Top 50 New York Yankees

This might be the hardest list that we have ever done.

Maybe we have said this before, but how can this not be?

We don’t have to tell you about the history of the New York Yankees by saying anymore that this is the most popular and successful team in baseball and one of the only sports franchises in the world that transcends sports.   As such, how do you decide who are the top players for a team without hurting feelings?

The answer is that you can’t.

There are superstars who didn’t make this list (Roger Clemens, Mark Teixera, Hank Bauer, Jason Giambi) for example who didn’t make it.  The next fifty that we would have picked are better than over half of the top 50 of the other Major League teams.  We easily understand the argument for those.  We understand the backlash we will hear over the fact that Reggie Jackson barely made this list and could be only a few seasons away from dropping off of this completely. 

There was nothing easy about this.

We have our shield on as you read this.

Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff performance and post-season accolades.  This is a list up to the end of the 2017 Season.
The New York Yankees are the most successful baseball team of all-time:Period.Love them or hate them, this team has been loaded throughout the years with talent after talent and you might think that it would have been difficult to come up with a consensus number one for the Bronx Bombers, but it really wasn’t.It can be nobody other than Babe Ruth.
Considered by many baseball writers to be the finest First Baseman that ever lived, Lou Gehrig is also one of the most inspirational figures in sports history.
It says a lot when you were considered one of the most popular New York Yankees ever, and Mickey Mantle was just that.  Taking over the mantle (sorry, couldn’t help the pun) as the star player for the Bronx Bombers, Mantle was a devastating switch hitter who hit for average and power and was a career Yankee.
Was Joe DiMaggio the first athlete to hook up with a major celebrity?We aren’t sure, but the pairing of DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe will go down as the most elite pairing of an athlete and celebrity of all-time.
Without question Derek Jeter is the most important New York Yankee in the last thirty years.  He is also one of the few players to retire with over 3,000 Hits for one team. 
Meet the second biggest theft from the Boston Red Sox by the New York Yankees.The ace of the Yankees staff in the 1930’s, Red Ruffing won 15 or more games 11 times, including a four year stretch where he exceeded the 20 Win mark.  Ruffing would represent the Yanks in six All Star Games and would also be a key figure in helping New York win Six World Series Titles.
The Bronx Bombers were always known for their sluggers but amidst the Mantles and the Maris’ there was Whitey Ford, “The Chairman of the Board”.
I don’t think we are going to have one person dispute us when we are saying that Mariano Rivera is the greatest Relief Pitcher of all time.The all-time leader in Saves realistically had one pitch; and that fastball was all he needed.  Elite firemen shorten a game, but nobody did it longer and better than Rivera did.  Nobody actually came close. 
Is there any doubt that Yogi Berra was one of the most colorful characters in any sport?  How many times have we heard a “Yogism” of some kind and couldn’t help but smile?
In the storied franchise of the New York Yankees Ron Guidry was responsible for some of the best seasons ever for a Starting Pitcher.
Oh boy…Let’s get all of the negative stuff out of the way.
Along with Red Ruffing, the eccentric Lefty Gomez anchored a pitching staff that dominated the 1930’s.  Before the days of Yogi Berra, it was the southpaw that was the known for witty banter and unique sense of humor. 
Don Mattingly can make a claim as the best player for the Yankees in the 1980’s.  He can also make a claim as the best hitter in the American League over the same timeframe.  The First Baseman would break out in 1984 where he would go to his first of his six straight All Star Games where he was the Yankees “Hit Man”.
Before there was New York Yankees Hall of Fame Catcher, Yogi Berra, there was New York Yankees Catcher, Bill Dickey.

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One of the most popular Yankees of the last thirty years, Bernie Williams had his peak seasons in the late 90’s, which coincided with the best run of the Bronx Bombers over the last fifty years.  Williams would be named an All Star five years in a row from 1997 to 2001 and over his career he brought a nice balance of power and speed to the Yankees lineup.
One of the most underappreciated members of New York Yankees folklore, Charlie “King Kong” Keller was known for his incredible strength and corresponding Home Runs but he probably should be more known for his plate discipline.  Keller would twice lead the American League in Walks and had an On Base Percentage over .400 seven times, six of which were enough to put him in the top ten that year.  He would also lead the AL in OPS in 1943.
The ace of the Yankees staff that would win four World Series Championships in five seasons Andy Pettitte did not just help New York win those titles, he was instrumental in those championships.  Pettitte holds the record of the most-post season wins (19) an 18 of those were as a Yankee.
A member of the back-to-back Yankees World Series Champions in 1977 and 1978, Willie Randolph could be one of the most underrated baseball players ever. 
A five time All Star with the New York Yankees, Robinson Cano was one of the most prolific hitters ever to wear their pinstripes.  Cano would bat over .300 seven times in New York.  Cano provided power as 204 of his 1,649 Hits in New York went over the fences and he was certainly excellent defensively as he would win two Gold Gloves and two Wilson Defensive Awards as a Yankee.  It was a sad day in the Bronx when Cano would sign with Seattle in free agency.