Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The best 50 New York Yankees in history

The best 50 New York Yankees in history

Trying to rank the best Yankee players in franchise history isn't easy. The top four are pretty obvious, but placing the others is not. There are a number of variables to look at, including length of service, career statistics, single season records, individual awards, and contributions to championship teams.

Taking all those factors in account, below are the best fifty players to wear the pinstripes:

50) Allie Reynolds, P: "SuperChief" had a 131-60 record, a .686 winning percentage, with a 3.30 ERA and 27 shutouts during his eight years with the team, 1947-1954.

49) Frank Crosetti, SS: Crosetti played 1,516 games at shortstop in 17 years. A member of six World Championship teams in the 1930's and early 1940's, he led American League shortstops with .968 fielding percentage in 1939. His 792 walks rank tenth all-time on the Yankees.

48) Clete Boyer, 3B: An excellent fielder who led the American League's third basemen in range factor each season from 1961-66, Boyer appeared in 1,068 games during eight years with the Yankees.

47) Waite Hoyt, SP: A 157-98 record - a .616 winning percentage - and 15 shutouts as a starter from 1921-1930 lands Hoyt among the best Yankees of all time.

46) Bob Shawkey, P: A 168-131 record with a 3.12 ERA and 26 shutouts from 1915-1927 places Shawkey among the best Yankee starting pitchers in their history.

45) Herb Pennock, SP: From 1923-1933 Pennock posted a 162-90 record, a .643 winning percentage, along with 19 shutouts as a starting pitcher. He also had a 5-0 record with a 1.95 ERA in five World Series games.

44) Reggie Jackson, OF: In 653 games in his five years with the team Jackson batted .281 with 144 home runs and 461 RBI's, although his true value was in October when he batted .328 with 12 homers and 29 RBI's in 34 post season games, contributing to world championships in 1977 and 1978.

43) Robinson Cano, 2B: During nine years and 1,374 games in pinstripes Cano hit .309 with  204 homers and 822 RBI's. He was five time All Star and a Gold Glove winner in 2010.

42) Red Rolfe, 3B: Playing his entire ten years, 1,175 games, in the majors with the Yankees, Rolfe was a member of five world championship teams in the 1930's and batted .289 with an on-base percentage of .360 during his career. His fielding average of .956 was higher than the league average of .943.

41) Mel Stottlemyre, P: In eleven years Stottlemyre tossed 40 shutouts, good for second in team history. A five time All Star, he compiled a 164-139 record with an outstanding 2.97 ERA while pitching for some not so good teams.

40) Dave Righetti, P: The American League Rookie of the Year in 1981 and two time All Star during eleven seasons, Righetti tossed a no-hitter in 1983 but was then converted into a closer. He ended up second in team history in saves with 224.

39): Bobby Richardson, 2B: Winner of five Gold Gloves and named to seven All Star teams, Richardson played in 1,412 games during his 12 seasons, contributing to three world championships in the late '50's and early '60's.

38) Roger Maris, OF: A three time All Star and a Gold Glove winner in 1960, in 850 games during seven years with the Yanks Maris batted .265 with 203 home runs and 547 RBI's. He won two American League MVP awards and contributed to two World Championships.

37) Joe Gordon, 2B: Gordon played 1,000 games at second base from 1938-1946, contributing to four World Championships. Named an All Star for six consecutive years, Gordon won the MVP award in 1942. He averaged .271 and hit 153 home runs and drove in 617 runs during seven seasons with the Yanks.

36) Hank Bauer, OF: Appearing in 1,196 games in right field during his 12 years with the team, Bauer hit .277 with 158 home runs and 654 RBI's in his Yankee career. He was a three time All Star, and contributed to seven World Series titles in the 1950's.

35) Bill Skowron, 1B: A five time All Star, Skowron appeared in 1,087 games during nine years with the Yankees, contributing to four championship titles in the 1950's and 1960's. He batted .294 with 165 homers and 672 RBI's.

