Thursday, November 05, 2009

List #18: 101 Greatest Yankees of All Time

Since early 2004 I have been a frequent reader (but not a member) of an internet message board that hosts an ongoing discussion of the Boston Red Sox. Named for a one-time fan-favorite, Sam Horn, the message board prides itself on "serious discussion" and boasts of its high "signal to noise ratio." Indeed, many of the posters seem to be just as passionate about mathematics as they are about baseball. In statistical discussions you don't find a lot of discussion about wins, losses, hits, and batting average. Instead, the conversation is about Win Shares, Pythagorean records, ERA+, OPS+, VORP, and UZR. And those are just the statistics I understand! Many of the members of the message board track baseball players according to their own statistical models.

Over the last several weeks the message board has been having a conversation about the 100 best Red Sox players of all-time. They have picked the top 70 and are about to release the next 10 picks on the list.

I decided that I would create my own list, based on whichever team won the World Series. So, in honor of the Yankees winning the World Series last night, here is my entirely subjective list of the top 101 New York Yankees of all time:

101) Mickey Rivers (1976-1979) Speedy centerfielder played only 4 seasons with New York.
100) Don Larsen (1955-1959) Pitched perfect game in 1956 World Series.
99) C.C. Sabathia (2009-present) Went 19-8 in his first season with New York.
98) Oscar Gamble (1976, 1979-1984) Valuable DH and platoon player.
97) Chris Chambliss (1974-1979, 1988) Won a Gold Glove and earned an All-Star appearance.
96) Mark Teixeira (2009-present) “I before E except after C?” Key free agent helped NY to ’09 Championship.
95) John Wetteland (1995-1996) Saved 74 games in two seasons with the Yankees.
94) Wally Schang (1921-1925) Catcher received MVP votes in 2 of his 5 years with New York.
93) Clete Boyer (1959-1966) Third baseman for the Yankees through the early and mid-1960s.
92) Jim Bouton (1962-1968) All-Star and 20 game winner proved a better writer than pitcher.
91) Scott Brosius (1998-2001) Provided veteran leadership on 3 World Championship teams.
90) Jeff Nelson (1996-2000, 2003) Valuable middle reliever for the Championship teams of the late 90s.
89) Mike Stanton (1997-2002, 2005) Key set-up man for Mariano Rivera.
88) Ralph Terry (1956-1957, 1959-1964) Best known for giving up homerun in 1960 World Series.
87) Bucky Dent (1977-1982) Twice an All-Star shortstop, but remembered for that darn fly ball.
86) Chien-Ming Wang (2005-2009) Back-to-back 19 win seasons in ’06 and ’07.
85) Ben Chapman (1930-1936) Speedy outfielder stole 184 bases with the Yankees.
84) Joe Dugan (1922-1928) Third Baseman for the “Murderer’s Row” teams of the 1920s.
83) Ed Figueroa (1976-1980) Won 20 games in 1978.
82) Johnny Damon (2006-present) 77 Homeruns and 93 stolen bases in 4 seasons.
81) Jim “Catfish” Hunter (1975-1979) Finished his Hall of Fame career with the Yankees.
80) Roger Peckinpaugh (1913-1921) Shortstop for NY during the dead-ball era.
79) Billy Martin (1950-1957) With 15 homeruns and 75 RBI, his ’53 season was his best.
78) Alfonso Soriano (1999-2003) Twice a member of the 30-30 club with New York.
77) Fritz Peterson (1966-1974) Starter posted a 109-106 record with the Yankees.
76) Tiny Bonham (1940-1946) WWII pitcher won 79 games including 21 in 1942.
75) Robinson Cano (2005-present) Has hit over .300 in 3 out of his 5 seasons with New York.
74) George Selkirk (1934-1942) Posted an .883 OPS over 9 seasons in New York.
73) Snuffy Stirnweiss (1943-1950) Dependable 2nd baseman through the 1940s.
72) George Pipgras (1923-1933) Led league in wins and innings pitched in 1928.
71) Hal Chase (1905-1913) Stole 248 bases in 9 seasons during the dead ball era.
70) Willie Keeler (1903-1909) Lifetime .342 hitter played for Yankees in his declining years but still hit over .300 four times.
69) Wade Boggs (1993-1997) Hit .313 over 5 seasons in New York.
68) Wally Pipp (1915-1925) Played first base for NY until Gehrig joined the team.
67) Tommy John (1979-1982, 1986-1989) Back-to-back seasons with over 20 wins in ’79 and ’80.
66) Joe Pepitone (1962-1969) Gold glove first baseman and three time All Star.
65) Orlando Hernandez (1998-2004) Had a 9-3 record in 14 post-season starts.
64) Jason Giambi (2002-2008) Averaged 30 homeruns over 7 seasons in New York.
63) Tony Kubek (1957-1965) Bobby Richardson’s double-play partner and 3 time All-Star.
62) Allie Reynolds (1947-1954) Led league in ERA and shutouts in 1952.
61) Tommy Henrich (1937-1950) An .873 OPS over his 11 seasons in the Bronx.
60) Bobby Turley (1955-1962) Won the Cy Young award in 1958.
59) Sparky Lyle (1972-1978) Finished 348 games and recorded 141 saves for the Yankees.
