The New York Yankees are the most successful franchise in sports history, so there are a lot of great players to choose from when compiling a list of the 10 best Yankees of all time. Following are ten of the greatest players in baseball history, all of whom happened to wear Yankees pinstripes.
- Babe Ruth. Arguably the greatest player in baseball history, “The Bambino” belted 659 of his 714 career home runs as part of Murderer’s Row making him number one on this list of the ten best Yankees of all time. In 1927, Ruth became the first hitter ever to smash 60 home runs and did that after establishing himself as one of the game’s greatest pitchers with 94 career wins.
- Lou Gehrig. He played in the shadow of Babe Ruth and still managed to get plenty of attention as one of the most dangerous hitters of all time, earning him the second spot on the list of best Yankees players of all time. Despite a career total of 493 home runs and a .340 lifetime batting average, it is Gehrig’s playing streak of 2,130 consecutive games for which he is best remembered.
- Joe DiMaggio. Speaking of consecutive game streaks, “Joltin’ Joe” DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak in 1941 is recognized by many as the most impressive record in baseball history and earns “The Yankee Clipper” the third spot on our list of best Yankees of all time. In addition to being a great hitter (Career .325 average, 361 home runs), the three-time Most Valuable Player was an outstanding defensive centerfielder and an excellent base runner.
- Mickey Mantle. If not for a debilitating knee injury suffered his rookie season, “The Mick” may have ended his career the greatest Yankee of all time. As it was, the switch-hitter smashed 536 lifetime home runs, added another 18 homers in World Series play, and won the Triple Crown in 1956 (.353, 52, 130).
- Derek Jeter. Entering the 2010 season, Derek Jeter ranks first among Yankees in career hits with 2,747. Jeter has also won four Gold Gloves at shortstop, and is one of the greatest clutch performers in baseball history with 175 hits, 20 home runs and a .313 average in 138 post-season games putting him number five on our list of the ten best Yankees of all time.
- Yogi Berra. At only 5 feet, 7 inches tall, the man who ranks sixth on our list of the ten best Yankees players displayed amazing power with 358 career home runs and won three American League MVP awards. The former catcher also holds the record for most World Series played, appearing in 14 of them in a 19-year career.
- Whitey Ford. The first pitcher on our list of best Yankees players compiled the most career wins in franchise history with 236, led the American League three times in victories, twice in earned run average, and won the Cy Young Award in 1961. Ford was also excellent in the World Series, winning 10 games including two shutouts in 1960.
- Mariano Rivera. The greatest closer in baseball history is also one of the best Yankees of all time. In 15 seasons, Rivera has amassed 526 saves with 71 wins and a 2.25 earned run average. As impressive as those numbers are, he’s been even better in the post-season with 39 saves, an 8-1 record, and a microscopic 0.74 ERA in 88 appearances.
- Bill Dickey. Dickey played his 17-year Yankees career with such stars as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio. Despite being overshadowed by legends, the left-handed hitting catcher’s career.313 average with 202 home runs has earned him a spot as one of the ten best Yankees of all time.
- Ron Guidry. In 1978, “Louisiana Lightning” turned in one of the greatest seasons by any pitcher in baseball history when he won the pitching equivalent of the Triple Crown, leading the league in wins (25) strikeouts (208) and ERA (1.74). With a 3-1 record and 1.69 ERA in World Series play as well as a career winning percentage of .651, Guidry ranks among the best lefthanders ever and is tenth on our list of best Yankees of all time.
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