Have you ever wondered why the Yankees keep on winning? The Red Sox and Cubs may indeed be cursed, but what is it about the Yankees? Do they keep on winning only because the Steinbrenners are rich and willing to pay for the best talent? A look at the Yankees’ birthchart says no. There is much more behind the Yankees’ success than Steinbrenner’s wallet.
With the Sun in Scorpio square to the Mars and Moon conjunct in Leo, the Yankees’ birthchart is very strong. A square this intense, involving personal planets in the powerful signs of Scorpio and Leo, manifests in a very tough competitor. Squares involving personal planets indicate difficult early-life challenges in the realms they represent. Scorpio is the sign of death, and the Yankees franchise did, in fact, suffer a near death experience early in its history. A look at how the Yankees lived through the experience reveals many of the Scorpionic traits they now are famous for: an intense will to survive, an ability to persevere through adversity, and a knack for winning when all seems lost.
Baseball history records that the Yankees team was not born in New York. The team, which would eventually be known as the Yankees, was born on November 13, 1900 in Baltimore.1 The franchise was born a few months apart from the Athletics and the Red Sox. The Yankees, Athletics and Red Sox were born during the period when the American League, which would began playing games in 1901, was becoming organized. The new American League had sought to place a team in New York but was prevented from doing so by the political strength of the New York Giants baseball team, which did not want competition for its attendance revenue. The Giants would use their Tammany Hall connections to protect their market and prevent the American League from competing with it. Two years later, the established National League and the upstart American League were locked in a bitter war for fan revenue and for players, who had the opportunity to hop between the leagues for better salaries.
One particular battle in this war nearly killed off the Yankees at the hand of the Giants. John McGraw, who would manage the Giants for 30 years, played a key role in a plot to destroy the Yankees franchise while it was still in its infancy. McGraw managed the Yankees for its first two years of life in Baltimore, but his rowdy style conflicted with the gentlemanly image the new American League wished to give to baseball. The Baltimore manager was frequently suspended for his on-field antics and disrespect for umpires.
McGraw eventually became locked in an acrimonious feud with American League President Ban Johnson. McGraw and Giants owner Andrew Freeman would mastermind a duplicitous plot. On June 18, 1902, McGraw secretly met with the Giants owner who offered him the job of managing the Giants. McGraw soon helped a front man, Joseph France, for the rival National League buy a majority share of the Baltimore team. Then on July 16, 1902, while Mercury and Neptune were conjunct at 2 degrees Cancer and in exact opposition to the Yankees natal Saturn, the new owner released seven Baltimore players from their contracts.2 (The challenging aspect from Neptune to the Yankees’ natal Saturn brought deceit and crossed-interests, which involved the Saturnian figures of the owner and manager.) The next day, only five Baltimore players arrived at the ballpark, and the game was forfeited. Meanwhile, five of the released players signed up with the New York Giants and two with the Cincinnati Reds. The turncoat McGraw would also soon join the Giants and become their player-manager. After the Yankee roster was gutted, the team finished the 1902 season in last place, and the franchise’s future in Baltimore was doomed.
The Giants, however, did not know whom they had picked on. In true Scorpionic fashion, the franchise would rise from the dead, transform itself, wait, and eventually have its revenge. The next year, the remains of the franchise were moved to New York. The American League had found two men with the power to combat the political strength of the New York Giants, Frank Ferrell and William Devery. Ferrell had made a fortune operating gambling and prostitution establishments. Devery, a retired police chief, had become rich by accepting bribes not to close such establishments. The American League was very image-conscious and had wished to avoid associating with men who embodied the corrupt side of Scorpio. But Ferrell and Devery had the necessary political clout for the league to enter New York, so the American League allowed them to purchase the franchise with money earned through prostitution and bribery.
The New York Yankees were not winners in their earliest years. The team did not win a pennant until 1921. Of the original American League teams, the Yankees were actually the penultimate team to win a pennant. (The St. Louis Browns were the last AL team to win a pennant in 1944.) The Yankees’ early years in New York were characterized by frequent feuds between owners and managers. During games, Ferrell and Devery would sit near the dugout and yell their unwelcome advice to manager Clark Griffith, who quit in 1908. In 1914, Frank Chance quit as manager after nearly punching Devery. This pattern of Scorpionic power struggles between managers and owners would be repeated generations later in the Bronx Zoo era of the 1970s, as George Steinbrenner frequently fired and hired managers such as Billy Martin and Bob Lemon.
If the hardships and struggles that a square brings are faced and resolved, the same square becomes a strength in later life. Through the 1900s and 1910s, the Yankees’ difficult square was becoming mature. It would eventually become a cornerstone of strength. In the 1920s, the Yankees evolved into the powerful franchise we now recognize. A balance needed to be established between the Yankees Scorpio Moon and their Moon and Mars in Leo. A kind of equilibrium would emerge with the arrival of Babe Ruth. On January 5, 1920, while Jupiter in Leo was conjunct the Yankees’ Leo Moon, the Yankees purchased the contract of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox. With Ruth, the theatrical and flamboyant qualities of the Yankees’ Leo Moon would burst forth. Babe Ruth was the first Yankee to truly radiate beneath the spotlights. Fans flocked and paid to see the Bambino home run champ, and Babe Ruth became one of America’s most popular stars of any era. A team located in New York City, the nation’s media center, deserves a Leo Moon and flamboyant characters such as Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson in its uniforms. Although most Yankee players go about their game in a professional business-like manner, the team has its flashy Leos. Even George Steinbrenner enjoyed the Leo spotlight by making TV commercials.
