New York Yankees: This week in Yankee history (video)

There probably isn’t a day that goes by that something in New York Yankee history hasn’t happened that is memorable in their 109-year history. So here is a look at this week’s happenings in that history. This week is particularly interesting.

July 4th, 1925:

On this Independence Day, Yankee pitcher Herb Pennock and the Athletics pitcher Lefty Grove had a game for the history books. The game went 15 innings, with the Yankees winning 1-0. Pennock had one bad pitch in the game. He struck out the first 18 in a row he faced and the last 21 in a row—quite a pitcher’s duel.

July 4th, 1932:

New York Yankee catch Bill Dickey punched Carl Reynolds in the face causing a double fractured jaw. Dickey was suspended for 30 days. It all happened after the Yankees lost the first game of the doubleheader 5-3. In the second game, Joe Sewell threw a ball to home with Reynolds on his way. The ball and Reynold arrive simultaneously, resulting in the collision. Dickey wouldn’t have it and popped him one; that is still a historical event talked about today.

July 4th, 1939:

In 1939 on Independence Day, Lou Gehrig delivered his famed address to the crowd at Yankee Stadium. The “I am the luckiest man in the world” speech is still one of the most iconic in all of baseball. But, unfortunately, Gehrig would die almost two years after his speech of  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often called “Lou Gehrig disease.”

July 4th, 1960:

The famous Yankee Micky Mantle celebrated independence day by hitting the 300th home run of his career.

July 4th, 1983:

Legendary Yankees pitcher Dave Righetti got the first Yankee no-hitter since Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Righetti celebrated on the mound after no-hitting the Yankee’s most intense rival, Boston Red Sox. He was also the first lefty pitcher to do it since 1917 when George Mogridge accomplished the feat against the same Boston Red Sox. It was the first Yankee no-hitter for the young New York Yankees.

 

July 6th, 1941:

The New York Yankees dedicate a monument in center field to the last Lou Gehrig, honoring their deceased captain. Gehrig had died of ALS just a month earlier.

July 7th, 1937:

It was the All-Star Game, the fourth ever. Famous Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig drove in four runs in the game with a homer and double. The American League beat the National League 8-3. It was the first time a U.S. President attended an All-Star game. Franklin Roosevelt threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

July 9th, 1937:

Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio hit for the cycle, hitting two home runs, a triple, double and single in a win over the Washington Senators. He would hit for the cycle again in 1948.

July 10th, 1914:

At the time, the Yankees were playing at the polo grounds in New York City. The polo grounds had no lighting. The Yankees won the second game of a doubleheader with only one hit. The game had to be postponed due to darkness. The Yankee would never win another by just one hit until 2016 against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

July 10th, 2001:

Derek Jeter hit the first Yankee home run in an All-Star game in 42 years. The last to do it was Yogi Berra in 1959.

 

 

New York Yankees: Today all of baseball celebrates Lou Gehrig Day (video)

The New York Yankees and all of baseball celebrates Lou Gehrig Day today, June 2nd. A large group of people affected by ALS banded together to convince teams and the leagues to honor Gehrig as they do with Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente. As a result, the day not only celebrates one of the greatest baseball players ever to have played the game, but it brings attention to Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Those fans who do not know who Lou Gehrig is, he was one of the greatest New York Yankee players ever to play the game. Unfortunately, his life was cut short by ALS, later to be named Lou Gehrig Disease. ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a fatal disease; there is no cure. ALS often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in a limb or slurred speech. Eventually, ALS affects control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe.

On July 4, 1939, between games of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium, nearly 42,000 baseball fans sat quietly in the stands waiting for their team’s first baseman to address the crowd. It was Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day. It should have been a joyous celebration, but it wasn’t. A few weeks earlier, Yankees fans learned that Gehrig was suffering from an incurable disease that would prevent them from seeing him continuing to play.

