Long before the well-documented Houston Astros sign-stealing scheme, the New York Yankees had their own scheme going as used dugout telephones and a relay system from their replay review room to steal opposing signs in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, according to a sealed letter obtained by multiple news organizations on Tuesday.
The Houston Chronicle obtained copies of the 2017 letter from Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred that the Yankees have fought to keep under seal.
According to the letter, staffers “physically relayed” pitch information to the Yankees dugout during home games at Yankee Stadium; similar tactics on the road proved more challenging, requiring the team to “orally provide real-time information” via dugout phones.
The Yankees were fined $100,000 by Major League Baseball.
The Yankees have since released a statement.
The 2015-16 Yankees squad included two players – Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann – who’d go on to play for the 2017 Astros.
In January 2020, the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox were penalized for using technology to steal signs late in the 2017 season and in 2018.