The History of the Manchester Yankees

This article was written by Christopher D. Chavis

This article was published in Fall 2023 Baseball Research Journal

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have one of the fiercest rivalries in American sports. It is a rivalry borne out of regional differences that date back to Colonial America. The rivalry goes beyond sports—New York and Boston were early economic rivals, eventually becoming a cultural rivalry between New York and New England. While the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry was birthed by history, it was raised on the baseball diamond. The Red Sox were the dominant team in the first two decades of the twentieth century, winning five World Series before 1919.

However, that dominance ended abruptly after the 1919 season when owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth (and other pieces) to the Yankees, which helped form the nucleus of a Yankees team that went on to dominate the 1920s and 1930s. As the Yankees’ fortunes climbed, the Red Sox sank. Not until Tom Yawkey purchased the team in 1933 did the Red Sox see a reversal of fortune that saw them compete directly with the Yankees during the 1930s and 1940s. It was during the height of this competitive era between the two teams that the Manchester Yankees were born.


Josaphat Benoit



Manchester sits along the Merrimack River in southern New Hampshire, around 50 miles northwest of Boston. While Manchester never developed into a manufacturing powerhouse at the level of its namesake in England, it became an important economic hub in northern New England. Its mills lined the river and provided employment for migrants from across rural New England and immigrants from French Canada. Today, Manchester sits as the most populous city in northern New England.

Professional baseball has been played in Manchester, albeit not on a continuous basis, since 1877, when the city hosted a founding member of the New England Association.1 The city was granted a team in the New England League (a successor league to the New England Association) in 1887.2 Manchester’s fortunes as a baseball city were inconsistent and the team saw numerous entries and exits from the New England League, which had numerous unsuccessful incarnations between its founding in 1886 and its ultimate demise in 1949. The last iteration of the New England League began play in 1946, with Manchester hosting the Giants, the Class B affiliate of the New York Giants.3 The 1940s iteration of the Manchester franchise played at Athletic Field.4 The team was an on-field success in its first two seasons, making the playoffs (but losing in the first round) in 1946 and losing to their downstate rival, the Nashua Dodgers, in the Governor’s Cup the next year.

Like much of New England, Manchester has a symbiotic relationship with Boston. In 1837, a group of businessmen from Boston founded Amoskeag Manufacturing Mills, which owned and operated the textile mills that dominated Manchester over the next century.5 In the modern day, Manchester sits firmly in the Boston media market and its residents get most of their television stations from Boston. In fact, there is only one television station licensed to New Hampshire, Manchester’s WMUR-TV. At the time of the founding of the Manchester Yankees, the hometown papers across New Hampshire covered the Red Sox and Boston Braves as the home teams, and the Boston Globe even regularly offered original reporting on news events in New Hampshire. New Englanders also take pride in their regional identity, and that extends to any regional rivalry with New York. Against this backdrop, it might seem unusual that the Yankees would set up shop in Manchester.


In February 1948, it was announced that the Manchester franchise in the Class B New England League had both been sold and signed a working agreement with the Newark Bears, a Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.6 The Manchester franchise was to be renamed the Manchester Yankees. The new ownership group was led by Edward C. Bourassa, who had led the group that founded the franchise in 1946. Bourassa had been forced out of his management role by the Giants after just one season over his desire to fire manager Hal Gruber. Bourassa left after 1946, but the withdrawal of the Giants from their agreement with Manchester opened the door for him to purchase the team again before the 1948 season.7 The new ownership group committed to making the team a community project, selling shares to members of the public for $100 each.8 The team also announced that Manchester native Tom Padden would be the manager.9

The Manchester Yankees’ original roster mainly consisted of players pulled from the Sunbury, Pennsylvania, franchise after the New York Yankees withdrew their minor league affiliation after the 1947 season.10 In April, the team reported to Edenton, North Carolina, for three weeks of spring training in preparation for their May 5 opener at home against Nashua.11 The Dodgers had beaten Manchester the previous year to win the Governor’s Cup, the championship for the New England League, and the two cities were eager to resume the rivalry.12

The arrival of the Yankees to Manchester was met with much fanfare. On Opening Day, the team paraded down Elm Street, and Mayor Josaphat Benoit threw out the first pitch in front of a sellout crowd.13 However, the Yankees fell short in their first game in Manchester, 9–3.14 The Yankees were plagued by poor fielding, making six errors, including two in the second inning, which helped the Dodgers get the lead they never gave up.15 The Yankees turned the tables the next night when they traveled to Nashua to defeat the Dodgers, 4–1, in a game that saw them commit no errors.16

The Yankees were never able to gain much traction in their inaugural season, playing much of the season below .500. In the eight-team league, the Yankees were consistently in the middle of the pack, and by July, it was clear that the Portland Pilots, Nashua Dodgers, and Lynn Red Sox were the best teams in the New England League. However, four teams made the playoffs, and the Yankees spent much of the year in contention for the fourth playoff spot. A hot streak at the end of June and the beginning of July solidified their claim. On July 2, the Yankees defeated the Providence Chiefs to move into a tie for the final playoff spot. It was their eighth victory in 10 games.17 They defeated the Springfield Cubs the next night to win their fifth straight game and take sole possession of the final playoff spot.18 The Yankees were still below .500, but in contention to take Manchester back to the postseason.