On that day, Gehrig made one of the saddest and memorable speeches ever made in New York Yankee history. After not seeing Gehrig for several weeks, fans were shocked to see the once very handsome man, gaunt and thin, obviously zapped of his strength. All the dignitaries were there, including the Major of New York. He was showered with gifts from fellow players, the Yankees, and the opposing Washington Senators. Gehrig, a shadow of his former self, was holding back tears, and it looked as if he might not be able to speak on that hot, humid summer day. But somehow, he garnered the strength to stand behind the microphone.

Just like he had done in each of the 2,130 consecutive games he played in his career, the Iron Horse gathered his strength and forged ahead.

“For the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

“When you look around, wouldn’t you consider it a privilege to associate yourself with such a fine looking men as they’re standing in uniform in this ballpark today? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.

“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.

“So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for. Thank you.”

In his seventeen years, Lou Gehrig, all with the New York Yankees, became a legend for being one of the best and more durable players that the team had ever seen. He played from 1925 to 1938, taking part in no less than 150 games a season. But in 1939, as the disease started to ravage the once-great man, he played in only eight games, with a career batting average of an unbelievable .340. Then, early in the 1939 season, while he could still play, he batted only .143 until he could no longer play.

In his career, he was an MVP nominee 10 times, winning the award twice. 1933 marked the first time baseball had an All-Star game. After that, Gehrig was an All-Star every year until his career ended. After Gehrig’s emotional speech, he managed to live almost two years. But on June 2, 1941, the great Lou Gehrig lost his battle with ALS.

Gehrig was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. On Dec. 7, 1939, the BBWAA (baseball writers) voted unanimously to suspend the waiting period and immediately placed Gehrig in the Baseball Hall of Fame. On June 2nd, the Yankees will be at home at Yankee Stadium playing against the Tampa Bay Rays. They also will celebrate the life of Lou Gehrig, the player, the man, the legend, and yes, the American hero.

FOCO drops awesome Yankees’ Lou Gehrig ‘Luckiest Man Speech’ bobblehead

lou gehrig, yankees

The “Luckiest Man Speech” by New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig will live forever. Having played 17 seasons of Major League Baseball for the Yankees between 1923 and 1939, he was renowned as an elite hitter and coined one of the most durable players during his playing days. He was nicknamed “The Iron Horse,” being named an All-Star seven consecutive times and a Triple Crown winner once.

For any diehard Yankee fan, Gehrig represents greatness and history, which is why this bobblehead is a testament to his prominence over the years nearly a century ago.

GET YOUR AWESOME LOU GEHRIG BOBBLEHEAD HERE!

 

New York Yankees: This week in Yankee history, Goodbye Babe, Hello Derek

New York Yankees, Yankees, Derek Jeter

There probably isn’t a day that goes by that something in New York Yankee history hasn’t happened that is memorable in their 109-year history. Here is a look at this week’s happenings in that history.

1997, May 29th:

On this day, the New York Yankees acquired Hideki Irabu from the San Diego Padres. It turned out to be one of the worst trades ever made by the Yankees. He was 29-20 over four years. The only problem was that when he was acquired, he was supposed to be the new Yankee ace. That obviously didn’t come close to working out.

2002, May 29th:

Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens becomes the third pitcher in the majors to have 10 or more strikeouts in at least 100 games pitched. The other two were Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson.

1938, May 30th:

On this day, the Yankees had record attendance. It was Memorial Day and a doubleheader for the Yankees against the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees sweep the Red Sox in front of a crowd of 81 841 packed into the Stadium. It’s a record that will never be beaten. The new Stadium only has a capacity of 54,341.

1938, May 31st:

Lou Gehrig played his 2,000th consecutive game in a win over the Boston Red Sox. Gehrig would play another 130 games before ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) ended his Yankee career.

2009, June 1st:

The New York Yankees created a record that has not been broken to this day. They played 18 consecutive games without committing an error. The following day Jorge Posada would throw a bullet out into centerfield when trying to gun down a base stealer.

1935 June 2nd:

Former Yankee pitcher and slugger Babe Ruth announces his retirement from baseball.

