The New York Yankees have always been blessed with talented players, some very popular, and some less so. Controversial players like Reggie Jackson and Gary Sanchez are seldom embraced fully by New York fans, some of the most demanding fans in all of baseball.
Not all players get the respect and love shown to Mickey Mantle, Thurmon Munson, Yogi Berra, and Derek Jeter. Much of it has to do with the success they have, but how they conduct themselves both on the field and off also has a lot to do with it.
Yesterday on Facebook in four different New York Yankee fan groups, I conducted an informal non-scientific poll to determine how fans see the present Yankee group of players and who is there most favorite and why. I asked the 50k fans to choose their favorite four players, and why one was their most favorite. The results were exciting and, in some ways, unexpected.
When I say unexpected, it was not unexpected who were the four favorites, but how the placement changed. Last year when I conducted this same poll, Brett Gardner was the number one choice for most favorite. This time he came in number four. Here are the results of 1,371 votes cast. DJ LeMahieu 28%, Aaron Judge 26.4%, Gleyber Torres 21%, Brett Gardner 14.3%. After Gardner, the percentages fell off sharply, accounting for only 10.3% of the total vote. In order of votes were Cole, Tanaka, Paxton, Andujar, and Severino. Aaron Hicks got only one vote, but as you can see, several players got no votes at all in this poll. It shouldn’t be a surprise but DJ jumped from not being on the list to #1 after just one season.
It’s interesting to see the changes from last season. LeMahieu jumped up from #4 to #1, of course, he was named the New York Yankee MVP since then. Judge came in second again, and Torres jumped from #5 to #3 most likely due to his team-leading 38 home runs. In the poll, the only result I don’t understand is how Gardner slipped so sharply after his break out season.
The poll also asked the voters to indicate their most favorite and why they choose that player. Even though Gardner slipped in the poll since last year, he was the most commented on. I picked the comment most representative of the rest of the comments for each of the top four.
Adele Starkle Knotts My #1 is Gardner. While not the MOST talented, he gives 100% all the time, in the field & at the plate & after more than a decade he’s hardly been out of the lineup because of injuries. Mentally & physically tough as nails, a real throwback. We won’t see the likes of him again!!Don Paradis D J LeMahieu
Because he is a complete player offensively and defensively. Super clutch hitter.Brian de Castro For my favorite player, I go back and forth between Torres and Sanchez, but I’m leaning more towards Torres. I like the way he carries himself and was impressed with his determination to do every interview in English despite it being his second language.