On July 12, the Yankees dropped a 1–0 game to the Red Sox, which started a cold streak that saw them lose fourth place to the Pawtucket Slaters.19 On July 15, the Portland Pilots swept the Yankees in a doubleheader, which handed fourth place to the Slaters.20 On July 19, the Slaters solidified their claim by handing the Yankees their seventh straight loss.21 The Yankees, however, showed some signs of life the following day by sweeping the last-place Fall River Indians in a doubleheader.22 While the Pilots, Red Sox, and Dodgers had an insurmountable advantage in the standings, fourth place was still up for grabs. The Slaters were hot, but the Yankees had started to rally and were not yet out of contention.23 A doubleheader sweep of the Pilots on July 29 moved the Yankees back into fourth place.24 The next day, a second doubleheader sweep of the Pilots gave the Yankees a two and a half-game lead over the Slaters for the final playoff spot.25

The Yankees held the final playoff spot for much of August, with the Slaters hot on their tail. On August 19, the two teams met for a pivotal doubleheader in Manchester. The Yankees entered with a two and a half-game lead over the Slaters, which dwindled to just a half-game after the Slaters swept.26 The Slaters moved back into fourth place after their own victory over Springfield on August 22.27 The Yankees never again held the playoff spot and concluded their season on September 6 with a doubleheader sweep by the Dodgers.28 A fitting end to a disappointing season that saw the Manchester franchise fail to reach the heights it had achieved the previous season.

The 1948 Manchester Yankees finished 58–68, good enough for fifth place. The team was also a loser on the balance sheet, posting an $18,000 loss, much of which was attributed to the high cost of spring training.29 The media questioned the team’s ability to even return in 1949.30 The New York Yankees attempted to make up for the losses by funding the team’s spring training expenses.31 The Manchester team reported to Dillon, South Carolina, for a joint spring training with the Yankees’ Class B affiliate in the Piedmont League, the Norfolk Tars.32 This move may have only delayed the inevitable closure of the team, which came just months into the 1949 season.

1948 was the only full season that the Yankees played in the New England League. By July 1949, the Yankees were dissolved, and the New England League itself voted to dissolve in December of that year.


Nineteen-forty-eight was a great year for New England baseball. The Braves and Red Sox were fighting for the pennants in their respective leagues, and fans saw the potential for the World Series trophy landing in Boston for the first time in 30 years. Beyond that, they saw the potential for an all-Boston World Series. However, it was the excitement generated in Boston that was partially to blame for the death of the final minor league dedicated solely to New England baseball.

One major factor in the failure of the Manchester Yankees was the proximity of the Braves and Red Sox, in addition to televised night games that came out of Boston.33 The other major factor was Manchester’s economic conditions. Manchester was a working-class mill town, and people could not afford to attend multiple games a week, especially if the choices were the local minor league team or an excursion to watch the major league teams in Boston.34

Other New England cities saw their teams die for similar reasons, and the teams that saw the highest attendance (and thus were two of the last three teams alive when the league folded) were the teams in Portland, Maine, and Springfield, Massachusetts, the two cities farthest from Boston.35 Pawtucket, Rhode Island, hosted the third and final New England League team, though their lifeline may have been the folding of the team in Providence earlier in the season.


But the story of the Manchester Yankees does not quite end there. The name was revived in January 1969 when the New York Yankees decided to move their Double-A Eastern League franchise from Binghamton, New York, to Manchester. The failure of the Binghamton club to secure a playing site and the New York-Pennsylvania League’s decision to block the franchise’s move to Oneonta, New York, just 60 miles from Binghamton, necessitated the move.36 The Yankees still had a few logistics to work out. They didn’t even have an owner for the team or a stadium in which to play. The Yankees kept open the possibility of operating the team directly. Johnny Johnson, the vice president in charge of minor league operations, arrived in Manchester in early February to confer with the city about the logistics of the team arriving there, including its use of city-owned Gill Stadium (which had been known as Athletic Field during the Manchester Yankees’ prior tenure).37

But the question remained as to whether this team could succeed. A February article in the Union Leader in Manchester asked this question and cautioned the Eastern League to avoid scheduling games at the same time as televised Boston Red Sox games in order to avoid the fate of the last iteration of the Manchester Yankees and the New England League as a whole.38 The article also stated another potential barrier to success for the Manchester Yankees and one of the reasons for the failure of its last iteration: Manchester’s proximity to Boston. Would fans turn out for a minor league team when they could drive an hour to Fenway Park? There was also the valid question of whether Red Sox fans in New Hampshire would even support a Yankees farm team.39

The details of the team’s usage of Gill Stadium were also subject to scrutiny by Manchester Alderman Peter Psaledas, who questioned whether it was appropriate for a minor league team to use a stadium that was under the city’s ownership and introduced a motion to block the Yankees’ usage of Gill Stadium. Psaledas reasoned that any such use would take away from local organizations such as the American Legion or youth leagues. The City Council did not recognize Psaledas’ motion and overwhelmingly supported the team’s usage of Gill Stadium.40


Gill Stadium



After two weeks of speculation and negotiation, John Alevizos, a Boston University professor, ultimately purchased the team.41 Alevizos immediately set out to address the issues raised by Psaledas and find a way to ensure that the Yankees’ use of the stadium did not interfere with local concerns. They arrived at a compromise, including the American Legion team often playing games on the same day as Yankees games.42 Psaledas seemed satisfied with the arrangements.