1941, June 2nd:

The New York Yankees arrived in Detroit to play a series against the Tigers. Upon their arrival, they found out that Yankee Captain Lou Gehrig has passed away in this sleep from ALS. It was just 17  days before his 38th birthday. Ironically it was 16 years ago exactly that he made the Yankee major league lineup.

1932, June 3rd:

Playing the Philadelphia Athletics, the Yankees’ Lou Gehrig becomes the first player in the modern era to hit four home runs in the same game. The Yankees won the slugfest 20-13 and scored a record 50 bases in the game.

1998, June 3rd:

After escaping Cuba only six months earlier, Orlando Hernandez “El Duque” got his first Yankee win.  He defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-1 in front of an adoring Yankees crowd at Yankee Stadium.

2003, June 3rd:

Derek Jeter was named the 11th captain of the New York Yankees. He would go on to being one of the best players in the game. He would play another 13 years for the Yankees. He was a 14-time American League All-Star and was sixth all-time with 3,645 career hits. He spent all 20 years of his career with the Yankees.

 

 

 

New York Yankee News: Yankees to celebrate Lou Gehrig Day on June 2nd (video)

The New York Yankees and all of baseball will celebrate Lou Gehrig Day on June 2nd., as reported by Jeff Passan, an MLB insider and ESPN reporter. He said that a large group of people affected by ALS banded together to convince teams and the leagues to honor Gehrig as they do with Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente.

Those fans who do not know who Lou Gehrig is, he was one of the greatest New York Yankee players ever to play the game. His life was cut short by ALS, later to be named Lou Gehrig Disease. ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a fatal disease; there is no cure. ALS often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in a limb or slurred speech. Eventually, ALS affects control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe.

On July 4, 1939, between games of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium, nearly 42,000 baseball fans sat quietly in the stands waiting for their team’s first baseman to address the crowd. It was Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day. It should have been a joyous celebration, but it wasn’t. A few weeks earlier, Yankees fans learned that Gehrig was suffering from an incurable disease that would prevent them from seeing him continuing to play.

On that day, Gehrig made one of the saddest and memorable speeches ever made in New York Yankee history. After not seeing Gehrig for several weeks, fans were shocked to see the once very handsome man, gaunt and thin, obviously zapped of his strength. All the dignitaries were there, including the Major of New York. He was showered with gifts from fellow players, the Yankees, and the opposing Washington Senators. Gehrig, a shadow of his former self, was holding back tears, and it looked as if he might not be able to speak on that hot, humid summer day. But somehow, he garnered the strength to stand behind the microphone.

Just like he had done in each of the 2,130 consecutive games he played in his career, the Iron Horse gathered his strength and forged ahead.

“For the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

“When you look around, wouldn’t you consider it a privilege to associate yourself with such a fine looking men as they’re standing in uniform in this ballpark today? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.

“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.

“So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for. Thank you.”

In his seventeen years, Lou Gehrig, all with the New York Yankees, became a legend for being one of the best and more durable players that the team had ever seen. He played from 1925 to 1938, taking part in no less than 150 games a season. But in 1939, as the disease started to ravage the once-great man, he played in only eight games, with a career batting average of an unbelievable .340. Early in the 1939 season, while he could still play, he batted only .143 until he could no longer play.

In his career, he was an MVP nominee 10 times, winning the award twice. 1933 marked the first time baseball had an All-Star game. Gehrig was an All-Star every year until his career ended. After Gehrig’s emotional speech, he managed to live almost two years. But on June 2, 1941, the great Lou Gehrig lost his battle with ALS.

Gehrig was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. On Dec. 7, 1939, the BBWAA (baseball writers) voted unanimously to suspend the waiting period and immediately placed Gehrig in the Baseball Hall of Fame. On June 2nd, the Yankees will be at home at Yankee Stadium playing against the Tampa Bay Rays. They also will celebrate the life of Lou Gehrig, the player, the man, the legend, and yes, the American hero.