34) Bobby Murcer, OF: Playing in 1,256 games during 13 seasons with the team, Murcer won a Gold Glove as a centerfielder in 1972, and was named to four All Star teams. He batted .278 with 175 home runs and 687 RBI's in his Yankee career.

33) Alex Rodriguez, 3B: Rodriguez has put up big numbers even during what were considered down years for him. Winner of three MVP awards during ten seasons and 1,293 games with the Yankees, he has a .291 batting average, 309 home runs, and 979

32) Tino Martinez, 1B: Playing in 1,054 games in seven years, Martinez drove in over 100 runs in five of those seasons. A key member of four World Championship teams, he averaged .276, hit 192 home runs, and drove in 739 runs in his Yankee career.

31) Dave Winfield, OF: Playing in 1,172 games during nine years in New York, Winfield was named to eight All Star games and won five Gold Gloves. He batted .290 with 205 home runs and 818 RBI's in his Yankee career.

30) Rich Gossage, P: In seven years with the Yanks Gossage had a 42-28 record with 151 saves and a 2.14 ERA. A four time All Star, he struck out 512 batters in 533 innings and held opponents to a .207 batting average.

29) Sparky Lyle, P: Winner of the 1977 Cy Young award, Lyle saved 141 games and had a 2.41 ERA in his seven years with the team. A three time All Star, he was an important contributor to the team's championship seasons in the 1970's.

28) Tommy Heinrich, OF: A five time All Star, contributing to four World Series championships in the late 1930's and 1940's, Heinrich batted .282 with 183 homers and 795 RBI's in 1,284 games during his eleven year Yankee career.

27) Charlie Keller, OF: A five time All Star, Keller played in 1,066 games during eleven seasons with the Yankees, from 1939-1949. Batted .286 with 184 homers and 723 RBI's. His on-base percentage of .410 ranks fourth in team history, and he is eighth with a .518 slugging percentage. Keller also drove in 18 runs in 19 World Series games, contributing to three titles.

26) Paul O'Neill, OF: Playing in 1,254 games during his nine years with the Yankees, O'Neill batted .303 with 185 home runs and 858 runs batted in. A four time All Star, he was a key member of four World Championship teams.

25) Lefty Gomez, P: A seven time All Star, Gomez had a 189-101 record in 13 years with the Yankees, for a winning percentage of .652. He is fourth among pitchers with 28 shutouts. Gomez shined in the World Series, with a 6-0 record and 2.86 ERA., contributing to five World Championships in the 1930's.

24) Elston Howard, C: A nine time All Star and winner of the 1963 American League MVP award, Howard played in 1,492 games in 13 years with the Yanks. He batted .279, hitting 161 home runs and driving in 733 runs while contributing to four World Championships in the 1950's and 1960's.

23) Bob Meusel, OF: Playing in a total of 1,294 games in ten years Meusel contributed to three World Series titles in the 1920's. He ranks eighth all time on the Yankees with a .311 batting average; is tenth with 338 doubles; and twelfth with 1,005 RBI.

22) Andy Pettitte, P: Ranking first in team history among pitchers with 2,020 strikeouts, Petitte's Yankee career record of 219-115 gives him a winning percentage of .633. A three time All Star in 15 seasons, he was a member of five world championship teams.

21) Ron Guidry, P: A four time All Star, winner of the 1978 Cy Young Award, and recipient of five Gold Gloves, Guidry is third among Yankee pitchers in strikeouts with 1,778 and sixth in shutouts with 26. In 14 seasons he compiled a 170-91 career record for a winning percentage of .651 and was a key member of two World Championship teams.

20) Willie Randolph, 2B: Appearing in 1,694 games during his 13 seasons with the team, Randolph's batting average was .275 and his on-base percentage was .374. He ranks fifth in team history with 1,005 walks and third in stolen bases with 251. Contributing to the team's championship years in the late 1970's and early 1980's and a five time All Star, Randolph was also a steady defender.

