.5 games back in the National League East.

McCann's Major League education was about to begin. His mentor? Future Hall of Famer John Smoltz, who would throw to McCann in the catcher's second-ever Big League game.

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Hilary Giorgi is the associate editor of Yankees Magazine. This article appears in the June issue of Yankees Magazine. Get this article and more delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription at yankees.com/publications.