The New York Highlanders' 1904 season, their second in New York and fourth overall, finished with the team in 2nd place in the American League with a record of 92-59. The team was managed by Clark Griffith and played home games at Hilltop Park.
The first verified use of the alternate nickname "Yankees" (a synonym for "Americans", the team being American Leaguers) occurred on April 7, 1904, when a spring training story from Richmond, Virginia carried the headline "Yankees Will Start Home From South To-Day." The New York Evening Journal screamed: "YANKEES BEAT BOSTON". The casual use of that nickname suggests it was already in the popular lexicon, although "Highlanders" would continue to be the primary (and equally unofficial) nickname for several more years.
New York's most notable point came on the final day of the season at Hilltop Park. New York pitcher Jack Chesbro threw a wild pitch in the ninth inning, giving the Boston Americans the win, and the American League pennant. It would be another 100 years before the Red Sox would defeat the Yankees in a pennant-deciding game.
Earlier in the year, New York's dominant hold of first place led to the New York Giants' announcement that they would not play in the World Series, since they considered the Highlanders to be only a "minor league" team. Even though it was Boston who stole the pennant on the final day, the Giants stuck to their word and their refusal prevented the World Series from being played. It also marked the first time that the Boston team, who would later formally become the Red Sox in 1908, would beat the New York AL team in a pennant-deciding game. The second time the Boston team would accomplish this came a full century later, in the final game of the 2004 ALCS.
Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In