Yankees All-Time Team v.2012
Last year's inaugural All-Time team can be seen here.
Last year's team was one of the first that we constructed and we knew that this was one that needed to be revisited. We had to add three starting pitchers and an infielder to last year's team in order to make it congruent with the rest of our All-Time teams. In addition, there were some changes that we felt needed to be made to the roster.
We considered Bernie Williams over Roger Maris and while Maris is a bit of a lightning rod with the Yankee faithful (and Bernie is sort of a folk hero), there's no denying that what Maris did with the Yankees. Winning back to back MVP awards and hitting 61 home runs to break Ruth's single-season record is historic and worthy of recognition on this team.
We were also able to make amends to a slightly regretful decision we made last year by adding Yogi Berra as the extra infielder. Admittedly, Bill Dickey made the inaugural team over Berra largely to generate a response... in hindsight, Berra and his MVP's were the better choice but I think that both players deserve recognition and thankfully, we're able to do that with the expanded rosters.
Among those on the current roster, we considered Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira as newcomers but didn't feel that they had done enough to supplant their incumbents (Cano might have one more year before he takes over for Lazzeri - a decent postseason performance would have certainly helped his stock but unfortunately for him and the Yankees, that didn't happen).
For the starting pitching, we agreed early on to add Lefty Gomez - we felt that the Southpaw Hall of Famer was the next best after Whitey Ford, for sure, ranking among the top five all-time among Yankees in most pitching categories while boasting an unblemished 6-0 postseason record. After that, his Hall of Fame teammate, Red Ruffing, made our list for similar reasons - ranked second in all-time wins as a Yankee, Ruffing was a four-time 20-game winner and a tremendous postseason pitcher (7-2, 2.63 ERA). He missed two years late in his career due to WWII enlistment, otherwise, he would have probably reached 300 career wins. His 335 complete games ranks 29th all-time. Ruffing is also one of the greatest hitting pitchers of all time, boasting a career .269 batting average and 36 home runs!
Mel Stottlmyre, Andy Pettitte and Herb Pennock were the first three starting pitchers to miss the cut on this All-Time team, with the distance between Stottlemyre and Guidry razor thin. Mc and Hersh have debated Stottlemyre/Guidry before and something tells me this won't be the last time we hear from that one.
Here's our team. Tell us what you think.
C - Bill Dickey
1B - Lou Gehrig
2B - Tony Lazzeri
SS - Derek Jeter
3B - Alex Rodriguez
IF - Yogi Berra
OF - Babe Ruth
OF - Mickey Mantle
OF - Joe Dimaggio
DH - Roger Maris
SP - Whitey Ford
SP - Lefty Gomez
SP - Red Ruffing
SP - Ron Guidry
RP - Mariano Rivera
That's ten Hall of Famers, two sure-thing Hall of Famers (Jeter and Mo') and one A-Rod... making 13 potential Hall of Famers on one team (out of 15 spots). Truly remarkable.