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 Teixeira, Roger Peckinpaugh, 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 2020 Season.
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.
Holy Cow!Before Phil Rizzuto became known to a generation for his broadcasting, “Scooter” was the star Shortstop who played his entire career for the New York Yankees.
Bob Shawkey is an underappreciated member of Yankees history, but when you play alongside the likes of Babe Ruth, that is easy to see why.
A New York Yankee for all seventeen of his MLB seasons, Jorge Posada was a very good Catcher who was a member of New York’s “Core Four” along with Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.  Posada and the other three assisted the Yankees to win four World Series Championships in that time frame.
One of the most highly regarded defensive Third Baseman in the game’s history Graig Nettles also brought some pop to the New York Yankees when he arrived prior to the 1973 season.  Nettles would provide New York with eight seasons of twenty plus Home Runs (including seven in a row) one of which was enough to win the American League Home Run title (1976).  The year after, he would actually hit more Home Runs (though would not win the title) and would finish 5th in MVP voting.  The season after Nettles would finish 6th.
Yet another player that the Yankees fleeced from the Boston Red Sox, Herb Pennock would prove to be an incredibly more productive player in pinstripes than in crimson stockings.
Posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame via the Veterans Committee in 1991, Tony Lazzeri was a very popular member of the famed Murderers Row lineup that the Yankees had in the late ’20s and early ’30s.  Over a twelve-year stint with New York, Lazzeri accumulated 169 Home Runs with 1,784 Hits and a .294 Batting Average and was a major part of assisting New York to win five World Series Championships. 
A New York Yankee for all fifteen of his seasons of Major League Baseball career, Roy White provided solid service over that time.  White was a two time All Star who put up decent On Base Percentage and would lead the AL in Walks in 1972.  He would also finish in the top ten in Power/Speed seven times and had 160 Home Runs with 223 Stolen Bases.
Mike Mussina won more games and played more seasons as a Baltimore Oriole.  He also was never named an All Star as a New York Yankee.  Still there is no doubt in our minds that Mussina belongs on this list.
The American League MVP in 1942, Joe Gordon brought a very well rounded game to the New York Yankees.   
Playing his entire career with the New York Yankees, Tommy Henrich had one of the best nicknames in sports, “The Clutch”.  This stemmed from his World Series exploits most significantly hitting the first ever walk off Home Run in World Series history (Game 1 in 1949).  Basically, while there may have been bigger stars around Henrich, this was the guy you wanted at the plate when it counted the most.
Earl Combs played with New York for all of his twelve seasons in Major League Baseball and he was one of the sweetest hitters in the game.  Combs would bat over .300 eight years in a row and had a very impressive career average of .325.  He also had excellent plate discipline with an On Base Percentage of .397 and six campaigns exceeding the .400 mark six times.
Gil McDougald would play all ten of his seasons in the Majors with the New York Yankees, where his defensive versatility would be his calling card.
The New York Yankees really knew how to pluck talent away from the Red Sox for a time didn’t they?
Many Yankees fans know Mel Stottlemyre as the Pitching Coach who helped his staff and the team win four World Series rings.  Perhaps because he played for New York at a time when they were not regular fixtures in the Fall Classic, the contributions of Stottlemyre on the mound, is not celebrated as much as it should be.

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One of the greatest all-around athletes as a teenager, the sport of baseball was fortunate that Dave Winfield chose it instead of the many other choices he had.
Does this rank seem high?Admittedly it did for us too when we put this together but there is a reason why the New York Yankees have held on to the contract of Brett Gardner for so long…he is sneaky good.
It took longer than it should have for the New York Yankees but in 1955 when they finally signed their first African-American they picked a great one in Elston Howard.
You know the story of Roger Maris.If you don’t, why are you here?