On February 28, the Manchester Yankees announced that they had hired 30-year-old Jerry Walker as manager. Walker had pitched for Baltimore, Kansas City, and Cleveland between 1957 and 1964 and managed the Yankees’ New York-Pennsylvania League team in Oneonta to a league championship in 1968.43 On March 9, Alevizos announced more staff additions, which consisted entirely of New Hampshire natives. Alevizos drew attention to the fact that the staff was entirely made up of local people except for his manager. While he did not follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and directly sell shares of the team, he did announce that the Yankees offices in Manchester would be open to the public.44 He spent March speaking to local groups, including the Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce.

In his first month as owner, Alevizos had gone the extra mile to endear himself to the people of Manchester, which the local press noted.45

He also addressed concerns about competing with the Red Sox and the opportunity to keep fans in New Hampshire. In a Lions Club speech, Alevizos noted that people in the Manchester, Concord, and Nashua areas spent $800,000 annually at Fenway Park. He said that he hoped to keep a third of that in Manchester. He also said that he needed 100,000 spectators to show up to Gill Stadium for the team to break even.46

Governor Walter Peterson accepted the team’s invitation to attend Opening Day on April 22. In accepting the invitation, he encouraged all residents of New Hampshire to support the Yankees.47 He even declared the day “Manchester Yankees Day” throughout the state.48 The Union Leader framed the success of the Manchester Yankees as a success for all of New Hampshire.49


This iteration of the Manchester Yankees wrapped up spring training in Hollywood, Florida, and headed north to Waterbury, Connecticut, for their debut on April 19.50 However, Mother Nature had other plans for the Yankees, and their debut would have to wait another day. Rain rolled into Waterbury and postponed Opening Day.51 The Yankees lost their first game to the Waterbury Indians, 5–3, after the home team rallied in the seventh inning.52

The Yankees picked up a 7–6 victory over Waterbury the next night, scoring the winning run in the seventh inning. The Yankees were able to capitalize on the fielding miscues of the Indians, who allowed five unearned runs on four errors.53 After splitting their initial series, the two teams headed north to Manchester for Opening Day at Gill Stadium on April 22.

The Yankees planned to take the field with much fanfare, with “colorful, elaborate, pre-game ceremonies” and dignitaries like Governor Walter Peterson and Mayor John Mongan in attendance.54 Governor Peterson was even set to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.55 However, Mother Nature again had other plans, and the home opener was postponed.56

The rain did not let up the next night and the game was postponed again.57 But it was still a big night for New England baseball. Anyone who wanted their baseball fix could have driven down to Boston or turned on the radio to listen to Ted Williams make his return to Fenway Park as manager of the Washington Senators and defeat the Red Sox, 9–3.58 Cold weather and the continued threat of rain forced another postponement the following night, closing the door for an April home Opening Day.59

Baseball officially returned to Manchester, New Hampshire, on May 2 as the Yankees finally took the field and defeated the Pioneers of Elmira, New York, 9–2.60 Because of the rescheduled date, Governor Peterson could not attend and was represented by New Hampshire State Senate President Arthur Tufts. Much like his predecessor two decades prior, Mayor Mongan threw out the first pitch to start the festivities.61 Four thousand fans were on hand for the return of the Yankees.62

The Yankees were also able to announce that they would have a couple of games broadcast on WMUR-TV on a test basis to expose more of New Hampshire to the team and get residents’ support.63 The first planned broadcast was the May 5 game against the York Pirates.64 Fans across New Hampshire watched as the Yankees defeated the Pirates, 8–3, for their third win in their first four home games.65

On May 13, the Yankees were a party to one of the rarest events in baseball as they were no-hit by the Pittsfield Red Sox—but they were able to win the road game because of fielding errors by the Red Sox.66 The Yankees ultimately swept the Red Sox in their first series.67 The sweep also put the Yankees at .500 for the first time in their short existence.

The Yankees and Red Sox took the field for the first time in Manchester on May 19.68 With the help of a home run by Charlestown, New Hampshire, resident Carlton Fisk, the Red Sox defeated the Yankees, 4–2.69


Much like their predecessors in Manchester, the Yankees started with much support, but that tapered off as the season went along. A June article in the Union Leader lamented that only 325 fans showed up to a Sunday afternoon game.70 A similar point had been made just a couple of days earlier after fans did not turn out during the previous homestand.71 In June, the Union Leader called out Alevizos for referring to Manchester’s “negativism” in multiple public speeches to local groups.72 By August, rumors had emerged that Alevizos might relocate the team for the 1970 season. He called a press conference to dispel them.73

