The New York Yankees all-time team: Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Jeter, Rivera … and even A-Rod

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In order to avoid going crazy with MLB and all the other major sporting leagues closed during the coronavirus pandemic, I decided to take a look at the best of the best for each baseball franchise. We are going to have a 30 day streak creating an all time team for each MLB team. We’ll break down one team a day throughout April, continuing today with the New York Yankees and their 27 World Series titles.

Like (hopefully?) A fun touch, I make a Baseball Stars team for everyone. True, the old school Nintendo video game “Baseball Stars”, which I still consider to be the best baseball video game of all time. This allowed you to build teams and I was queuing all the time for leading MLB franchises. There are eight position players with four starting throwers, one reliever, and five bench position players on each Baseball Stars team.

The Yankees are obviously stellar and it is really difficult to leave so many grown-ups. This is the challenge with the most legendary franchise in baseball. On programming.

Catcher

Bill Dickey and Thurman Munson would be the choice of many teams. Hell, Jorge Posada and Elston Howard would have been good choices. On the Yankees, it’s the one and only Yogi Berra, although.

First base

Sorry Donnie Baseball. There is really no contact with the Iron Horse. It’s obviously Lou Gehrig.

Second base

More difficult call here. Joe Gordon is a Hall of Fame member and had three of the best seven seasons of the war in Yankee history in second place. The two best seasons of WAR belong to Snuffy Stirnweiss. Willie Randolph has built a very good Yankees career at the keystone and has accumulated more career WARs than any other Yankees second baseman. In the end, I go with Robinson Cano, however, as a pick of choice instead of longevity (Randolph had WAR 9.6 more in four more seasons). In nine seasons of the Yankees, Cano hit .309 / .355 / .504 (126 OPS +) with 375 doubles and 204 homers.

Shortstop

All the respect due to Phil Rizzuto, but Derek Jeter is easy to call here.

Third base

Choice may be unpopular here, but it’s Alex Rodriguez. The second best option was Graig Nettles and he couldn’t hold a candle to ignite A-Rod.

Left field

OK, so here’s the deal. We have three easy and obvious names to fill these three points. Two of them really only played on the central court, so one is moved to the left for this hypothesis. His Joe DiMaggio.

Central field

That leaves Mickey coat here.

Right field

Babe Ruth. Please.

Designated hitter

The Baseball Stars have not used DH, but this AL team needs it. It turns out they have one on hand that actually has DH’d for the Yankees. We must have the straw that stirs the drink. It’s true, it’s Reggie jackson.

Pitches of departure

The starting pitcher side is obviously still strong, but it is not as heavy as ever on the position player side. One possible exception is our ace, Whitey ford. Andy Pettitte is third in WAR among Yankee pitchers, third in wins, third in innings pitched, five-ring, has won an ALCS MVP and has pitched in so many great playoff games. We will take it. The next line is Ron Guidry, even if it gives us three lefties and I really need a right-hander for the final place. I’m leaving with 1943 AL MVP Spud chandler. He had 109-43 with a 2.84 ERA in 1485 innings for the Yankees. The quadruple All-Star won three rings. Also, having “Spud” on a video game makes it look like it should be a bonus.

Reliever

We don’t need a lot of discussion here, right? My apologies to Goose Gossage, Dave Righetti and Sparky Lyle. There is no peer for Mariano Rivera.

Programming

Baseball Stars uses six characters for each name. The following is the range of Baseball Stars:.

  1. Mickey, CF
  2. A-Rod, 3B
  3. Baby, RF
  4. Gehrig, 1B
  5. Reggie, DH
  6. Joe D., LF
  7. Yogi, C
  8. Cano, 2B
  9. Throw, SS

I love that Jeter is essentially a leading man for the second time thanks to the order with so much noise at the top.

SP: Whitey, Andy P, Ron G, Spud
RP: Rivera

That leaves four bench players. I’ll go with Munson as the backup receiver, and Willie (Randolph), Bernie (Williams) and Rickey (Henderson) will join him on the pine. There are so many good names left that it feels like you could form a second team that is better than several expansion franchises. I never even mentioned current Yankees, Dave Winfield, Roger Maris, CC Sabathia, Lefty Gomez and so many others.



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