Article Courtesy of MLB Special Correspondent Rich Stowe
One of the hardest things to do in sports is create a top-10 list of anything because there will always be debate whether you made the right choice at number one or if your number seven really should be eight and on and on.
When doing this for the New York Yankees, it gets even tougher. There is generally a consensus number one and number two (unless you are so young that you believe Derek Jeter belongs at the number one spot!) but the problems come from trying to rank them from number three through 10. While most people will have the same top-4, my cohort in Yankee-fandom here at Sports Unbiased, Adam Solowiei has a unique take and included a surprise in his top-3.
After reading Adam’s top-10, I decided to dust off my writing skills, and add my top-10 New York Yankees of all-time in to the discussion.
Honorable Mentions: Ron Guidry, Jack Chesbro and Don Mattingly
Number 10: Thurman Munson
So many players can round out this list, but I’m going to go with a personal favorite – Thurman Munson. Another great catcher in a long line of Yankees catchers (that position went from Dickey to Berra to Howard to Munson without missing a beat). Munson was the heart and soul of the 1970s Yankees and was their first Captain since Lou Gehrig. No matter what Reggie Jackson thought, it was Munson’s team. His death in 1979 prevented Munson from finishing a Hall of Fame career.
Number 9: Bill Dickey
Dickey was one of the best catchers from baseball’s early history and along with Mickey Cochrane were there generation’s version of Bench and Berra. Dickey was one of the greatest behind the plate and was an offensive force at a time when catcher was a defense-first position.
Number 8: Whitey Ford
Starting pitcher is a “weakness” in Yankees history (Ford, Guidry and Pettitte are probably the top-3 for now). While they have had some great ones, only Ford would crack anyone’s top-20 or top-10 list of all-time great starters. Ford’s numbers don’t stand up to other pitchers from his era because the Yankees were one of the first teams to go to a 5-man rotation but Ford was a dominant pitcher
Number 7: Derek Jeter
We finally get to Derek Jeter. I know I’ll hear it for having the Captain so low on this list, but if you look at the above players, every single one of them is discussion for best ever in baseball history at their position and even if you think Jeter belongs in that discussion for shortstop his lack of defense eliminates him from it (no matter what you think the Jump Throw shows). Jeter was one of the greatest Yankees ever, there is no doubt about that but the Yankees have a great history of great players and being in the top-7 is nothing to sneeze at!
Number 6: Yogi Berra
This was the hardest position to fill and it came down to one thing – is the player not only a great Yankee but where do they sit in baseball history for their position? This is why Yogi Berra comes in at 6th. Yogi is one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, won three MVPs (beating out players such as Mantle and DiMaggio in the process) and even though World Series titles are a team reward, he was a key member of 10 World Series winning teams.