Alevizos soon entered into a dispute with the city regarding his lease at Gill Stadium, even resorting to placing his rent payment in escrow until the issue could get resolved.74 In his letter to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, he alleged several violations, including failing to install a batting cage, water fountains, and other facilities.75 The city responded by saying that it had lived up to the obligations of the lease and accused Alevizos of looking for an out so he could relocate the team.76 In a meeting with the department, Alevizos’ attorney, Thomas Tessier, claimed that the team had lost $10,000 in 1969.77

On August 21, the Union Leader reported that Alevizos had failed to pay a $5,500 bond that the city required to secure Gill Stadium for the 1970 season and that the city had informed him that the team would not be able to play at the stadium unless he paid within 30 days.78 Alevizos quickly paid the $5,500 bond, assured fans that the Yankees would remain in Manchester, and cited support from the fans in his decision to do so.79

On the field, this iteration of the Yankees spent much of their inaugural season at around .500. As the season wound down in late August, the Union Leader published an editorial criticizing Alevizos’ approach to running the Yankees and saying that his battles with the city were a distraction to his team on the field and drew correlations between major events, such as his speeches on “negativism” and his dispute over the lease, and the team’s poor performance.80

Any goodwill Alevizos built with his preseason charm offensive had run out.


The season ended on August 29 with a doubleheader against the Waterbury Indians. The team honored two players, Gary Washington and Ron Blomberg, who were slated to be called up to New York at the end of the season.81 The Yankees and Indians split the final doubleheader, which featured a sportswriter getting an at-bat.82 George Sullivan was a reporter for the Boston Herald Traveler who was working on a firsthand story about playing in the minor leagues.83 The Yankees finished their first season back in Manchester with a 64–75 record, in fifth place in the six-team Eastern League. Despite their on-field struggles and the reported decline in attendance throughout the season, the Yankees led the Eastern League in attendance, with 91,116 fans.84

On September 3, Alevizos met with the Manchester Parks and Recreation Commission regarding issues at Gill Stadium. The first reports indicated that the two sides agreed on addressing any outstanding issues before the 1970 season.85

With the team firmly in place in Manchester, Alevizos sought to rehabilitate his image, even hosting a public ceremony where new Manchester Mayor Henry Pariseau purchased 1970 season tickets and Alevizos promised to give the 92,116th fan to enter Gill Stadium in 1970 two all-expense-paid trips to Florida. He also announced the creation of a local “board of directors” that would oversee policies for ensuring “maximum service to the public.”86 Alevizos promised that professional baseball would remain in Manchester and that the only change fans should expect would be for Manchester to become a Triple-A city in the future. Neither of those promises would be fulfilled.


Before the first fan entered Gill Stadium, Alevizos already had one foot out the door. By early May, Alevizos had accepted a position with the Boston Red Sox. In fact, he attended the Manchester Yankees’ home opener as a representative of the Red Sox.87 He had even spent his spring in Winter Haven, Florida, helping the Red Sox negotiate their expanded presence there.88 There was even ambiguity around Alevizos’ role with the Yankees. On May 6, Alevizos spoke at New Hampshire College’s Athletic Awards Banquet in a dual role as Boston Red Sox vice president and Manchester Yankees owner.89 By June, Alevizos insisted that he had no formal role with the Yankees, and his uncle, George Alevizos, served as team president.90

In late May, a nonprofit called Baseball Inc. was chartered by local interests who wanted to purchase the franchise to get Alevizos to divest his shares in the Yankees.91 Alevizos and Baseball Inc. were unable to come to terms on a sale. Despite this, Alevizos said he would consider donating the team to a civic-minded organization or individual.92 That proclamation attracted the attention of the future buyers of the team.93

Despite his reduced role, Alevizos’ battles with the city of Manchester continued. He missed rent payments for the season’s first two months, almost prompting the city to lock the Yankees out of their home stadium.94 Much as he had in the past, Alevizos made the payments necessary to avoid trouble, but only after pushing the team to the brink.

On July 1, the Yankees announced the team’s sale to businessmen Ronald C. Duke, Kenneth E. Cail, James Fary, and Henry Fary. Duke and Cail were residents of Massachusetts, while the Fary brothers were residents of Salem, New Hampshire.95

At long last, the John Alevizos experience was over for Manchester.


In February 1970, the Yankees confirmed that they would return to Hollywood, Florida, for spring training. Then they would play the newly relocated Pawtucket Red Sox in Rhode Island on April 24. Their home opener, also against the Red Sox, was scheduled for May 5.96

Yankees leadership had also been revamped for the coming season. The Yankees had hired 24-year-old Suffolk University law school student Jimmy Brent to serve as general manager and Gene Hassell to serve as manager.97

The Yankees headed north from Hollywood with an 18–3 record in spring training.98 However, their momentum did not carry into the season, and they posted a 4–7 record in their opening 11-game road trip. For the second straight year, New Hampshire Governor Walter Peterson was scheduled to throw out the first ball, and he was once again relieved by a Manchester mayor.99 The Yankees dropped their home opener, 8–1. It was unclear how John Alevizos felt about the outcome.

