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  • Tim Kabel

About the Off-Season: A Few of My Favorites

About the Off-Season: A Few of My Favorites

By Tim Kabel

January 22, 2024

***

As I am packing for my move to the proverbial deluxe apartment in the sky much like George and Weezy, I am going through a lot of boxes of things from my office and my home. I worked at my job for 30 years and I have lived in this home for 20 years. There are a lot of items to sort through. Much of it is headed for the dump, as quite frankly, it is garbage, Think of Jonathan Winters' pronunciation as you read that word. As they say, one man's garbage is another man's trash. 


However, I am also finding things that always brought a smile to my face or I simply enjoyed. It brought to mind the song, A Few of My Favorite Things. In my opinion, the best version of that song is by Julie Andrews. That thought naturally led me to another and I have decided to make a list of my favorite Yankees. I will go through my memory bank and list a team of my favorite players by position. They are not necessarily the best players I have ever seen at the position.


These are simply my favorite Yankees at each position. That is another qualifying factor. I need to have actually seen the player in action. Therefore, I don't want to be chastised for omitting Babe Ruth since I am not actually 123 years old.


Catcher- Thurman Munson.  He was not only my favorite catcher but also my favorite player of all time. I don't see anyone ever replacing him as my favorite. 


First Baseman- Don Mattingly.  Before he was injured, he could absolutely dominate the game. He was equally as good in the field as he was at bat. 


Second Baseman - Willie Randolph. He was a solid player and a class act. I enjoyed watching him and always felt that he should have been a Yankee for life. 


Shortstop- Fred "Chicken" Stanley. I was just seeing if you were paying attention. In the words of the Hound on Game of Thrones, "I think I'll take two chickens." I don't see how I can ever pick anyone other than Derek Jeter. 


Third Baseman- Graig Nettles. I did like Mike Pagliarulo but there was only one Nettles. 


Leftfield- This one may come as a bit of a surprise. I always liked Melky Cabrera. I know he played all three outfield positions, but the other two spots were taken. He never became a great player and his Yankees' career was not very long, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the Melkman. 


Centerfield- Bernie Williams. I like Mickey Rivers too but Bernie was a better player and was with the Yankees for a much longer period of time. 


Rightfield- Aaron Judge. He is climbing up the ranks of my all-time favorite Yankees, because of his talent, work ethic, and class. 


Designated Hitter-Giancarlo Stanton. Although he does frustrate me fairly often, he is still capable of being a dominant offensive player when he is on. Unfortunately, he was not on very often last year. Let's hope he rebounds this year. 


Starting Rotation- Ron Guidry, Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Gerrit Cole, and Nestor Cortes. An Honorable Mention to Luis Tiant. Although he didn't pitch for the Yankees for very long, I always enjoyed watching him, which is probably why I like Nestor Cortes so much. 


Bullpen- Mariano Rivera, Sparky Lyle, Jeff Nelson, Dick Tidrow, Joba Chamberlain, David Robetson, and Dave LaRoche, who provided some entertainment out there. 


Manager- Joe Torre 


This group brought me the greatest amount of pleasure as a Yankees' fan and I always enjoyed watching them. Match them up against your own list and see what you think 

13 comments

13 Comments


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Jan 23

The early '70s guys were like giants (small-g!) to me as a little kid in a way the late 90s Yankees couldn't me to mid-30s me (though I marveled at and was grateful for that team and the players from them whom people have listed). I'm tempted to list Chambliss over Mattingly at 1B; it's a hard call for me. I'd put Roy White in left and Bobby Murcer in center. Judge is the class of the field in right, but Oscar Gamble gets an honorable mention for the Afro and the immortal line, "They say it don't be like it is, but it do." Ron Blomberg is my sentimental DH -- Designated Hebrew, as his autobiography was titled…

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fuster
Jan 23

some nice piano


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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jan 22

I was born in 1963, and I was first cognizant of baseball and its players in 1969. So all of my personal "favorites" will be from 1970 and on. The very first game I attended in person was at the OLD old Yankee Stadium (before the teardown and rebuild after the 1973 season). A lot of tough choices to make since I had MANY "favorites":

*********************************

C - Thurman Munson

1B - Don Mattingly

2B - Alfonso Soriano

SS - Derek Jeter

3B - Graig Nettles

LF - Dave Winfield

CF - Rickey Henderson (Out of position to accommodate other outfielders)

RF - Aaron Judge

DH - Reggie Jackson (Am I allowed to have a DH?)

P - Ron Guidry,…

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jan 22

Thurman Munson. Excellent choice. Many people don't realize just how great a catcher Thurman Munson was. When Tommy John joined the Yankees and reported to spring training for the first time, Thurman Munson approached him and was already telling him exactly what to throw in exactly what situations to throw it in. John couldn't understand how Munson was able to tell him this, being that he hadn't even caught one pitch from him yet. Munson knew this simply from facing Tommy John in the World Series the previous fall, and he was observing every single pitch from the opposing dugout. Any future Yankee pitcher, who had previously played for another team, and had faced the Yankees for that other…


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Alan B.
Alan B.
Jan 22

As I said at school the day after the rookie Bobby Welch struck out Reggie to go up 2-0 in the WS, after being bombarded by even my 4th grade english - who came into my 5th grade class just to make fun of me because I was the biggest Yankee fan in my elementary school (OK, I knew her husband from Shul, so he put her up to it), finally at lunch, I remembered Gator is pitching tomorrow night. I just put back on my Yankee hat - yes I dared Rabbi Brander, my principal, to make me take it off. The dancing I did the following Monday morning was GREAT!


Thurman- As I've made mention here, Captain, My…


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