What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Apologies in advance for the “Mothership“- style lead, but this question came up in a conversation and I really think it has some probative value.
At first it sounds ridiculous, but if you stop to think about it, no matter what you think of Derek Jeter and the Yankees, there’s really no question that the current Yankee captain is headed for the Hall of Fame and the Yankee’s Monument Park. Having said that, it seems logical to wonder where does Jeter rank amongst those Yankees of yore?
First of all, this is about everyday players, not pitchers. Let ESPN try to convince you that Andy Pettitte is the greatest Yankee pitcher ever because he won the most post-season games.
Secondly, this list only considers players who spent at minimum something at least close to half their careers in pinstripes. That’s why there’s no Reggie Jackson on this list. To make the list of ten finalists, both myself and Dick Marple, the Chairman of the Dubsism Advisory Board compiled a list of who we thought could be considered as the greatest Yankees ever.
Third, and most importantly, don’t forget that both J-Dub and Marple are avowed haters of all things Yanqui. But the question has been asked on several other outlets, and so we felt it necessary to settle it.
* Shoot me now. I really do want to see him die on the field after being struck by lightning.
** Could end up as high as 6 or even 5-if he stays healthy, stays in NY and doesn’t turn into a total asshole.
*** Can’t vote for anyone who became a Y because of their economic advantage over other teams who discovered talent. Therefore no A-Rod, Dave Winfield, or Reggie Jackson.
****Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I liked Bernie Williams as a player and fantasy league guy, but I just don’t think he was a big impact player.
Editor’s note: It should be noted that less than 48 hours after we posed this question to Mr. Marple, Jeter shattered his ankle.
From those lists, a list of ten finalists was assembled. Here’s the synopsis on those finalists, presented in alphabetical order:
1) Yogi Berra:
No single player in baseball history has more World Series rings than Yogi Berra. Having played 18 seasons as a Yankee, Yogi played in 14 World Series and won 10 of them, making him the winning champion in Major League Baseball history.
Berra was a fan favorite; he was one of the most beloved players in all of New York sports history. To this day he is an icon to Yankee fans everywhere, largely because he was one of the greatest catchers of all time. Berra hit 358 home runs and knocked in 1,430 RBIs. He won three MVP titles, including back-to-back awards in 1954 and 1955. He also played in 15 consecutive All-Star games.
2) Joe DiMaggio:
DiMaggio is obviously one of the greatest hitters of all time; his greatest achievement being his legendary 56-game hitting streak, which is believed by many to be an unbreakable record. A three-time MVP, DiMaggio hit .325 with 361 home runs and 1,537 RBI. Unfortunately, his career was interrupted by WWII, his military service took three years out of his baseball career.
In 13 seasons as a Yankee, DiMaggio won nine World Series championships, and he was an All-Star in every season of his career. However,
3) Lou Gehrig:
Lou Gehrig was often over-shadowed by the monstrous numbers of Babe Ruth, but make no mistake…Gehrig was one of the all-time greats in all of baseball all on his own. Gehrig hit 493 home runs and drove in 1,995 runs while scoring 1,888 runs himself. He had a .340 career average with 2,721 hits over his 17 seasons as a Yankee. He won two MVP awards and played in only seven All-Star games, but you have to remember the All-Star game wasn’t around until Gehrig’s last seven seasons.
4) Derek Jeter:
Before his ankle injury the other night, Derek Jeter was considered by many to be the next player to be able to reach 4,000 hits. Regardless of what happens regarding the rest of his career, Jeter has become as much of a Yankee icon as any other on this list.
Of all the accomplished players on this list, Jeter is the only member of the 3,000 hit club. He was named the 11th captain of the Yankees in 2003, making him the first since Don Mattingly retired in 1995.
Jeter also holds several Yankee franchise record, including most hits and plate appearances, most games played, and stolen bases.
5) Don Mattingly:
The 1985 MVP, Mattingly played his entire career with the Yankees and was the captain of the team from 1991 through the end of his career in 1995. Unlike the other players on this list, Mattingly played in a down for the Bronx Bombers. Despite his individual success, the team did not endure the same success. The 1980s were the only decade so far in which the Yankees did not win a World Series title.
6) Mickey Mantle:
“The Mick” was the end of a line of legendary Yankee heroes, from Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, through Joe DiMaggio, and to the end of his career. No one was there to pick up where Mantle left off in the late ’60s and the Yankees went into a World Series drought, not winning one from 1962 till 1977. Mantle belted 536 home runs with 1,509 RBI, while scoring 1,677 runs, and was arguable the greatest switch-hitter of all time.
7) Alex Rodriguez:
Forget about the steroid thing for a minute…of you are a regular reader of this blog, you know what I think of the whole steroid issue. Alex Rodriguez is one of the greatest players of all-time, regardless of how the writers and the other self-appointed steroid moralists care to view him. To date, he has 2,901 hits, 647 home runs and 1.950 RBIs.
8) Babe Ruth:
It’s pretty hard to argue that Babe Ruth is not the greatest player to ever wear the pinstripes. Before he became a Yankee, Ruth was a pitcher for the Red Sox who had a record of 89-46 with a 2.19 ERA.
Then the Yankees figured out he might be able to hit. Over his 15 seasons in the Bronx, Babe Ruth hit 659 home runs, had 1,971 RBI, scored 1,959 runs, walked 1,852 times, and hit .349. That pretty much says it all.
9) Bernie Williams:
Bernie Williams played his entire 16-season career in pinstripes and was a key member to the recent dynasty years, winning four World Series titles with the Yankees. Williams hit .297 with 287 home runs and 1,257 RBI. He also scored 1,366 runs and had 2,336 hits. His 449 doubles ranks third on the Yankees all-time list. He appeared in five straight All-Star games and won four Gold Gloves.
10) Dave Winfield:
At 6’6″ Winfield was a giant of a man, but he was also a true “five-tool” player athlete who never spent a day in the Minor Leagues. While Winfield played for six major league teams in 22 seasons, the prime years of his career were spent in New York. Like Mattingly, Winfield earned six All-Star appearances with some pretty bad Yankee teams of the 1980’s.
If you are more of a numbers guys, compare the career stats of the ten finalists.
To remove the skew for guys like Winfield and Rodriguez who didn’t play there entire careers in New York, compare what the average single-season numbers for these players are.
Note that Jeter compares favorably with DiMaggio in hits and doubles, and leads in stolen bases.
So, having considered all that, where does Derek Jeter fit in terms of all-time Yankee greats?