Their initial stumble aside, the Yankees got off to a good start and were second in the Eastern League by the end of May.100 On June 8, they moved into a tie for first in the Eastern League with a victory over the Elmira Pioneers.101 Unfortunately for the Yankees, this was the peak of their season. By the end of the month—and when the new owners took over—the Yankees were hovering around .500, third in the Eastern League. However, it was a tight battle at the top of the league, and the Yankees were only four and a half games out of first place.102


In early July, Brent was relieved of his duties as GM, with the new owners citing a desire to assume the role themselves.103 They also scheduled a Get Acquainted Night for the team’s July 10 game against the Waterbury Pirates so they could meet the fans.104 The Yankees announced that new Manchester Mayor Charles R. Stanton would throw out the first pitch to mark the festivities.105

Despite the Yankees contending on the field, they were not attracting people to the games, a fact that concerned New York Yankees management.106 The decision by the new owners to host a special night did not help attendance, and the Get Acquainted Night on July 10 drew only 568 fans.107 To make matters worse, the Yankees lost, 2–0, to the Pirates. The Yankees were also once again the subject of relocation rumors, with reports emerging that the team may seek a move to the west to Keene, New Hampshire, in 1971, a rumor that was boosted by the Yankees’ decision to play a July home game in Keene. On August 5, the Union Leader reported that the owners denied any plans to move the team and reiterated their commitment (and the New York Yankees’ commitment) to Manchester.108

By the end of August, the Yankees had sunk to 62–69, 12 games out of the lead, and well out of contention for a playoff spot. The team had been plagued by injuries, with most of its players, including key contributors, missing time.109 The off-the-field chaos also plagued the Yankees. They played for two owners, with almost half the season spent waiting for a new owner to arrive. On September 7, the 1970 Manchester Yankees lost their final game, 8–0, to the Pawtucket Red Sox.

The Union Leader did not provide attendance figures, but attendance had sunk to 36,928. The team’s lack of success at the box office was the topic of a talk given by co-owner Ronald Duke to the Kiwanis Club in Manchester in February 1971. In his remarks, Duke cited competition from the Boston Red Sox, lack of support from the business community because of Alevizos’ “hard sell” style, and the team’s losing record.111 The owners reported early successes in selling season ticket packages. By March, they had sold 160, compared to 129 the year prior. The owners indicated that they would need to sell 75,000 tickets throughout the season to break even.112


The Manchester Yankees prepared to take the field in 1971 by naming former Washington Senators manager and American League batting average champion Mickey Vernon as their new manager. Vernon had managed the Richmond Braves in the International League in 1970. The Yankees reassigned Hassell to their affiliate in Kinston, North Carolina, where Hassell had worked in 1969.113 The Yankees headed north in mid-April from their spring training site in Hollywood, Florida, to begin their season at home against the Pawtucket Red Sox.114 To get the local fans excited for the season, the team hosted its first annual Meet the Yankees Dinner, where season ticket holders and the news media could meet the team.115

As it turned out, however, there was little on the field to excite the home fans. On April 19, the season began with a first pitch from Manchester Mayor Stanton and a one-run loss by the home team.116 The Yankees dropped five of the six games of their opening homestand.117 Cold and rainy weather also besieged the team, which was a precursor for things to come.118

Going on the road did not help. Overall, the Yankees dropped 10 of their first 11 games.119 Given the situation, the team needed help drumming up interest among the local fans. The owners attempted to remedy the situation by offering free tickets to their June 7 game against the Waterbury Pirates.120 That game was even preceded by a hot streak that temporarily pulled the Yankees out of last place in the American Division of the Eastern League.121 Despite giving away free tickets, the Yankees only managed to fill a third of the seats.122 Unfortunately for the fans who showed up to the free game, the Yankees lost, 8–6.123

The ownership attempted to spur interest by lowering ticket prices for the June 20–24 homestand.124 By July, they indicated that they would decide whether to remain in Manchester in 1972 by the end of the regular season.125 The New York Yankees made it clear that the decision to move would be left to the Manchester ownership, and the parent club would defer to them in the matter.126 The Eastern League’s president made the same declaration.127


The Yankees spent the rest of the season in the cellar, with fans not showing up to the ballpark to offer their support. They concluded their home schedule on August 26 with a 7–2 loss to the Elmira Royals in front of just 326 fans at Gill Stadium.128 The Yankees finished in last place, and the few fans were left to wonder whether the team would remain in Manchester in 1972.

The owners did not quickly announce a decision on the matter. In November, the Eastern League owners unanimously approved a Yankees relocation.129 The owners were looking at West Haven and Waterbury, Connecticut, as potential relocation sites. The latter was set to lose its Eastern League team, and New York Yankees management preferred it because of the big club’s fan base in the area.130 Despite the parent club’s preference, Waterbury could not match the offer made by West Haven, and the Manchester Yankees owners began to zero in on West Haven as a relocation site.131

But by December, the Yankees had yet to officially move, and the owners had not ruled out remaining in Manchester for the 1972 season. The delay in a final decision was partially caused by the city of West Haven’s inability to finalize its incentives package, which the outgoing mayor had vetoed.132

However, if they did decide to stay, the Yankees would be without a home. The Manchester Parks and Recreation Commission had voted unanimously not to renew the team’s lease at Gill Stadium.133 This vote had essentially put the nail in the coffin of the Manchester Yankees.

