From Larry David’s iconic performance as late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to George Costanza’s role as assistant to the team’s traveling secretary, there have been numerous Yankees references and cameo appearances throughout the history of the legendary sitcom “Seinfeld.”
It was on this very day in 1996 when Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams, then just two up-and-coming young stars, made an appearance on the show alongside Costanza, who offered up some hitting tips to the two recently crowned World Series champions.
To this day, "Seinfeld" and the Yankees both remain two inextricable influences on New York culture. Here are some of the great Yankees moments through the years on the show.
Buck Showalter & Danny Tartabull
“The Chaperone” – Season 6, Episode 1 (aired 9/22/94)
George gives Danny some swing tips in the clubhouses and realizes the team’s uniforms are made out of polyester, leading him to suggest a switch over to cotton.
“You know how hot those things get?” George asks Jerry. “They should be wearing cotton.” Buck Showalter agrees to make the switch and after some initial success, the uniforms shrink, constricting the players’ movement and causing more harm than good for the Bombers.
Tartabull also appeared alongside George in the third episode of Season 6, “The Pledge Drive,” as the two make their way to a PBS fundraiser until George’s road rage leads them off course.
“The Wink” - Season 7, Episode 4 (aired 10/12/95)
When Kramer sneaks into the Yankees clubhouse before a game, he runs into Paul O’Neill getting into his pinstriped uniform and asks if the Yankees outfielder could do something to help lift the spirits for “a little boy in the hospital.”
O’Neill obliges, but finds out Kramer promised the youngster not one but two home runs from The Warrior. “It's hard to hit home runs. And where the heck did you get two from?” asks O’Neill. “Well, Babe Ruth did it,” Kramer responds.
“Now you look back and it was kind of a cool thing to be able to do that,” O’Neill said in 2017 of his brief acting gig.
Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams
“The Abstinence” – Season 8, Episode 9 (aired 11/21/96)
Perhaps the most memorable exchange between George and his fellow Yankees colleagues took place in Season 8, Episode 9, when he offered up some sage wisdom to Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams during a round of batting practice.
“Are you the guy who put us in that Ramada in Milwaukee?” asks Bernie in between George’s home run hacks. “Do you want to talk about hotels, or do you want to win some ball games?” George replies. “We won the World Series,” Jeter reminds him. “Yeah, in six games,” George answers back irreverently.
Jeter and Williams would of course go on to help cement the Yankees as the team of the decade with another three titles in the next four years, but perhaps it was the wise Costanza’s advice that helped carry them to championship glory.