Monument Park and Yankees History – The Candidates, Part 1
The Candidates for Monument Part, Part 1
by James Vlietstra
I am now going to begin to review the credentials of several former Yankees and determine which ones are candidates to be celebrated in Monument Park. I will give some credentials of what they have done while on the field (for players) or with the Yankees organization (for all others). I will then give my opinion on a scale of 1-10.
I will rank these Yankees according to a ten-point scale. 1 being the lowest value and 10 being a “YES! It is way overdo.”
Before I get into the individuals, I want to lump several events together. Perhaps these players don’t warrant a spot themselves, but they are part of a “Magic Moment “ that will forever be part of Yankees lore. Many of these have been celebrated for decades and should have some type of recognition in Monument Park:
Don Larsen’s World Series Perfect Game
Game 7 of the 1962 World Series. (The Yankees had a one run lead. The Giants had two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth when Willie McCovey hit a screamer that Bobby Richardson snared to save the championship.)
Rob Blomberg becoming the first ever MLB designated hitter
Chris Chambliss’ walkoff home run to win the 1976 ALCS
Bucky Dent’s 3-run homer over the Green Monster at Fenway Park in the 1978 one-game playoff.
David Wells’ perfect game
David Cone’s perfect game
Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. Aaron Boone hit a walk off home run, sending the Yankees to their 6th World Series appearance in 8 years.
These will be presented in alphabetical order. I will share ten names in each post.
Home Run Baker, 3B Member of the Hall-of-Fame. Spent 6 years as a Yankees. Part of the Yankees’ first World Series teams. Grade: 3
Red Barber, Announcer The Yankees announcer for 13 years. During his tenure with the team, the Ford C Frick winner was on the microphone for nine pennant winners including four World Series championships. Grade: 4
Hank Bauer, OF Played 12 years for the Yankees. 3-time All-Star. Won 7 World Series. Traded for Roger Maris. Ranks in the Top-30 Yankees in: WAR, Games, At Bats, Runs, Hits, Total Bases, Doubles, Triples, Home Runs, RBIs, and Walks. Served the USA fighting in World War II in the Pacific Theater. Grade: 7
Wade Boggs, 3B (62 years old) Member of the Hall-of-Fame. During his 5-year stint with the Yankees, he was an All-Star four times. He won two Gold Gloves, 2 Silver Sluggers, and a World Series. Top 10 in team history in Batting Average (5th) and On Base Percentage (9th). Immortalized riding around the Stadium on a police horse after winning the 1996 Series. Grade: 4
Clete Boyer, 3B During his 8 years as a Yankees, they won two World Series. He is fourth in defensive WAR. Ranks in the top 50 in WAR, Games, At Bats, Hits, Total Bases, Singles, Doubles, Home Runs, and RBIs. Grade: 3
Dr. Bobby Brown, 3B, (96 years old) Played his entire 8-year career with the Yankees, interrupted by time in the military. Four time World Series winner. He also served as the President of the American League. Grade: 3
Robinson Cano, 2B (38 years old) During his nine years with the Yankees, was an All-Star 5 times. Won 2 Gold Gloves and 5 Silver Slugger awards. Won one World Series. Top 20 in WAR, Defensive WAR, Batting Average, Slugging, OPS, Hits, Total Bases, Singles, Doubles, Homers, and RBIs. The steroid controversy came after he left the Yankees. Grade: 8
Chris Chambliss, 1B (71 years old) He was an All Star and two time World Series winner during his seven years playing with the Yankees. The Yankees won an additional four World Series while he was a coach. Grade: 3
Spud Chandler, P His entire 11-year career was spent in a Yankees uniform. 4 time All Star, MVP, 3 World Series. Top 20 in WAR, ERA, Wins, Winning Percentage, Innings Pitched, Strikeouts, Games Started, and Complete Games. Grade: 6
Ben Chapman, OF Played 7 years as a Yankees. Was an All Star four times and won one World Series. Ranks in the top 45 in virtually every offensive category. Chapman, when with the Phillies as a manager, gave Jackie Robinson a hard time and was known throughout his playing days to make derogatory remarks towards minorities and others. Grade: 4