 

 

New York Yankees History: The Amazing Yankee Teams of the late 1920’s

New York Yankees, Babe Ruth
The New York Yankees have won 27 World Baseball Championships.
The 1927 Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. The 1928 team was one of the greatest Yankee teams for several reasons: In a time when they only played 154 games in a season, the team won 101 games. The team also consisted of eight future Hall of Fame members including manager Miller Huggins. The 1928 Yankees swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four games.
In game one, with terrific weather at the old Yankee Stadium, and in front of over 61,000 cheering Yankee fans, future Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt would only allow one run and the Yanks beat the Cards 4-1. Bob Meusel would have a home run. In game two George Pipgras would take the Cards to a 9-3 loss, while Lou Gehrig would hit his first home run of the series. Game 3 and 4 would be played at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. Game three’s Tom Zachary would cause the Cards to lose 7-3. This time the Iron Horse would hit two home runs, for his third of the series. In game four, Babe Ruth would hit 3 home runs in the game, while Lou Gehrig would hit his fourth of the series and Cedric Durst would add a long ball of his own. In the series, the Yankees outscored the Cardinals 27-10. Hoyt would win his second game of the series.
The World Series in 1927 could stand on its own as a fantastic accomplishment winning their second championship and their first-ever sweep, but actually it was more about the players that made this team so significant. The 1928 team featured many star players, but none more than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Ruth hit 54 home runs on the year. During this time the Yankees were known as Murderers’ Row because of the power of its lineup. Babe married his second wife, Claire Hodgson on April 17. The following day, the Yankees, with numbers on the back of their uniforms for the first time, opened the season against the Red Sox. Babe, wearing his new #3, whacked a first-inning home run to left field and doffed his cap to Claire as he rounded the bases. On August 11 in Cleveland, Ruth hit the 500th home run of his career.
At the end of the 29 season future Hall of Fame manager Miller Huggins passed away and Ruth applied for the job but was never seriously considered for the job. By the end of June 1930, Ruth was ahead of his 60-homer pace of 1927, but injuries slowed him down and he finished with 49. In 1931, at age 36, Ruth had one of his finest seasons. He hit .373/.495/.700, with 46 home runs, 162 RBIs, 128 walks, and 149 runs scored. The Yankees swept the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series, giving them wins in 12 straight World Series games.
For the previous few years, Ruth’s hard living and injuries were catching up with him. In 1934, due to his declining health and stats, Yankee’s owner Ruppert gave Ruth a pay cut of 50%., Ruth excepted knowing his 20-year career was coming to an end. On July 13 against the Detroit Tigers, Ruth would hit his 700th home run. Ruth is the only major leaguer to pitch in at least 10 seasons and have a winning record in all of them. Ruth had winning records in 10 seasons: 1914-1921, 1930 and 1933. Andy Pettitte now holds the record at 13 seasons (1995-2007). Ruth concluded he was finished, even as a part-time player. As early as May 12, he asked Yankee owner Fuchs to let him retire, Ruth retired on June 2 after an argument with Fuchs.
The second huge star on the team was the future Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig. Gehrig had a monster Series. In the four games, he hit .545 with four home runs (two of them, one which was an inside-the-park homer, in Game 3) and nine RBIs. Despite these remarkable numbers, Gehrig was still in the Babe’s shadow. Ruth hit .625, which at the time was the highest average in a World Series. He also hit three home runs in Game 4, thus stealing the spotlight once again from his friend and teammate.
Manager Huggins would die, and a month later the stock market crashed, and the nation soon fell into the Great Depression. After a decade of glitz, glamour, and overindulgence, an era exemplified by Babe Ruth, the country was entering hard times, and it needed a new kind of baseball hero, one who was solid, dependable and dignified. They would find that hero, in Lou Gehrig.
While Babe Ruth was in decline, Gehrig flourished and was named Captain of the Yankees in 1935. After one season as the undisputed star of the Yankees, he was upstaged by Joe DiMaggio, the 21-year-old phenom of the Pacific Coast League was already something of a celebrity even before he arrived in New York. Gehrig found himself playing second fiddle to a rookie; a marvelous rookie, but still a rookie.
