COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#68)
By Paul Semendinger
Dioner Navarro wore uniform number 68 in 2004. At one point, he was a well-regarded prospect for the Yankees. He played in only five games for the Yankees before being shipped (with two other players) to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Randy Johnson.
Navarro hung around in the big leagues for 13 years compiling 802 hits while batting .250/77/367. He had a nice career. He was an All-Star in 2008.
Easily, and by far, the best player to wear #68 for the Yankees was Dellin Betances. He will be the greatest at this number for a long long time.
Betances was a Yankee for a long time, longer than many realize or even remember.
After a cup of coffee with the big club in 2011, Dellin Betances pitched for the Yankees from 2013 through 2019. That’s seven seasons. He pitched in 358 games as a Yankee.
Betances is currently 15th All-Time on the Yankees leaders in games pitched. Amazing. No pitcher is anywhere close to him at that spot so he’ll be up there for a long time. Should be ever come back to the Bronx, he should easily surpass Mel Stottlemyre (2 more appearances), Waite Hoyt (7 games), Lefty Gomes (9 games), and Ron Guidry (10 games). If Betances ever pitches for the Yankees again, and if he could pitch in 26 games, he’d be in the Yankees All-Time Top 10 in games pitched.
If I were Betances, and I were a free agent, I would have paid the Yankees to have me return to reach that mark. Imagine being in the Top 10 All-Time on the Yankees in games pitched?!
Even without that, a Top-15 mark is very impressive. I doubt many readers knew that Betances was that high on the list.
With a record of 21-22, 2.36 and 36 saves, along with 621 strikeouts in just 381.2 innings, Dellin Betances was, absolutely, a top-notch pitcher. He accumulated 11.5 WAR as a Yankee.
The greatest #68 ever is clearly Dellin Betances.
Most of the research for this project comes from Baseball-Reference.com.