19) Roy White, OF: A two time All Star, during his fifteen years with the team White delivered a number of key hits and was an important contributor to the Yankees' championship teams of 1976, 1977, and 1978. On the all-time records' lists for the Yankees White ranks seventh in games played with 1,881, eighth in walks with 934, fifth in stolen bases with 233, second in sacrifice flies with 69, and fourth in the power-speed category with a number of 189.7, behind only Jeter, Mantle, and Williams.

18) Jorge Posada, C: A five time All Star, Posada played in 1,829 games while contributing to four Yankee World Championships. In a 16 year career he batted .273 with 275 homers and 1,065 RBI's, and is seventh in Yankee history with 379 doubles.

17) Graig Nettles, 3B: A five time All Star who drove in more than 90 runs for four consecutive seasons, Nettles played in 1,535 games with the Yankees. He won two Gold Gloves for his defensive excellence, and also hit for power, belting 250 home runs with 834 RBI's during his eleven year Yankee career.

16) Phil Rizzuto, SS: The 1950 American League MVP was selected to five All Star teams. Rizzuto played in 1,647 games in 13 seasons with the Yankees. The shortstop on seven World Championship teams, he has a career batting average of .273 with an on base percentage of .351 and 149 stolen bases.

15) Tony Lazzeri, 2B: Lazzeri appeared in 1,659 games during his 12 seasons with the Yanks, averaging .293 with an on base percentage of .379. He drove in more than 100 runs in seven seasons and his total of 1,154 RBI's place him ninth on the Yankees all time list in that category. Lazzeri was a key player on five World Championship teams from 1926-1937.

14) Red Ruffing, P: A six time All Star, Ruffing's career record with the Yanks was 231-124 for a winning percentage of .651. He is second in team history with 40 shutouts, second with 3,168 innings pitched. and fourth with 1,526 strikeouts. In ten World Series games he was 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA, contributing to six World Championships in the 1930's.

13) Earle Combs, OF:
Ranks third in Yankee history with a .325 batting average, and his outstanding .397 career on base percentage is eighth all time. Ranks second all time in team history with 154 triples as well as seventh in runs scored with 1,186. Combs led the American League in hits with 231 in 1927, which is second in team history for a single season. Batting .350 in 16 World Series games and a member of three world championship teams, he played in 1,455 games during his 12 year career.

12) Don Mattingly, 1B: A six time All Star, awarded nine Gold Gloves for defensive excellence, and winner of the 1985 American League MVP award, Mattingly played in 1,785 games in his 14 year career, all with the Yankees. His .307 batting average ranks ninth on the Yankees all time list. He holds the team record for sacrifice flies with 96, is fourth in doubles with 442, seventh in hits with 2,153, eighth in total bases with 3,301, tenth in runs scored with 1,007, and tenth in RBI's with 1,099.

11) Thurman Munson, C: Winner of the 1970 Rookie of the Year Award, and named the American League MVP in 1976, Munson led the Yankees to three pennants and two World Championships. A seven time All Star selection as a catcher and winner of three Gold Gloves, in his career Munson threw out 44% of baserunners attempting to steal (better than Johnny Bench's 43% and Carlton Fisk's 34%). He also hit .373 and drove in 12 runs in 16 World Series games. Munson had a .292 career batting average while playing in 1,423 games in eleven seasons, and was recognized by pitchers for his ability to call a great game.

10) Bill Dickey, C: An eleven time All Star, Dickey's .313 batting average places him seventh in Yankee history. His 1,209 RBI's rank eighth and 1,969 hits are good for ninth. In 17 years Dickey caught 1,708 games, the most in team history, while contributing to seven world championships in the 1930's and early 1940's.

9) Bernie Williams, OF: A five time All Star and winner of four Gold Gloves while playing 1,857 games in center field, Williams contributed to four World Championship titles. In Yankee history he ranks third in doubles with 449, fifth in hits with 2,336, sixth in runs scored with 1,366, sixth in RBI's with 1,257, and seventh in home runs with 287.

