file.jpg
  • Paul Semendinger

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#26)

By Paul Semendinger

***

In regard to the greatest #26 in Yankees' history, it really comes down to two players. And it actually comes down, in the end, to what one values more - pitching or hitting.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

***

The most worn uniform number in Yankees' history is #26. 74 different players have worn this number to date.

The number has been worn by a bunch of players that had some impressive names like:

  • John Kennedy (1967), but of course it wasn't President John Kennedy...

  • Don Johnson (1947-50), but not the Don Johnson of Miami Vice fame...

  • Archie Moore (1964-65), but not the boxing champ...

  • Frank Baker (1970-71), but not Frank "Home Run" Baker...

  • Casey (1949), but this was Hugh Casey, not the Casey who once had a famous at bat...

  • Jimmy Hall (1969) and Johnny Oates (1980-81) both wore #26, but they weren't (nearly) as successful as the singers Hall and Oates...

  • There was a Sears (Ken, 1943) and a McDonald('s) (Darnell, 2012), but not the corporate giants...

But, in the end, to get to the debate, it comes down to two players:

PLAYER A - A second baseman/infielder. This player is a lifetime .300 hitter as a Yankee (or thereabouts). Through early June 2022, he had accumulated 12.1 WAR as a Yankee.

PLAYER B - A starting pitcher. This pitcher went 61-40 as a Yankee, but, more impressively, went 8-0 in his first eight decisions in the post season. He accumulated 19.0 WAR.


Player A is, of course D.J. LeMahieu. It is very likely that he will end up as the WAR leader and the player who had the longest years of service in uniform #26.


Player B is Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez.


There are great arguments to make for each, but as of the writing of this article, I am going to award this honor to Orlando Hernandez.


El Duque was a clutch pitcher. He was also a champion - multiple times. In the world of the Yankees, winning championships matters, and the Yankees won it all in 1998, 1999, and 2000 with Hernandez being a big part of the pitching staff - especially, as noted, in the post season. This makes the winner, for now at least, is El Duque.


***

Most of the background research for this project came from Baseball-Reference.com and the SABR BioProject.

***

PREVIOUS ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES:

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#99)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#91-98)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#91-98) UPDATED!

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#90)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#89)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#88)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#86 and #87)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#85)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#84)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#83)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#82)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#79)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#77)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#75)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#74)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#73)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#72)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#71)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#70)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#69)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#68)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#67)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#66)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#65)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#64)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#63)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#62)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#61)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#60)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#59)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#58)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#57)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#56)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#55)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#54)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#53)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#52)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#51)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#50)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#49)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#48)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#47)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#46)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#45)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#44)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#43)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#42)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#41)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#40)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#39)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#38)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#37)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#36)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#35)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#34)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#33)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#32)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#31)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#30)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#29)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#28)

COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#27)

3 comments

Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)

SSTN is proudly affiliated with Wilson Sporting Goods! Check out our press release here, and support us by using the affiliate links below:

587611.jpg