COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Number (#62)
By Paul Semendinger
Twelve players have worn uniform number 62 for the Yankees, but this number clearly belongs to just one player.
First, here are the twelve:
Brian Dayett (1983-84)
Brad Arnsberg (1986)
Hal Morris (1988)
Steve Adkins (1990)
Jorge Posada (1995)
Willie Banks (1997)
Jay Tessmer (1998-2000)
Brandon Knight (2001)
Brett Jodie (2001)
Sean Henn (2007)
Joba Chamberlain (2007-13)
Austin Romine (2014)
*** Clearly the best overall player to wear #62, if only briefly, was Jorge Posada, but he appeared in #62 only once, in 1995. In that game, Posada caught the top of the ninth inning in a game the Yankees won against the Seattle Mariners 13-3. The pitcher who Posada caught was Joe Ausanio. Derek Jeter, just up from the minor leagues, also came in as a defensive replacement in that 9th inning. It was just Jeter’s 14th big league appearance.
In 1997, Willie Banks pitched in five games wearing #62. He went 3-0, 1.93.
Hal Morris wore five different numbers as a Yankee (21, 22, 28, 38, and 62). He finally took uniform #23…once he was on the Cincinnati Reds. Over a ten-year career with the Reds, he batted .305.
The best Yankee to wear #62 was Joba Chamberlain.
Chamberlain was a Yankee for seven seasons. He wore #62 the whole time.
When remembering Joba Chamberlain’s time in New York, most fans remember two things: The Joba Rules and the midges. But he was more than that. A lot more.
In 2007, Joba Chamberlain arrived pitching exclusively out of the bullpen. He appeared in 19 games. In 24 innings, he was, simply, amazing. He allowed just 12 hits. He walked only 6 batters. And he struck out 34.
In 2008, the Yankees used him as a starter and a relief pitcher. The Yankees, of course, loved his stuff out of the pen, but they had big hopes and big dreams for Joba to be a top-of-the-line starting pitcher. He appeared in 42 games in 2008, making 12 starts. In 100.1 innings, he struck out 118. His 4-3, 2.60 record spoke to his promise.
In 2009, Joba was a starting pitcher (almost) exclusively. He appeared in 32 games making 31 starts. He threw 157.1 innings and pitched to a 9-6, 4.75 record.
After 2009, he returned to the bullpen, and over the next four years pitched in 167 games as a Yankee. He basically averaged one inning per appearance. He also averaged allowing one hit and getting one strikeout per appearance:
Games – 167
Innings Pitched – 163
Hits Allowed – 167
Strikeouts – 161
Overall, Joba Chamberlain pitched well for the Yankees. Most forget how good he was. Chamberlain’s lifetime numbers as a Yankee (23-14, 3.85 over 260 games (444.2 innings)) were very good.
Those numbers, though, weren’t what could have been – what everyone imagined at the start – after he burst on the scene by dominating batters in a way few had ever seen before.
Still, Joba was the best Yankee to ever wear uniform number 62.
Most of the research for this project came from Baseball-Reference.com.
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