This article is a brand new installment of the New York Yankee’s Top Tens. In this top ten, we examine the Yankee players who have had the most hits in postseason play. It may surprise you, of the top 10, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig did not make the list, part of the reason is that when they played, there was only the World Series, not all the rounds of the present postseasons. In the illustrious history of the Yankees, they have had a multitude of great players, but those on this list had the most hits in postseason play.
10a. Chuck Knoblauch – 48 hits.
Chuck Knoblauch only played to the New York Yankees for four years but made his mark in postseason play, with 48 hits. 1998 was his big year with the Yankees. In the World Series, he had an OPS of 1.063 and a .375 batting average.
10b. Scott Brosius – 48 hits.
Scott Brosius is another player that only played for the Yankees for four years, but he too made his mark in the postseason. He drove in 15 runs in the 1998 postseason and was named the MVP in the World Series that year.
9a. Joe DiMaggio – 54 hits.
“Joltin’ Joe” was one of the most popular Yankee players. He played his entire 13 years in the majors with the Yankees. From 1936 until 1951, he had 54 hits in the postseason. He would have had more, but he spent three years fighting in World War II.
9b. Alex Rodriguez – (54)
Alex Rodriguez was a controversial player with the New York Yankees, whether you liked him or hated him, it can’t be taken away from him, that he was one of the best players to ever play the game of baseball. For the Yankees, he was often criticized for not hitting in the postseason. But the fact is, having 54 hits in the postseason placed him 9th in all of Yankee history.
8. Micky Mantle – 59 hits.
The fan-favorite, Mickey Mantle, had the eighth-most hits in postseason play for the Yankees. Mantle played all his games with the Yankees for 18 years. He appeared in the postseason in 12 of those years. In the 1960 postseason, he had a 1.345 OPS. His 59 hits put at number 8 on this list.
7. Hideki Matsui – 64 hits.
Hideki Matsui, called “Godzilla,” is just one of the latest Yankee players to strike gold with his 64 hits in 6 postseason appearances that places him as having the seventh-most hits in postseason play. He set a Yankees record in 2009 when he had an OPS of 2.027 in the World Series with 8 hits driving in 8, and being named the World Series MVP.
6. Tino Martinez – 69 hits.
Tino Martinez had a big job replacing fan favorite Don Mattingly at first base. But Tino did not disappoint, especially in the postseason when he had 69 hits. In nine years, he had five series in the postseason, where he hit 8 or more hits.
5. Yogi Berra – 71 hits.
Yogi Berra was not one of the greatest Yankee postseason hitters, but in his 14 World Series, he had 71 hits. However, with Yogi you have to take into account that when he played there was only the World Series, no playoff games. If he was playing today, he just might be number one on this list. Yogi Berra holds the record for the most World Series wins with ten rings.
4. Paul O’Neill – 76 hits.
The present YES Network commentator, Paul O’Neill, is one of the most popular Yankees players of the last thirty years, he also amassed 76 hits in postseason play in his nine years with the Yankees. Other than Derek Jeter, he had his name chanted the second-most by the Yankee faithful.
3. Jorge Posada – 103 hits.
Jorge Posada was the New York Yankee regular catcher from 1998 to 2011. From 1995 to the end of his seventeen-year Yankee career, he hit 103 hits in postseason play. In 2001 he had 15 postseason hits. He also had 3 home runs. Posada was one of the core four during the Yankee dynasty of the late ’90s and early two thousands.
2. Bernie Williams – 128
Bernie Williams was one of the most popular Yankees of all time. He was the heart and soul of the Dynasty years and should have been part of a “core five.” In his 16 year Yankee only career, he amassed 128 hits during postseason games. He also holds the title for the most home runs in postseason play (22). Add to that his 80 RBI’s leads all the Yankees. He also holds the record for the most walks in the postseason (71).
Derek Jeter is number 1 with his 200 hits. He also holds the record for the most doubles and triples in postseason play. Add to that; he has the most stolen bases (18) in Yankees postseason history. Derek Jeter’s timely hitting throughout his career is the stuff of legends.
As to who was the best player in the Yankees postseason, it’s according to how much weight you put on each category. My choice is Bernie Williams because his home runs and total hits were more impactful, with his 80 RBI’s than Jeter’s greater number of hits. He also had more postseason hits on average, than Jeter. Overall, Jeter was the best Yankee player, but in the postseason, my nod goes to Bernie Williams.