On January 26, 1972, the Eastern League announced its approval of the team’s move to West Haven, officially ending its tenure in Manchester.134

The Manchester Yankees were dead, and Manchester would not see a minor league team again until 2004, when the New Hampshire Fisher Cats began playing in the Eastern League.


The overarching narrative of the Manchester Yankees was on-field futility and fan apathy. While the team’s first iteration fell victim to the greater forces that sunk the New England League, instability and turmoil besieged the team’s second iteration. John Alevizos had fostered a hostile relationship with the city and its fan base. By the time Alevizos sold the team, the damage had been done, and the team never fully recovered.

It would be difficult to categorize the Yankees’ foray into New England as a success on either occasion. In the 1940s, they failed because of economic forces beyond their control and two hot teams down in Boston. In the 1970s, they failed because of a chaotic team ownership situation, fights with the city, and a bad on-field product.

CHRISTOPHER D. CHAVIS’s love affair with the Boston Red Sox began as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, where his frequent trips to Fenway Park instilled in him a love of the Olde Towne Team that spawned a deep interest in baseball history. A nonprofit executive by day and amateur baseball historian by night, he can usually be found reading a book or watching a documentary about the Sox. He lives in Los Angeles, with his wife and two cats, Teddy and Yaz.



1 Charles Bevis, The New England League: A Baseball History 1885-1949 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland Books, 2008), 14.

2 Bevis, 49.

3 Bevis, 268.

4 “Dodgers in Manchester Tonight,” Nashua Telegraph, June 17, 1947: 11.

5 Bevis, The New England League, 22.

6 “Manchester Franchise In New Hands,” Portland Press Herald, February 7, 1948: 7.

7 “Manchester Franchise In New Hands”: 7.

8 “Selling Stock in Manchester’s Baseball Team,” Nashua Telegraph, March 8, 1948: 10.

9 “Tom Padden Named Manchester Manager,” Boston Globe, February 28, 1948: 4.

10 “Manchester Club Set,” Nashua Telegraph, February 9, 1948: 9.

11 “Manchester Yankees On Way to Camp,” Nashua Telegraph, April 7, 1948: 10.

12 “Bankhead on Mound for Locals,” Nashua Telegraph, May 5, 1948: 13.

13 “Bankhead on Mound. for Locals”: 13.

14 “Nashua Dodgers 9 to 3 Victors over Yankees,” Rutland Daily Herald, May 6, 1948: 16.

15 “Nashua Dodgers 9 to 3 Victors over Yankees”: 16.

16 “Locals Bow, 4-1, to Manchester Yanks,” Nashua Telegraph, May 7, 1948: 15.

17 “Yanks Defeat Chiefs, 6-4,” Kennebec Journal, July 3, 1948: 2.

18 “Manchester Tips Springfield, 7-2,” Portland Press Herald, July 5, 1948: 13.

19 “Red Sox Take Full Game NE Lead League,” Nashua Telegraph, July 13, 1948: 9.

20 “Portland Takes Two From Yanks, Lynn Divides,” Biddeford-SacoJournal, July 16, 1948: 6.

21 “Twarkins Chains Cubs for Pilots,” Portland Evening Express, July 19, 1948: 23.

22 “Pilots Climb in NE League,” Concord Monitor, July 20, 1948: 9.

23 Bud Cornish, “Providence Chiefs Play Here Sunday,” Portland Evening Express, July 24, 1948: 9.

24 “Manchester Takes Twin-Bill From Portland Pilots,” Biddeford-Saco Journal, July 29, 1948: 6.

25 “Red Sox Take Over NE Loop First Place,” Nashua Telegraph, July 30, 1948: 9.

26 “Manchester Fights for Playoff Spot,” Portsmouth Herald, August 20, 1948: 6.

27 “Dodgers Smack Pilots to Gain Lead in League,” Biddeford-Saco Journal, August 23, 1948: 6.

28 “Lynn Red Sox Top N.E. Loop for Third Year,” Portsmouth Herald, September 7, 1948: 9.

29 “New England League Notes,” Nashua Telegraph, February 7, 1949: 9.

30 Bevis, The New England League, 279.

31 “New England League Notes”: 9.

32 “Baseball Breezes,” Nashua Telegraph, February 17, 1949: 17.

33 Bevis, The New England League, 8.

34 Bevis, 8.

35 Bevis, 8-10.

36 Roger O’Gara, “Manchester, N.H. will Become Sixth Member of Eastern League,” Berkshire Eagle, January 29, 1969: 35.

37 Ray Valliere, “Johnny Johnson in Manchester on Thursday,” Manchester Union Leader, February 2, 1969: 39.

38 Joe Barnea, “Barnstorming with Barnea,” Manchester Union Leader, February 4, 1969: 18.

39 Barnea, “Barnstorming with Barnea,” Manchester Union Leader, February 12, 1969: 30.

40 J. Leo Dery, “Alderman Ask Contract Check,” Manchester Union Leader, February 5, 1969: 1.

41 Al Nettel, “BU Prof. Buys Yanks’ Control,” Manchester Union Leader, February 21, 1969: 1.

42 Valliere, “Alevizos Works Hard for Harmony,” Manchester Union Leader, February 24, 1969: 13.

43 Nettel, “Jerry Walker Named to Manage Manchester Yankees,” Manchester Union Leader, February 28, 1969: 18.

44 “Yankee Office Open to Public Says Alevizos,” Manchester Union Leader, March 13, 1969: 28.