On May 31, 1938, he was set to play in his 2,000th consecutive game. But his wife, Eleanor, who saw him every morning and evening, became worried about the toll that the streak appeared to be taking on his body. She suggested that her husband skip the game. He played but as the summer progressed, Gehrig began to break down. His power was down and his hitting was down. Despite an entire season of struggles, Gehrig still put up respectable numbers in 1938, hitting .295 with 29 home runs and 114 RBIs.
With his game streak and playing though his injuries, Lou got the nickname “the Iron Horse”. Yankee fans were watching their idol, for the first time sit out of games. With his condition continuing to worsen, Eleanor contacted the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. A team of doctors headed by Charles William Mayo himself reviewed Gehrig’s case. After six days of intensive testing, the doctors diagnosed Gehrig with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The cruelest part of ALS is that while it ravages the body, it leaves the mind unaffected.
On June 21, 1939, the Yankees announced Gehrig’s retirement and that July 4 would be “Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day,” a day to celebrate the life and career of their ailing hero. Almost 42,000 fans turned out for the ceremony, including Yankee notables like Babe Ruth, Willie Pipp, Earl Combs, Tony Lazzeri, and others including Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. After a series of speeches, Gehrig took the mike and would make one of the most famous speeches in baseball history.
The weak Gehrig started out “Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break. Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” The end had come. Gehrig never played another game. His career was over. His final statistics were among the best ever. A .340 batting average, 493 home runs, 1,995 RBIs, 534 doubles, 163 triples, and a .632 slugging percentage. A comprehensive list of Gehrig’s accomplishments as a ballplayer could fill an encyclopedia. On June 2, 1941, at 10:10 p.m., 16 years to the day after he replaced Wally Pipp at first base, Henry Louis Gehrig died at his home in the Fieldstone section of the Bronx, New York.
Other Hall of Famers on the 1928 team were Waite Hoyt the pitcher that won two of the four series games. This Hall of Fame pitcher, pitched for 21 years, 10 of which were with the Yankees. While with the Yankees, he had stats that would be near impossible to reach in the present state of the game. He had 70 complete games while being both a starter and a reliever. He was 157-98 with the Yankees and had six seasons with over 17 wins, and with 29 saves. Again, I say these stats are incredible for a pitcher that was both a starter and a reliever. Another unusual stat is that in the other eleven years of his career he would have only 3 other years in his career that would be winning years. After leaving the Yankees in 1930, Waite Hoyt would never really regain the pitching form he had with the Yankees.
The team also featured Hall of Famer Earle Combs. The summer of 1924 would be his rookie season with the Yankees. Combs would play center field at the still relatively new Yankee Stadium. He would be one of the team’s most successful hitters with a batting average of .400. In 1925, Earle would be an MVP candidate and would hit .342 for the team. In 1927, he would lead the team in games played. He would also lead the team with an incredible 231 hits, 23 of them triples while hitting .356. In 1928 he would again lead the league in triples, hitting 21 of them while batting .310 and being named an MVP nominee.
Another Hall of Famer on the team was Stan Coveleski, who had a 5-1 pitching record that year. Another was catcher Bill Dickey an eleven-time All-Star and a nine-time MVP candidate. Tony Lazzeri was a Hall of Fame second baseman for that Yankee team. Lazzeri was often overshadowed by the bigger stars on the team, but on any other team, he would have been its leading star. He hit 134 hits and batted .334 for the team.
To round off the future Hall of Fame players on that team was pitcher Herb Pennock who didn’t pitch all that well that year, but with the Yankees, for eleven years he would pitch to a record of 162-90 having eight seasons with over 16 wins, two of them 20 plus winning seasons.
The Yankees have had many great teams and World Series wins over the years, but few teams would ever match up the to 1928 Yankee team. With so many Hall of Famers and Yankee legends on one team, the Yankees 1928 team will forever be in the Yankee lore.
EmpireSportsMedia.com columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam

New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig born today, remembering the Yankee idol

New York Yankees’ legend and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig would have been 117 years old today, being born on June 19, 1903. Gehrig played 17 years in the Major Leagues, all of them being with the New York Yankees. In those 17 years, Gehrig racked up a total of seven All-Star games (the first one ever being in 1933 and Gehrig made the midsummer classic every year to finish his career), was named MVP two times in 1927 and 1936, and was a six-time World Series Champion.

