By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
When you make a list of the most storied franchises in professional sports, you think of the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Green Bay Packers and perhaps the Montreal Canadians. At the very top of the list, however, stands the New York Yankees. Not only do the Yankees have 27 World Series championships, but many of baseball’s greatest players have donned the world-famous pinstripes. We came up with our all-time Yankees lineup, and that was no easy endeavor.
C – YOGI BERRA. One of baseball’s most endearing figures was also one of its most accomplished. Berra was an 18-time All-Star and a 10-time World Series champion.
1B – LOU GEHRIG. “The Iron Horse.” His 2,130 consecutive games streak was thought to be unbreakable until Cal Ripken Jr. finally surpassed it. A former triple crown winner and six-time World Series champion. A legend among legends.
2B – WILLIE RANDOLPH. We considered Robinson Cano here, but Randolph was a 5x All-Star as a Yankee and contributed to six World Series championships (two as a player and four as a base and bench coach).
SS – DEREK JETER. The Captain. Who were you expecting, Bucky $&#@% Dent?
3B – ALEX RODRIGUEZ. He was never the team’s most beloved player, but he put up terrific numbers and did help the Yanks win it all in 2009.
RF – MICKEY MANTLE. Yes, he was primarily a centerfielder, but Mantle played some right field, too. A 20x All-Star and 7x World Series champion.
CF – JOE DIMAGGIO. The Yankee Clipper. One of baseball’s all-time greats, and still the holder of that untouchable 56-game hitting streak.
LF – BABE RUTH. “The Sultan of Swat.” Former home run king remains baseball’s most iconic figure.
DH – REGGIE JACKSON. Thank goodness for the DH. We had to find a spot for Jackson, the self-proclaimed “straw that stirs the drink.” What Yankee fan will ever forget Reggie’s 3-HR performance in the 1977 World Series-clinching Game 6 against the Los Angeles Dodgers?
SP – WHITEY FORD. The franchise leader in career pitching victories (236) and complete games (45). Won six World Series rings with the Yanks. In 1961, Ford won both the Cy Young Award and the World Series MVP Award.
SP – ANDY PETTITTE. The 3x All-Star helped the Yankees win five World Series championships. Among Yankees pitchers, he ranks first in strikeouts (2,020 p) and third in wins (219).
SP – RON GUIDRY. Former Yankees captain won 170 games for the team. Captured the 1978 Cy Young Award after posting a 25-3 record and leading the Yanks to the World Series title.
RP – MARIANO RIVERA. Simply put, he’s the greatest closer in the history of baseball.
MANAGER – CASEY STENGEL. Joe Torre deserves a mention here, but Stengel is clearly No. 1 guiding the Yankees to seven World Series championships. Sparky Anderson once called Stengel “the greatest man in the history of baseball.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Robinson Cano. Joe DiMaggio. Lefty Gomez. Goose Gossage. Elston Howard. Roger Maris. Billy Martin. Hideki Matsui. Don Mattingly. Thurman Munson. Craig Nettles. Lou Pinella. Jorge Posada. Phil Rizzuto. Bernie Williams. Dave Winfield.
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