COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number
Updated: Oct 3, 2022
By Paul Semendinger
November 12, 2020
As we begin a new series, let’s look at uniform number #99.
In Yankees history, only three players have worn #99. These are as follows:
Charlie Keller (1952)
Brian Bruney (2009)
Aaron Judge (2016 to Present)
Let’s take a quick look at each player as they performed in that uniform number:
Charlie Keller – Charlie Keller was a great Yankee. A power hitting outfielder, he helped the Yankees reach the World Series four times, winning three. Along with Tommy Henrich and Joe DiMaggio, Keller was part of one of the great outfields in Yankees history.
Keller was a five-time All-Star. He hit over 20 home runs in a season for the Yankees five times. On three occasions, he drove in over 100 runs. Keller was an on-base machine walking over 100 times in a season five times.
Playing for the Yankees from 1939 to 1949 (Keller served in the military in 1944 and most of 1945) , Charlie Keller put up the following numbers: .286/184/723.
After the 1949 season, he was released by the Yankees and he signed with the Detroit Tigers.
At the end of the 1952 season, Keller returned to the Yankees and appeared in two games. It was during that 1952 season, in the cameo role, that he wore uniform #99.
Charlie Keller was a great player, but he wasn’t a great player when he wore #99.
Brian Bruney – Brian Bruney was a Yankees from 2006 to 2009. A middle relief pitcher, he had some success. As a Yankee, Bruney’s lifetime record was 12-3, 3.25. He appeared in 153 games in that period.
For most of his Yankees career, Bruney wore uniform #33, but in 2009, at least for part of the year, he wore #99. (That year he also wore #38, as did Ian Kennedy.)
Overall, in 2009, Brian Bruney went 5-0. He never lost a game while wearing #99.
THE GREATEST #99
Aaron Judge: Well, this one was easy. In uniform #99, Aaron Judge has already blasted 119 home runs. He has become a team leader and a fixture in right field. One can comfortably say that Aaron Judge is the Yankees’ biggest star.
Judge’s bWAR in uniform #99 is already 20.1 .
Aaron Judge will be 29-years-old for the 2021 season. Yankees fans hope that with him the best is yet to come.
(Most of the research for this project comes from Baseball-Reference.com)