Four generations of Yankees in four separate essays by four ranking sports-writers. Robert Creamer on Ruth and Gehrig goes back to the team's beginnings--as the Highlanders until newspapermen protested, that eleven letters wouldn't squeeze into a one-column headline; by 1919 ""the solid, hard-hitting, euphoniously named infield of Pipp, Pratt, Peckinpaugh and Baker"" was ready to win; and in 1920, the Babe in tow, ""The Yankee dynasty was ready to begin."" Dave Anderson, who also supplies the Introduction and Afterword, writes on the DiMaggio years with proprietary enthusiasm for Joe's ""class"" on and off the field; his importance, like everyone else's here, is measurable in stats--ten pennants and nine Series championships in 13 Yankee years. Harold Rosenthal picks up the ball with Casey Stengel's stewardship over Mantle & Co. in a less wieldy piece that extends to the start of that ten-year hiatus between Yankee pennants; he is notably too attentive to Maxis' wounds and ends by asking ""Isn't there a bit of unfinished business?""--referring to retirement of the number Maris wore when he beat Ruth's home-run record. Finally, the new era: Murray Chass reviews Steinbrenner's restoration of the team's ""rightful throne"" (with and despite Billy Martin), under the free-agent system. A table of Records and Rosters rounds out the sidelong chronicle--a history that everyone who cares already knows. But they never seem to mind hearing it again.