45 “Alevizos Unveils Yankee Staff,” Manchester Union Leader, March 9, 1969: 33.

46 Nettel, “Manchester Yankee Impact to Be Felt,” Manchester Union Leader, March 21, 1969: 20.

47 “Gov. Peterson Accepts Invite to Yank Openers,” Manchester Union Leader, March 21, 1969: 20.

48 Joe McQuaid, “Yankee Day Set for Tuesday,” Manchester Union Leader, April 20, 1969: 42.

49 Don Anderson, “As I See It,” Manchester Union Leader, April 19, 1969: 11.

50 Anderson, “Yankee Infield Pleases Jerry Walker, Manchester Union Leader, April 16, 1969: 40.

51 “Rain Postpones Yankee Clash at Waterbury,” Manchester Union Leader, April 20, 1969: 67.

52 “Yanks Look for First Win,” Manchester Union Leader, April 21, 1969: 22.

53 “Yankees Return Home After Nipping Indians, 7-6,” Manchester Union Leader, April 22, 1969: 19.

54 Nettel, “Yanks in Gala Home Opener This Evening,” Manchester Union Leader, April 22, 1969: 1.

55 “List Schedule of Governor,” Manchester Union Leader, April 22, 1969: 3.

56 Nettel, “Rain KO’s Yankee Opener,” Manchester Union Leader, April 22, 1969: 1.

57 McQuaid, “Rain Stalls Yank Opener Again,” Manchester Union Leader, April 24, 1969: 24.

58 “Hose Beaten By Nats, 9-3,” Manchester Union Leader, April 24, 1969: 24.

59 “Weather Postpones Yank-Indian Game,” Manchester Union Leader, April 24, 1969: 1.

60 Bob Donahue, “Yankees vs. York to Be Telecast,” Manchester Union Leader, May 3, 1969: 12.

61 “Fans Pour Out for the Yankees,” Manchester Union Leader, May 3, 1969: 14

62 “Fans Pour Out For the Yankees”: 14.

63 Donahue, “Yankees vs. York To Be Telecast”: 12.

64 Donahue, “Yankees vs. York To Be Telecast”: 12.

65 McQuaid, “Yankees Belt York Pirates,” Manchester Union Leader, May 6, 1969: 37.

66 “Hitless Yanks Blank Pittsfield,” Manchester Union Leader, May 14, 1969: 43.

67 “Yankees Sweep Pittsfield, 9-0,” Manchester Union Leader, May 16, 1969: 22.

68 “Yanks, Sox Open 5-Game Set,” Manchester Union Leader, May 19, 1969: 24.

69 “Pittsfield Tops Yanks, 4-2; Fisk, Blomberg Hit Homers,” Manchester Union Leader, May 20, 1969: 20.

70 Bob Hilliard, “The Sports Desk,” Manchester Union Leader, June 1, 1969: 78.

71 Barnea, “Barnstorming with Barnea,” Manchester Union Leader, May 29, 1969: 22.

72 “Advice from the Bleachers,” Manchester Union Leader, June 6, 1969: 9.

73 Nettel, “Manchester Yanks Will Remain Here,” Manchester Union Leader, August 7, 1969: 1, 15.

74 Nettel, “Alevizos Puts Rental On Stadium in Escrow,” Manchester Union Leader, August 13, 1969: 1.

75 Nettel: 1.

76 Nettel, “Soucy Charges Yankees Owner Looking for Out,” Manchester Union Leader, August 15, 1969: 10.

77 John R. Hussey, “Yankees, P&R Meet September 3,” Manchester Union Leader, August 20, 1969: 39.

78 Nettel, “Alevizos Told Contract Hinges on Paying Bond,” Manchester Union Leader, August 22, 1969: 19.

79 “Alevizos Will Pay Bond of $5,500,” Manchester Union Leader, August 23, 1969: 13.

80 “Bull in a China Shop,” Manchester Union Leader, August 20, 1969: 15.

81 In the end Washington was added to the 40-man roster, but not called up. Nettel, “Final ‘Curtain’ for Yankees,” Manchester Union Leader, August 29, 1969: 18.

82 C.J. McCarthy, “Yanks, Waterbury Indians Split,” Manchester Union Leader, August 30, 1969: 12.

83 Marvin Pave, “George Sullivan, 83, a sportswriter, author, and professor,” Boston Globe, June 18, 2017: B13.

84 Barnea, “Barnstorming With Barnea,” Manchester Union Leader, November 19, 1969: 47.

85 “Yanks, P-R Body Settle Difficulties,” Manchester Union Leader, September 4, 1969: 22.

86 “Mayor Buys First Yankee Ducat,” Manchester Union Leader, January 26, 1970: 22.