Gehrig is most known for his incredible consecutive games streak of 2,130. Although Cal Ripken would break that record years later, Gehrig is remembered as an MLB great who ended his career when he delivered his famous “Luckiest Man” speech on July 4, 1939.

The team’s captain for four years, Gehrig holds a career .340 batting average with 493 home runs and 1,995 runs batted in. He led the league in batting average five times, the highest being .478 in 1936. He also led the league in most RBIs five times, the highest being 173 in 1927.

Gehrig was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) on June 19, 1939, which is also his birthday. ALS is now known commonly as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” since he was a national figure and won the hearts of many. He passed away on June 2, 1941, two years after his famed speech.

Lou Gehrig was truly an idol and goes down without a doubt as one of the greatest Yankees of all time. In his “Luckiest Man” speech he spoke on his time in pinstripes:

“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans”

 

New York Yankees: All-Time Starting Lineup/Bench

New York Yankees, Babe Ruth

Most of these players contributed to the 27 World Series rings that the New York Yankees franchise has won. From World Series MVPs to record-breaking statistics, these players have done it all in the sport of baseball.

All-Time Starting Lineup/Bench

1. SS Derek Jeter

Jeter played all 20 seasons of his career for the Yankees and was one of 15 captains in New York Yankees history. He deserved to be the second unanimous hall of fame player but fell one vote short.

He had 650 1st-pitch hits, indicating he was aggressive at the plate, which makes a perfect leadoff hitter for this team.

2. LF Joe DiMaggio

A 56-game hitting streak is Dimaggio’s most popular call to fame, however, he did make the all-star team all 13 years of his career.

He hit over .300 in 11 out of 13 years at the highest stage, which is almost never seen in today’s baseball.

To top it all off, he served his country in WWII for three years.

3. RF Babe Ruth

“The Bambino” was the greatest display of power in the early 20th century and no one will forget when he “called his shot.”

His 714 home runs have kept him among the top three home run hitters for almost a century. He has the best slugging percentage, OPS, and OPS+ of all-time as well.

He is arguably the best all-around hitter ever and needs to be in the middle of this lineup.

4. 1B Lou Gehrig

He and Ruth were the best one-two punch of their era, if Ruth did not drive in the runs one game, Gehrig would put the “cleanup” in “cleanup hitter” and drive in the runs himself.

In 1931, Gehrig drove in 185 runs, which is the second-most for a single season in history, behind Hack Wilson, who drove in 191 runs a year prior.

Gehrig also won the triple crown in 1934, meaning he led the American League in home runs, RBIs, and batting average, a feat that only a few players have achieved in their careers.

5. CF Mickey Mantle

Following in DiMaggio’s footsteps, Mantle, led the New York Yankees to seven World Series titles. He won the triple crown in 1956, paving the way for his first MVP award.

Mantle was arguably one of the first five-tool players in baseball, as he led the American League in many batting categories, in a single season, at some point in his career and even won a gold glove award.

Behind Babe Ruth, Mantle is second on the all-time Yankees home run list.

6. 3B Alex Rodriguez

Although his best years were for the Texas Rangers, A-Rod won two MVPs as the Yankees’ third baseman.

Yes, he did admit to using steroids, but he was still one of the most feared hitters in baseball for almost two decades.

7. C Yogi Berra

Berra, won three MVPs, 10 World Series rings, meaning he has one for each finger, not even Tom Brady has reached that level of success.

Between his “Yogisms” and serving in WWII, he did all you can ask for of a man and a baseball player. He is the textbook definition of a legend in the game of baseball.

