While the 2010’s was the first decade that the Yankees did NOT appear in a World Series since the 1910’s, there were still plenty of great moments that happened to our boys in pinstripes. And since everyone is reflecting on what happened to them this past decade, I thought I’d share my top 10 Yankees moments of the last decade.
10. Aaron Boone’s Hot Start
How many managers start their career with back to back 100 win seasons? I mean, seriously, how many managers start their managerial career’s with back to back 100 win seasons?! Aaron Boone’s first two seasons as skipper are about as productive as you can get for a manager. And this includes the copious amount of injuries the Yankees sustained in 2019.
9. Jorge Posada Clinches the Division
2011 was a crazy year for the Core Four. Andy Pettite was a year away from leaving retirement early. Derek Jeter got his 3,000 career hit on a home run in a 5-5 performance. And Mariano Rivera got career save 602. 2011 was also the last season for long time, home grown, Yankee catcher, Jorge Posada. Having a lackluster season, it was thanks to Jorge Posada that the Yankees clinched the 2011 AL East title.
8. The Emergence of the Baby Bombers
Gary Sanchez had a 2016 that would make Shane Spencer blush. In 53 games, he hit .299/.376/.657 with 20 home runs. 2016 also saw Aaron Judge’s first career at bat (I was there. Good golly that was a hot day. But such a majestic shot!). The very next season, the Yankees emerged as one of the most dominant teams in the American League.
7. Mariano Rivera’s Final Game
It was crazy watching the Yankees pay to have Metallica play “Enter Sandman” exclusively for Mariano on Mariano Rivera day, but there’s just something about watching a grown man reduced to tears over something as simple as one of his lifelong friends saying “It’s time to go.” Watching Giarardi sending Jeter and Pettite out to pull Mo from his final appearance at Yankee stadium was a stroke of genius. But you just wish the Yankees were able pull out the win.
6. 2017 Wild Card Through ALDS
It seemed improbable that the Yankees were going to make it to the post season in 2017, a rebuilding year. But they did. And with their ace on the mound, Luis Severino, it seemed like a sure fire thing that the Yankees would dominate the Twins in the Wild Card game. They went down early. But thanks to Didi Gregorius, the Yankees mounted a first inning comeback to win. And then… there was the ALDS. Down 2 games to none, they improbably came back in 3 straight games to advance to win the series and advance to the ALCS against the 100 win Cleveland Indians.
Aaron Boone was ejected on July 18th. And in his parting rant left us with “savages”. The rest, as they say… is history.
4. Next Man Up
2019 was a disaster of a season with a complete roster of players (and not just any players our best players) ending up on the IL for lengths of time. But with the emergence of DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela, the team was able to stay afloat for the incredible 103 win season.
3. Derek Jeter’s 3,000 hit
5-5 with a home run to cross the 3,000 hit plateau… the Captain always had the flair for the dramatic.
2. CC’s Final Pitch
CC Sabathia was a warrior for the Yanks his entire stay. Through all his injuries, the decline in velocity, CC fought hard on every pitch for us in the Bronx. And when it came to Game 4 of the ALCS, literally throwing his arm out of its socket, the man left it all on the field in a way that made his former manager break down and cry on MLB Network’s coverage of the postseason.
Derek Jeter’s Final at Bat
Derek Jeter was the final member of the Core Four to retire. It was tough watching all those Yankees greats that I grew up with finally ride off into the sunset like the legends of baseball they became. So when it came time for Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium, people were obviously pretty upset watching how upset Jeter was for most of the game. They took a lead early, but gave it back late. And then, it was magic hour. Tied at 5, 1 out, runner on second, and Jeter lines a typical Jeterian single to right, winning the game. Watching reruns of that game to this day still causes me to tear up a little bit.
And those are my picks for the 10 best moments of the first decade the Yankees didn’t appear in a single World Series.