87 “Red Sox Brass to See Opener,” Manchester Union Leader, May 3, 1970: 57.

88 “Rain Hurt Pitching Routine of Red Sox,” Morning Sentinel, March 26, 1970: 13.

89 Russ Pelletier, “Veteran Guard Sam Lewis NHC Athlete of the Year,” Manchester Union Leader, May 6, 1970: 49.

90 Nettel, “Yankees Transfer Talks End—No Sale,” Manchester Union Leader, June 10, 1970: 12.

91 Nettel: 12.

92 Nettel: 12.

93 Ken Cail, “Barnstorming with Barnea,” Manchester Union Leader, July 15, 1970: 38.

94 Phil Chase, “Many Queen Cityians Would Prefer New Yankee Management,” New Hampshire Sunday News, June 14, 1970: 51.

95 “Manchester Yankees Sold,” Manchester Union Leader, July 1, 1970: 37.

96 Anderson, “As I See It,” Manchester Union Leader, February 7, 1970: 14.

97 “Yankee GM Brent Eager for Opener,” Manchester Union Leader, April 17, 1970: 24, 28.

98 Valliere, “Yankees Break Camp—Head North for Manchester,” Manchester Union Leader, April 20, 1970: 25.

99 “Mayor Pariseau Tosses Strike,” Manchester Union Leader, May 6, 1970: 47.

100 McCarthy, “Yanks Send Gowell Against Senators,” Manchester Union Leader, May 28, 1970: 22.

101 “Yanks Gain Tie for the Lead, Host Waterbury Tonight,” Manchester Union Leader, June 9, 1970: 23.

102 “Manchester Yankees Sold,” Manchester Union Leader, July 1, 1970: 37.

103 “Yankees Relieve Brent of GM Duties,” Manchester Union Leader, July 8, 1970: 39.

104 Nettel, “Get Acquainted Night Scheduled,” Manchester Union Leader, July 8, 1970: 37.

105 Stanton was elected mayor after the death of the previous mayor.

106 Chase, “Many Queen Cityians Would Prefer New Yankee Management:” 51.

107 McCarthy, “Pirates Blank Yankees, 2-0,” Manchester Union Leader, July 11, 1970: 13.

108 “Yankees Not Moving,” Manchester Union Leader, August 5, 1970: 42.

109 McCarthy, “Injuries Key to Yankees Woes,” Manchester Union Leader, August 26, 1970: 47.

110. McCarthy, “Yankees Drop Finale to Pawtucket 8-0,” Manchester Union Leader, September 8, 1970: 22.

111 “New Owners Tell of Acquiring Yankees,” Manchester Union Leader, February 17, 1971: 6.

112 Barnea, “Barnstorming with Barnea,” Manchester Union Leader, March 4, 1971: 22.

113 “Yanks Name Vernon Pilot,” Manchester Union Leader, January 13, 1971: 37, 42.

114 Guy Nadeau, “Yank Roster Set; Opener Monday,” Manchester Union Leader, April 14, 1971: 51.

115 “Vernon, Gore to Headline ‘Meet the Yankees’ Dinner,” Manchester Union Leader, April 16, 1971: 23.

116 Nadeau, “Yankees Return ‘Warmed’ Fans,” Manchester Union Leader, April 20, 1971: 25.

117 Jim Heath, “Disastrous Stand Ends for Yankees,” Manchester Union Leader, April 30, 1971: 47.

118 “Yanks Rained out Again, Manchester Union Leader, April 30, 1971: 23.

119 Anderson, “As I See It,” Manchester Union Leader, May 8, 1971: 17.

120 “Free Yank Ducats,” Manchester Union Leader, May 25, 1971: 23.

121 “Yankees Climb out of Eastern League Cellar,” Manchester Union Leader, June 2, 1971: 45.

122 Nettel, “View from the Press Box,” Manchester Union Leader, July 4, 1971: 39.

123 “Eastern Hurler Tosses 2-Hitter,” Manchester Union Leader, June 8, 1971: 20.

124 “Yankees Reduce Ticket Prices,” Manchester Union Leader, June 18, 1971: 30.

125 Nettel, “View From the Press Box,” Manchester Union Leader, July 4, 1971: 39.

126 McCarthy, “MacPhail Denies Move from N.Y.,” Manchester Union Leader, July 31, 1971: 15.

127 Bob Dobens, “Move ‘Up To Owners’ – Jackson,” Manchester Union Leader. August 27, 1971: 23.

128 Phil Denis, “Royals Spoil Yankees Finale,” Manchester Union Leader: August 27, 1971: 19.

129 McCarthy, “Manchester Yankees May Move,” Manchester Union Leader: November 2, 1971: 21.

130 McCarthy: 21.

131 McCarthy, “Yankees 48 Hours Away from Leaving Queen City,” Manchester Union Leader, November 9, 1971: 21.

132 Nettel, “View from the Press Box,” Manchester Union Leader, December 12, 1971: 64

133 Nettel and Dery, “Yanks Without Stadium—if Team’s Stays,” Manchester Union Leader, December 15, 1971: 51.

134 “West Haven New Home for Yankee Farm Team,” Hartford Courant, January 27, 1972: 64.