COUNTING DOWN: The Best Yankee At Each Uniform Numbers (#85)
By Paul Semendinger
It must be great to be the best.
The Greatest of All-Time.
The Undisputed Champion of the World.
For the Yankees and uniform #85, there is no debate. At all.
The greatest Yankee to ever wear #85 is Luis Cessa.
Luis Cessa, I believe, has been a Yankees pitcher for longer than most people realize. He’s pitched in more games than people might know.
Cessa being the best here is legitimate. This is a title he’ll hold for a long, long time – no matter who comes along. This isn’t just a fluke. (Well, it is in a sense, Cessa is the only Yankee to ever wear #85, but still in comparison to some of the other players who have been the best at their respective numbers, Cessa has a strong enough case for this honor.)
Luis Cessa has been a Yankees’ pitcher since 2016. The 2021 season will be the 6th that he has spent in pinstripes.
He has pitched in 102 games. That’s not nothing. Pitching in 100+ games for the Yankees is actually quite impressive. Already, believe it or not, Luis Cessa is 133rd on the Yankees’ All-Time list of games pitched.
In 2019, the last full MLB season, Luis Cessa appeared in 43 games. Let’s assume he does that again in 2021. With 43 more games on his resume, he would climb to 82nd all-time. He would be tied with David Cone.
Already, out of the blue and unnoticed, Luis Cessa is climbing the all-time Yankees leader board (in this category, at least).
Already in his career, Luis Cessa has appeared in more games as Yankee than: Luis Severino, Hiroki Kuroda, Jimmy Key… (I know, those guys are starting pitchers, but…)
How about these: Steve Karsay, David Phelps, Randy Choate, Tyler Clippard (and it seemed, for a period that those guys pitched in every single game)… and hundreds more.
Sure, Luis Cessa’s lifetime record is 7-12, 4.40.
But he’s the greatest of all time here.
And he’s still climbing the charts!
(Most of the research for this project comes from Baseball-Reference.com and mlb.com)