8. 2B Tony Lazzeri

There is an argument to have Robinson Cano in this lineup, however, Lazzeri’s Yankees tenure was longer and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He also helped the historic teams of the 1920s and 30s win five World Series titles.

9. P Whitey Ford

This is just to fill a hole in the lineup without a DH, if there had to be a DH, a case could be made for Don Mattingly, Graig Nettles, or Dave Winfield, cannot go wrong with any of these players.

Ford was arguably the best pitcher in Yankees history and would be the opening day starter for this team.

Bench:

C Bill Dickey

He was Yogi Berra’s predecessor and helped the Yankees win seven World Series rings. An 11-time all-star and a hall of fame inductee earn his spot on this team.

1B/OF Don Mattingly

His best season was 1986 when he hit 53 doubles. Mattingly is a great pinch-hit option off the bench.

2B Robinson Cano

Cano got the assist on the final out of 2009 World Series game 6, which one the Yankees first World Series since 2000. He played all but one game that season and became a big part of the New York Yankees team in the early 2010s.

He is the only active player on this team, but his spot is well deserved.

3B Graig Nettles

Nettles led the American League in home runs in 1976, with 32. He is a fan favorite of the ’70s Yankees teams and needs to be on this team.

OF Dave Winfield

Last, but not least, Winfield had one of the best arms of any right-fielder ever. He would rack up double-digit outfield assist seasons a bunch of times in his career.

He also had middle-of-the-lineup production at the plate during his career, making him the perfect player to round out this team.

New York Yankees: A history of great Yankee first baseman

The New York Yankees in their rich history have had some really great players.  Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, just to name a few that have been impactful players in the Yankees 117 year history.  Over the years, the Yankee has had no shortage of fine first baseman.

1. Lou Gehrig:

Lou Gehrig is generally recognized as the Yankee’s most excellent first baseman of all time.  Gehrig for 17 years from 1923-1939 graced first base at Yankee Stadium.  Known for his fine hitting and durability at his position, he was called the “Iron Horse.”  He hit 493 home runs and had 1,995 runs batted in with a career batting average of .340. He still has the highest ratio of runs scored plus runs batted in per 100 plate appearances (35.08) and per 100 games (156.7) among Hall of Fame players.  Gehrig was not just a hitter; he provided stellar defense at first throughout his career.  At one point in his career, he played in 2,130 consecutive games.

Gehrig, as great a player he was for the Yankees he is also known for Lou Gehrig disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).  His 1938 stats were well of his 1937 performance, and he knew something was wrong, He was tired.  After a series of tests at the Mayo Clinic, the bad news was delivered to Gehrig.  On July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig said goodbye to over 60,000 fans in the stands with his famous “I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth” speech.  The Hall of Fame Gehrig passed away at his home in the Bronx section of New York on June 2, 1941.  Career stats: 17 years .340 with 493 home runs.

2. Don Mattingly

Donny Baseball is one of the most popular Yankees ever, and my pick as the Yankees 2nd greatest first baseman. Don Mattingly spent his entire baseball playing days at first base at Yankee Stadium.  For fourteen years, he snagged balls and defended at first base.  He made his Yankee major league debut in September of 1982.  He became the full-time first baseman in 1984, a position he held until 1995.

Many thought Mattingly would become the Yankees manager.  That didn’t happen as Joe Torre was selected to manage the Yankees for the next eleven years.  Mattingly did manage, though.  He was a special instructor for the Yankee until 2007.  Before the 2008 season, he was hired to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers, a job he held for seven years.  In 2016 ex-Yankee Derek Jeter selected Donny to manage the Miami Marlins, where he still manages today.  Career stats:  14 years .307 with 222 home runs.

3. Tino Martinez

Constantino “Tino” Martinez is my pick for third-best New York Yankee first baseman.  Tino was not solely a Yankee; he played for the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, and Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1990 through 2005.

