New York Yankee Top 10’s: Is your favorite one of the 10 best Yankee second baseman? (video)

In the New York Yankees’ rich history of great players, are names like Babe Ruth, Micky Mantle, Whitey Ford, Joe DiMaggio, Derek Jeter, and dozens more.  Over the years, there have been standouts at every position.  2nd base is the one position that deciding the best ever, is the most difficult, because any one of the top four, you could call as number one for varying reasons.  For instance, Tony Lazzeri had the most hits and RBIs.  Robinson Cano had the most power.  Willie Randolph had the most plate appearances and the best WAR.  You get the idea, each had something about them that could be called the best.

The following is this humble writer’s picks for the top ten New York Yankees 2nd baseman:

10. Billy Martin

Martin played six years at second base for the Yankees while hitting .262 with only 30 home runs.  Martin was known more for his managerial career than his playing days.

9. Alfonso Soriano

Soriano had two stints with the Yankees, five years from 1999 to 2003, and from 2013 and 2014 when he retired as a Yankee.  Like so many Yankees, he was not an exclusive second baseman he spent time in the left field. While with the Yankees he batted .276 with 121 home runs

8. Mark Koenig

Mark Koenig is another New York Yankee that played more than one position, he played both second and third base.  He played for the Yankees for six years from 1925.  He had a .285 batting average during those years.  Although he played for twelve years his best years were with the Yankees.

7. Snuffy Stirnweiss

Stirnweiss was a Yankee second baseman from 1943-1949.  Stirnweiss like McDougald shared his stellar defense with short and 3rd base.  He was on three World Series-winning teams and won the batting title in 1945 with 197 hits.

6. Gil McDougald

McDougald would be higher on this list, but he shared duty at shortstop and at 3rd base.  He did spend a considerable amount of time at second and was a good defender.  McDougald spent all ten years of his career with the Yankees being an All-Star five of those years. Gil was Rookie of the Year in 1951.

5. Bobby Richardson

Richardson was probably the second most popular Yankee second baseman behind Willie Randolph.  Bobby was an eight-time All-Star during his entire career playing with the Yankees from 1955-1966.  He was also a Gold Glover five times proving his excellent defense of second base. During 1962 he had 209 hits which is amazing.  The hole in his career that puts him behind Joe Gordon is his inability to hit home runs, only 34 in twelve years.

4. Joe Gordon

Joe Gordon is a bit controversial as he only played for the Yankees for seven years between 1938 and 1946, less than two years while in the military.  The only reason that Gordon scores so highly on this list is his superlative play at 2nd and his home run power.  He managed 153, which is the highest per year of any other Yankee first baseman.

3. Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano could have been number one on this list if he had remained with the Yankees for a few more years.  Although he wasn’t the best defender of all time, his power was greater than any other New York Yankee second baseman.  Over his nine years with the Yankees, he had 204 home runs. He also had the highest OPS of Yankee second baseman at .860.  He was a double-hitting machine with 375 in his nine years between 2005-2013.  He was a five-time All-Star and received five Silver Slugger awards.

2. Willie Randolph

Willie Randolph played 13 years at second base for the New York Yankees and had the most runs scored and the second-most most hits of 2nd baseman.  During his years he almost doubled the number of drawn bases on balls of other Yankees.  He drew 119 walks in 1980. Willie manned second base from 1975 to 1988. The only hole in his record that kept me from placing him first, is his low home run count.  Randolph was a six-time All-Star for the Yankees.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqFWYBWtcbc

1. Tony Lazzeri:

Tony Lazzeri is the second longest-tenured  Yankee 2nd baseman.  Tony played 12 years for the Yankees from 1926 to 1937.  Tony’s defense at 2nd was stellar.  He had more hits than Willie Randolph and had the second-most home runs behind Robinson Cano.  Because he played so long ago, most Yankees fans never saw play.  He had 100 or more RBIs across seven years.  He scored 100 or more runs twice, and he had a batting average over .300 in five of his years.  He is my pick for number one.  It should be noted that All-Star games did not start until 1933, Lazzeri was an All-Star in the first-ever All-Star game.

Honorable mentions

Scott Brosius (1998-2001) Brosius just missed the list due to his short playing time with the New York Yankees, Mike Pagliarulo, a good defender but had a poor batting average, he did hit 60 home runs between 1986-7.  Joe Pepitone shared his play between second and first base. He was a top first baseman. DJ LeMahieu is a two year veteran with the Yankees, but if his play continues as his 2019 Silver Slugger campaign, he will surely find himself on this list in the years to come.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society For American Baseball Research.  Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam

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.