8 Biggest New York Yankees Legends
“Why do the Yankees always win?”
The other team can’t stop looking at the pinstripes.
That and when you are the most successful team in baseball history, it means you must be doing something right. The Yankees have done that and more to become the team to beat in Major League Baseball.
27 World Series titles, 40 pennants and of course 18 division champions have been won by the team from New York over the years. No other team has even come close to touching that record let alone beating it. The Yankees are the greatest baseball team in the country easily by a mile.
Of course when you are that successful, then that means you must have had some of the best in the business play for you. The Yankees have been home to the legends of the sport and here we will take a look at some of those that we think stand out from the rest. It was surely not an easy thing to do with all the players that have played for the franchise. But we have narrowed it down to eight players who we think are legends among legends.
Let’s take a look then:
The Yankees home ballpark is dubbed “The house that Ruth built” which says it all really. Babe Ruth is not only Yankees greatest ever player but also the greatest ever baseball player to have stepped on to the plate.
He was a colossus player who first made his mark with the Boston Red Sox winning three World Series and the same number of pennants. Harry Frazee, the Red Sox owner then sold him to the Yankees who back then were nowhere near being the force that they are now. The arrival of Ruth changed everything. The Red Sox didn’t win another World Series for 86 years whereas the Yankees became the dominant force and never looked back.
Ruth led the Yankees to four World Series titles and seven pennants. He retired with 714 home runs to his name. 659 of those came in a Yankees uniform. His batting average with the Yankees stood at .349 with a total of an incredible 1959 runs to show for his efforts. Ruth topped the WAR on ten occasions on his way to compiling a total of 138.2 as a member of the Yankees roster. Yes, some of his records have been broken since then, but Ruth will forever remain Major League Baseball’s greatest player ever.
Lou Gehrig, the guy who posted numbers that to this day remain as astonishing as they were when they first popped up. He is still considered by many to be the greatest first baseman in the sport’s history. Gehrig really was that special.
He passed away aged just 37 but not before cementing his place as one of the game’s all time greats. Gehrig was in Top Five when it came to voting for the MVP for eight consecutive seasons. He amassed 500 home runs with a whopping 2000 RBIs. His career average stood at .340 with his slugging percentage at .632.
Gehrig has more career grand slams than any other player with twenty three to his name. He played an astonishing 2130 games on the trot and that is the reason why he was known as “The Iron Horse.”
Yogi Berra won the AL MVP gong thrice, which makes him part of an elite group of only four players in MLB history to achieve that feat. He was an eighteen time All-Star when he hung up his gloves. Not only that, but if stats are taken into account, which of course should be the case, then Berra is the sport’s greatest catcher ever. Oh and then there is a small matter of him winning an astonishing ten World Series titles as well.
Joe “The Yankee Clipper” DiMaggio once went on a 56 straight hitting run. That incredible record still stands and it is considered by many to be one of those “unbreakable records” in baseball. A three time MVP, DiMaggio made it to the All-Star lineup in each of his nineteen seasons as a professional baseball player. He hit 361 career home runs which was the fifth most by any player when he retired. DiMaggio won ten AL pennants and a whopping nine World Series titles during his illustrious career to make it into the list of the greatest Yankees to have ever played the game.
The Yankees owe a lot of their success in the recent past to none other than their talisman Derek Jeter. He might be playing in his last season for the Yankees but his status among the greats is assured. He made his debut for the Yankees in 1995 and has been the heart and soul of the team.
With a batting average touching .312 and well over 3000 hits with over 250 home runs, Jeter has more than played his part in turning the Yankees into a modern day juggernaut. He has been selected for the All-Star team on thirteen occasions and has picked up five Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards each. Derek has also tasted World Series success five times with his beloved Yankees. He will leave a big hole in their roster when he steps away from the limelight at the end of this campaign, that is for sure.
“The Mick,” the legendary Mickey Mantle ranks among the greatest switch-hitter the sport has ever seen. A member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Mantle was picked into the All-Star team on an incredible twenty occasions. He won 7 World Series titles, 3 AL MVP gongs, a Triple Crown and a Golden Glove Award. Not only that, but Mantle was also declared the American League home run champion four times. No other player in the game has surpassed his runs, home runs, walks and RBI records in the World Series. He raised the bar at his peak and others just followed him, he was that good.
The greatest stopper in baseball history, Mariano Rivera, was in a league reserved only for the talented. He tops the saves and game finished stats with 652 and 952 respectively. He was the closer the Yankees turned to for seventeen years and boy did he deliver or what. Rivera retired with an 82-60 win loss record and an unbelievable 1173 strikeouts. He was picked in the All-Star squads thirteen times and got his hands on one World Series MVP award. Rivera also played his part in helping the Yankees to five World Series titles. The Yankees retired his number 42, once Rivera hung up his gloves in 2013 and if there is one player who deserves that, it is him.
Well now we come to Whitey Ford, the guy who simply put is an icon. The Yankees have produced a lot of great players but, in our books, they are yet to produce a better starter and that is saying something. Let’s take a look at his stats now. 50.6 WAR and a 2.75 ERA. He has a win loss record that stands at 236-106 with 1956 strikeouts. Ford also made it to the All-Star ranks ten times on his way to lifting the biggest prize in the sport, the World Series half a dozen times. 1961, which was one of the best seasons of his career, Ford threw 283 innings with a 25-4 record that was good enough to land him the Cy Young Award. These are stats of a player who was simply out of this world.
So this is it. This is our list of the eight greatest players that have played for the Yankees. If you think we have missed out on a name, or if you have anything to say about this list, let us know.