Tino was an excellent defender at first base.  From 1996-2001, the dynasty years, Tino was one of the most impactful players on the team.  He helped the team to four World Series in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000.  In 1997 he won the All-Star home run derby.  In 2002 Tino joined the Cardinals, and in 2004, he played a year with the Rays.  In 2005 Tino re-joined the New York Yankees.  During that year, at one point, hi hit five home runs in five consecutive games. Career stats: 16 years .271 with 339 home runs.

4. Mark Teixeira

Mark “Tex” Teixeira held down the first base position from 2009 to 2016.  Not only was he stellar at first, but he was also one of the most proficient switch hitters in baseball history.  In his first year with the New York Yankees, he led the team to their 27th World Championship.  Although he got them there, he didn’t play well in the Series, but in Tex style, he was clutch winning game 2 with a walk-off home run.

In 2009 he led the American League in home runs. On May 8, 2010, he became the second Yankee in history to hit three home runs in the same game. In 2011 he hit his 300th home run.  In 2015 Teixeira was named to his third All-Star game. In 2016 his final year before retirement, he hit two home runs in a game that also represented the 400th home run of his career.  Citing injuries and wanted to spend more time with his family, he retired after the 2016 season. Career stats:  14 years .268 with 409 home runs.

5. Chris Chambliss

Chris Chambliss is one of the most popular of Yankee’s first baseman.  Chambliss played for the Yankees from 1974 to 1979.  An excellent defender at first, he is mostly known for his walk-off home run in the 1977 World Series.  His walk-off was one of the most iconic moments in Yankee history.  Immediately after his World Series-winning hit, Yankee fans stormed the field making it impossible to reach home base.  When he reached the clubhouse, he donned a field worker’s raincoat and ran out to touch home plate. Career stats:  17 years .279 with 185 home runs.

Honorable mentions go to Bill Skowron 1954-1962, Jason Giambi 2002-2008, Joe Pepitone 1962-1969, Johnny Mize 1949-1953, and Wally Pipp 1915-1925.  I have excluded Mickey Mantle from this list.  Even though he was a fine first baseman, he was noted more for his outfield performance throughout his career.

 

Who Was the Greatest New York Yankees Player: Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig?

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have been blessed with some of the greatest players in the world putting on the pinstripes. So it begs to question: who was the most magnificent Yankee of all time? Let’s look at the two most formidable Yankees of the ’20s and ’30s, Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig?

What Could Have Been

Lou Gehrig’s life and career were cut short by the disease he’d be named after. Now, he was 36, so it’s circumspect to believe that he’d last as long as Ruth did (who played till he was 40). But he certainly could have given Ruth a run for his money in several main categories. Except for home runs. Ruth definitely would have still held onto that.

Ruth had a career batting average of .342, Gehrig with .340. Ruth had 2,873 career hits, averaging 186 a season. Gehrig had 2,721 averaging over 200 hits per season. Ruth struck out 1,330 times in his career, Gehrig, only 790 times. Gehrig hit more doubles, triples, and averaged nine home runs fewer than Ruth did, and had twice as many MVPs as the Sultan of Swat.

Ruth still holds career records in slugging, OPS, and OPS+ and hit over 200 home runs more than Gehrig. If Gehrig had the option to play 2-3 full seasons after 1938, he’d had passed Babe Ruth for most RBI’s.

Are Things Skewed Toward Ruth?

Gehrig spent his entire career in the live-ball era, something that Ruth can’t say. But Ruth was a two-way player, finishing with a 94-46 career record, adding 20 more WAR points to his resume than Gehrig, who was a career first baseman.

But, the legend was a STUD offensively. Offensively, Ruth had a WAR over 162 while Gehrig was at 112. Statistically, all things point to Ruth being the better player over Gehrig.

But statistics don’t always paint a complete picture. We’re still talking about two human beings who happened to be giants of the game of baseball. And unfortunately, we who were born past 1939 will never have gotten to see these men play. All we’ll have are the highlight reels that would serve as the basis for what would become SportsCenter’s top 10 plays.

Let’s appreciate the fact they both happened to be Yankees.