The Yankees’ pattern of winning was established in the 1920s. To date, the team is by far the winningest baseball team in history with 40 pennants and 27 World Series championships. The Yankees win, not so much by employing high-priced talent, but by playing well under pressure. A team born under the sign of Scorpio, a highly pressurized water sign, naturally plays well under tense conditions. Yankee players are known to hit well in the clutch, especially in the post-season. And it doesn’t take a star to win a championship. Any player in a Yankee uniform is capable of the getting the big hit, be it Bucky Dent in 1978 or Aaron Boone in 2003, little known players with championship pennant clinching homeruns.
Along the way to becoming a winning franchise, the Yankees had their revenge on the Giants, the team that tried to kill them back in 1902. Since the Yankees consistently won and had such stars as Gherig, DiMaggio, and Mantle on their roster, New Yorkers much preferred Yankees tickets to Giants tickets. The Yankees stabbed the Giants where it hurt them the most — in the wallet. With few fans paying to see them, the Giants were forced to leave New York for San Francisco in 1958. A Scorpio may wait years and years, but it eventually has its revenge.
Another indicator of winning ways in the Yankees’ birthchart is the placement of Saturn in the First House. Saturn dwells a few degrees past the Sagittarius Ascendant, in its own sign of Capricorn. Saturn in the Yankees’ First House contributes to the Yankees’ intimidating image as perpetual winners. Saturn is the planet of authority, and the Yankees are usually the ones in charge – ahead in the standings and ahead in the score. Saturn is also the planet that crowns the champions at the end of the season. Those who persevere through baseball’s marathon season — which trudges through spring, summer and fall — to the last game of the World Series have the Saturnian qualities of tenacity and endurance needed to win championships. The Yankees won five consecutive World Series from 1949 to 1953. The word “dynasty” is often used to describe the Yankees of the 1950s because the Yankees appeared as a formidable Saturnian castle that few teams could lay siege. Although the Yankees had their grim years in the 1960s, not winning a pennant from 1965 to 1975, the Yankees almost always contend. At the start of the 21st century, the Yankees were dominating post-season play again, winning six American League pennants from 1996 to 2003 and three straight World Series from 1998 to 2000.
Saturn in the First House often indicates a conservative appearance. Although the Yankees have a Sagittarius Ascendant, it’s the First House Saturn in its own sign of Capricorn that has given the Yankees their distinguished look. The Yankees, as everyone knows, wear pinstripe uniforms. They shun the gaudy bright colors worn by many teams. Conservative Saturn imparts on the Yankees their style of tradition and their aura of history and age. The pinstripes evoke memories of baseball’s history and the many Yankee greats who wore the uniform. As Saturn is the ruler of time and institutions, the Yankees appear to have existed since time immemorial. The oldest franchise in the major leagues is the Cincinnati Reds; but when most fans conjure images from baseball’s history, they usually muse over the Yankees.
The Yankees post-season fortune is helped by a Tenth House with Libra on its cusp. Every October, as the shadows cast by the autumn sun grow longer, one expects to see the Yankees in the playoffs. The Sun, interestingly, transits through the Yankees 10th House every October. Also, Venus and Mercury — inner planets that do not stray far from the Sun — are also in Yankees 10th House or close to it every October. Baseball’s post-season usually begins near October 1 with the Sun around 8 degrees Libra. Around October 11, when the playoffs are in high gear, the Sun enters the Yankees 10th House. While the Sun is in their 10th House of authority and highest achievement, the Yankees naturally step up their game and rise to the challenge of post-season play. They may have just an average regular season and barely get to the playoffs. But when October arrives, and the Sun passes through their 10th House, the Yankees play like champions. On October 16, 2003, as Mercury was in transit at 17 degrees Libra conjunct the Yankees’ MC, they beat the Red Sox for the pennant with Aaron Boone’s dramatic 11th inning home run.
With such a strong birthchart, the Yankees will remain contenders well into the future. They may have a few losing seasons. But even after the worst of times, the Yankees will regenerate into champions. Expect nothing less of a never-say-die Scorpio.
(This article was originally published in Dell Horoscope: July 2004)
Notes on the Birthchart:
This birthchart is relocated to the Bronx, New York, rather than cast for Baltimore, the team’s place of birth. The chart was rectified using solar arc progressions (1 year equals 1 degree). In 1923, the year Yankee Stadium opened, the North Node of 2 degrees Sagittarius progressed to 25 degrees Sagittarius, conjunct an Ascendant of a chart cast for 9:34 AM EST in New York. This chart has an MC of 18 Libra, the degree conjoined by transitting Mars when Babe Ruth’s contract was purchased on January 5, 1920. When George Steinbrenner purchased the team on June 3, 1973, Uranus was also conjunct the Yankees’ MC of 18 degrees Libra.