8) Mariano Rivera, P: The all time major league leader in saves with 652, Rivera was 82-60 with a 2.21 ERA during the regular season. A 13 time All Star and member of five World Championship teams, he pitched 141 innings in 96 post season games, with an 8-1 record, 42 saves and 0.70 ERA.

7) Yogi Berra, C: Selected to the All Star team 15 times in his 18 years with the Yankees, Berra contributed to 10 World Championships in the late 1940's, 1950's and early1960's. He caught 1,699 games, and his 358 home runs and 1,430 RBI's each rank fifth in team history. Berra also won three American League MVP awards.

6) Derek Jeter, SS: A fourteen time All Star, winner of five Gold Gloves, and a member of five World Championship teams, Jeter is the only Yankee with at least 3,000 hits, totaling 3,465.  He also holds Yankee records in games played with 2,747 and stolen bases with 358. Jeter's 544 doubles rank second in team history; 1,923 runs scored are third; 1,082 walks are fourth; 1,311 RBI’s are sixth; and .310 career batting average places him eighth.

5) Whitey Ford, P: With a 236-106 record - a .690 winning percentage - Ford is not only the Yankees all time leader in wins, but also innings pitched with 3,170, games started with 438, and second in strikeouts with 1,956. An eight time All Star and winner of the 1961 Cy Young award, he had a 2.75 ERA in the regular season and 2.71 ERA in 22 World Series games, contributing to six World Championships.

4) Mickey Mantle, OF: A 16 time All Star selection, the American League Triple Crown winner in 1956, a three time league MVP, and winner of a Gold Glove in 1962, Mantle played 2,401 games. He led American League centerfielders in assists with 14 in 1952 and 20 in 1954, and his .995 fielding percentage led all centerfielders in 1955 and 1959. Mantle hit .298 with 536 home runs and 1,509 RBI's in 18 years with the Yankees, contributing to seven World Championships. The Hall of Famer holds a number of World Series batting records including the most home runs with 18, RBI's with 40, runs scored with 42, and walks with 43.

3) Joe DiMaggio, OF: Despite missing three seasons while serving in the military during World War II, DiMaggio still ranks in the Yankees' top ten in most batting categories. He is third with a .325 batting average, third in RBI's with 1,537, third in triples with 131, third in slugging percentage at .579, fourth in home runs with 361, fifth in runs scored with 1,390, and seventh in on base percentage at .398. Playing in 1,736 games, DiMaggio's .997 fielding percentage in 1947 led all American League centerfielders, and he also led in assists with 21 in 1937, 20 in 1938, and 15 in 1946. An All Star in each of his 13 seasons with the team, DiMaggio won three league MVP awards and contributed to nine Yankee World Championships.

2) Lou Gehrig, 1B: Named the American League MVP in 1927 and 1936, and winner of the Triple Crown in 1934, Gehrig played in 2,164 games during 17 years with the Yankees, leading the team to six World Championship titles in the 1920's and 1930's. In 34 World Series games he hit .361 with 10 homers and 35 RBI's. He is first in Yankee history with 534 doubles, first in triples with 163, first in RBI's with 1,995, and second in hits with 2,721. His .340 batting average, .447 on-base percentage, .632 slugging percentage, and 1,888 runs scored are second in team history.

1) Babe Ruth, OF: Playing in 2,084 games during 15 years with the Yankees (he played right field, left field, and pitcher) Ruth is first in Yankee history in a number of hitting categories, including: batting average, .349; on base percentage, .484; slugging percentage, .711; runs scored, 1,959; total bases, 5,131; home runs, 659; and walks, 1,852. He is second in RBI's with 1,971. In 36 World Series games with the team Ruth batted .348, hit 15 home runs, and had 30 RBI's. What else can you say about someone who may be the game's greatest player ever?

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