The New York Yankees are perhaps the most venerated club in the history of baseball. I often times find it paradoxical they refer to these teams as “clubs,” because there certainly is hardly a chance to join, and it seems kind of antithetical in a strange way. Etymology aside, these are wonderful clubs on the Major League Baseball (MLB) circuit. The Yankees have had so many excellent players over the years, it is hard to even compile a fantasy, best-player list. That said, it is so nice to know that my eyes have seen some of the best-of-the-best, the top-of-the top players in this history of this team.
Whenever I hear Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” I am immediately reminded of the amazing Mariano Rivera. When I think of right fielders, I am reminded that my mother was married to the nephew of one of the greatest ever, Babe Ruth. When I think of great smiles, and people who ooze class, I think of one of the greatest shortstops of all time, the one-and-only Derek Jeter. All of these men have worn pinstripes, and have brought great times, and contributed to amazing titles that this team has achieved.
The Yankees are indeed a team, and there is no “I” in the word team. I find it amazing that so many humongous personalities can grace one locker room, and remain completely committed and supportive of one another in their mission to win. That said, these are some of the greats, and they are in no particular order.
Derek Jeter is perhaps one of the greatest shortstops ever in the history of baseball. I can never, ever forget seeing him launch himself off the ground, feet spread as far out as humanly possible, as he used that energy to place the power of his entire body behind throwing, often times, to first base! It was an amazing feat of baseball talent that will likely never be repeated. Thinking about how he arrived at the point where he could physically do that, it is incomprehensible he made that work for himself so well. The Captain will forever be revered, by fans and teammates alike, as being one of the classiest players ever, and who made a career basically on hitting singles and doubles. What an amazing person, and a fantastic player.
Alex Rodriguez, so vilified for his involvement in the dreadful steroids scandal, booed in his first few games upon returning to the Bronx, and in record time, he turned that hate to love! His return to the Bronx was a story for the ages, of someone who bucked the energy against him, and who turned it all around, and made it into a dazzling performance. His is a story of true accomplishment. His first season back basically made the Yankees season so much better than it would have been without him, and he is one of the greatest third basemen of all time. He was a good shortstop, too!
Closing greatness was found in the super talented Mariano Rivera. Joe Torre poured himself into Mariano, and he brought him up through the organization, and saw in him raw talent. Mariano was brought through the system, and he eventually dominated as one of the greatest closers of all time. It was nothing short of amazing to watch him pitch, and it seemed as if he could make that ball dance, in staggered motion, as it hurled through space and time. His was a show that will never be seen again.
Japan sent the New York Yankees quite a gift in Hideki Matsui! He will go down in the Yankee’s history books as being one of the greatest designated hitters of all time. The Yankees are a tough club to swing a bat for, and once in, and you earn your stripes, you will forever be respected, and Hideki Matsui worked hard and earned his place in their lineup.
Babe Ruth had the best 1923 of just about any player in the history of baseball. After that dubious trade by the Red Sox, he went on to achieve great fame for his right-field abilities, and is regarded as one of the greatest to ever grace that position, and that organization.
Mickey Mantle is the best center-fielder the Yankees ever had. It is hard to decided between he and Joe DiMaggio, but alas most would agree that Mantle was likely the best.
Charlie Keller gets kudos for his amazing work as one of the greatest left-fielders of all time! He did great things in that position.
Second base would have possibly gone to Robinson Cano in the fullness-of-time, but after the seemingly incongruous trade to Seattle, he lost his chance. Tony Lazzieri, of the 1929 Yankees, gets the accolade for best second-basemen of all time in the Yankees franchise.
Lou Gehrig gets top-honors for his work as first baseman for the Yankees. His 1927-season performance was a true standout.
Many of us who love the Yankees feel that Jorge Posada was one of the greatest catchers of all time, yet equally as many would look at Bill Dickey as being the best. It is a draw, really.
The top honors for pitching go to the one-and-only Ron Guidry. He had many amazing seasons, and rounds out this list having certainly earned his right to be included in this best-of-the-best Yankees lineup.
This might be the greatest dream team of all time!