58) Johnny Murphy (1932-1946) 12 seasons as a relief pitcher and 3-time All-Star.
57) Bob Meusel (1920-1929) Played the sunny side of the outfield to help protect Babe Ruth’s eyes.
56) Frankie Crosetti (1932-1948) Led league in times hit by pitch 7 times in 17-year career with New York.
55) Joe Page (1944-1950) Yankees’ leading relief pitcher in the 1940s.
54) Mel Stottlemyre (1964-1974) Won 20 games 3 times. Lost 20 games once.
53) Bobby Murcer (1965-1974, 1979-1983) Yankee’s centerfielder following DiMaggio and Mantle.
52) Carl Mays (1919-1923) Won combined 53 games in the ‘20 and ’21 seasons.
51) Rickey Henderson (1985-1989) Stole 93 bases in 1988.
50) Mike Mussina (2001-2008) Averaged 15 wins per year over 8 seasons in New York.
49) Bill Skowron (1954-1962) Five consecutive All-Star appearances in the late 50s.
48) Roger Clemens (1999-2003, 2007) Won the 6th of his 7 CY Young Awards with the Yankees in 2001.
47) Hideki Matsui (2003-present) World Series MVP in 2009.
46) Charlie Keller (1939-1949, 1952) Five time All-Star had a career .928 OPS.
45) Gil McDougald (1951-1960) All-Star middle infielder through the 50s.
44) Red Rolfe (1931-1942) 4-time All-Star 3rd Baseman.
43) Jack Chesbro (1903-1909) Won 41 games in 1904.
42) Phil Rizzuto (1941-1956) Was the 1950 American League MVP.
41) David Cone (1995-2000) Won 64 regular season games and posted a 6-1 record in the post-season.
40) Roy White (1965-1979) 15 year career as Yankee’s left-fielder.
39) Goose Gossage (1978-1983) In 6 seasons saved 150 games for the Yankees.
38) Ed Lopat (1948-1955) Recorded 113 wins and 59 losses with New York.
37) Tino Martinez (1996-2001, 2007) A team leader through the late 90s when NY won 4 championships in 5 years.
36) David Wells (1997-1998, 2002-2003) Win totals in 4 seasons with Yankees: 19, 18, 16, 15
35) Vic Raschi (1946-1953) An All-Star in half his seasons with New York.
34) Hank Bauer (1948-1959) Received MVP votes in 5 of his 12 seasons with New York.
33) Willie Randolph (1976-1988) Five All-Star selections in 13 years with the Yankees.
32) Spud Chandler (1937-1947) Won MVP award with 20-4 record and 1.64 ERA in 1943.
31) Waite Hoyt (1921-1930) Pitched for 3 World Championship teams in the 1920s.
30) Tony Lazzeri (1926-1937) Steady 2nd baseman and teammate of Ruth and Gehrig.
29) Thurman Munson (1969-1979) Won a Rookie of the Year award and an MVP.
28) Graig Nettles (1973-1983) Hit 250 homeruns with the Yankees.
27) Bob Shawkey (1915-1927) Won 20 games four times with the Yankees.
26) Paul O’Neill (1993-2001) Rightfielder hit .303 over his tenure with the Yankees.
25) Jorge Posada (1995-present) Has anchored the Yankees at catcher since 1998.
24) Dave Righetti (1979-1990) Won 74 games and saved 224 more for the Bronx Bombers.
23) Bobby Richardson (1955-1966) Slick-fielding 2nd-baseman had more walks than strikeouts 7 times.
22) Alex Rodriguez (2004-present) Average over first 6 seasons with New York: 40 HRs, 119 RBIs, $24.7 million.
21) Reggie Jackson (1977-1981) With NY: 5 seasons; 12 post season homeruns; 2 World Championships.
20) Herb Pennock (1923-1933) Played half his career in New York, recording 162 regular season wins and a perfect 5-0 record in the post-season.
19) Dave Winfield (1981-1990) An All-Star each of his first 8 seasons in NY.
18) Andy Pettitte (1995-2003, 2007-present) Rotation mainstay was 3 times a top 5 finisher for the Cy Young.
17) Elston Howard (1955-1967) 8 All-Star selections and an MVP.
16) Ron Guidry (1975-1988) In ’78 had a 25-3 record and a 1.74 ERA.
15) Roger Maris (1960-1966) Hit 61 homeruns in ’61 and won consecutive MVP awards.
14) Earle Combs (1924-1935) Scored 113 runs or more in 8 consecutive seasons.
13) Bernie Williams (1991-2006) 22 post-season homeruns, four Gold Gloves, and a batting title.
12) Lefty Gomez (1930-1942) 4 seasons with 21 wins or more; perfect 6-0 record in the World Series.
11) Red Ruffing (1930-1946) 4 consecutive 20 win seasons.
10) Bill Dickey (1928-1946) HOF catcher was an 11-time All Star.
9) Don Mattingly (1982-1995) Played 14 seasons but never played in the World Series despite 9 Gold Gloves, 6 All-Star selections, a batting title, and an MVP award.
8) Derek Jeter (1995-present) All time Yankee leader in hits.
7) Whitey Ford (1950-1967) Won 236 games with the Yankees
6) Mariano Rivera (1995-present) Greatest relief pitcher ever.
5) Joe DiMaggio (1936-1951) 13 seasons, 13-time All Star, 3-time MVP.
4) Yogi Berra (1946-1963) Collected 3 MVP awards while playing on 10 World Series Championship teams.
3) Mickey Mantle (1951-1968) 3-time MVP, 3-time MVP runner-up, over 500 home runs.
2) Lou Gehrig (1923-1939) Put up an OPS of 1.000 or greater in 11 consecutive seasons.
1) Babe Ruth (1920-1934) The Sultan of Swat led the league in Homeruns 10 times in 15 years with NY.