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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

My Favorite "Enemies"

by Paul Semendinger

January 25, 2024

***

From time to time, writers, and others, share their lists of their favorite Yankees.



One thing I don't think anyone has ever done is create a list of favorite players from other teams. This is challenging because we often root against the players on the other teams. But, even though these players are on other teams, there are some we like to root for.


I figured I'd take this challenge and list my favorite players from other teams, basically from 1977 to the present (when I started following baseball) with one simple rule to follow, none of these players can have played for the Yankees at any point in their careers (that would be the easy way out).


Also, I can't say I remember watching all these players, but I do recall collecting their baseball cards, reading about them in Baseball Digest (and other magazines), playing their cards in Strat-o-Matic, and the like. These were players I rooted for, even though they weren't Yankees.


Finally, I'm sure I forgot some players when I made this list. Each time I worked on this article, I thought of a new player to add. Sometimes, though, I think of a name, and because the player was so much an "enemy" of the Yankees, I look back at that player, I say, "I can't add him." (A good example of this is George Brett.)


Please also share your list of favorite Yankees "Enemies" Here is mine:


C- John Stearns, Mike Scoscia, Glenn Borgmann


1B- Rod Carew, Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell


2B- Shooty Babitt (I had his 1981 Strat-o-Matic card, so technically, I never rooted for him because by the time the card arrived (in 1982) his big league career was over.) I could move Rod Carew here, but I remember him only as a first baseman.


SS- U.L. Washington, Fred Patek


3B- Mike Schmidt, Rico Petrocelli, Bill Madlock


LF- Greg Luzinski


CF- Chet Lemon, Lloyd Moseby


RF- Dave Parker, Tony Gwynn


DH- David Ortiz


Also- Al Oliver, John Milner, Ron LeFlore, Ed Kranepool, Cecil Cooper, Wayne Nordhagen, Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts


SP- Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, Mark Fydrich, Fernando Valenzuela, Sid Fernandez, Jerry Koosman, SCott McGregor, Bruce Hurst


RP- Tug McGraw, Dan Quisenberry, Jeff Reardon, Kent Tekulve


***

For the record, I'm not going to create a list of the players I most disliked from other teams, or even the Yankees.


BUT, I have a bunch more positional lists like this coming in the days and weeks ahead!

19 comments

19 Comments


Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jan 25

One guy who is on everyone's list, and who would be on mine, too, is Tony Gwynn (Sr). He is definitely, in my opinion, the most likable non-Yankee to ever play against the Yankees. David Ortiz, I hated him as a player, but when he became a broadcaster, my opinion instantly changed about him and I discovered that he is actually a very likable guy. Pete Rose was not a likable person, but he became a "favorite" because of his hustle and the way he made the most of his abilities, and despite his betting on baseball games he was a part of, I think he should be in the Hall Of Fame based entirely on what he did…

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Jan 25

No Mets on my list because they're my second-favorite team. A lot of guys I root for on other teams are ex-Yankees and Mets (like Ken Singleton or Sterling Hitchcock), but I gather they should be off the list; only pure adversaries:


C: Gene Tenace -- like half his Strat-O-Matic card was walks. To heck with his 1-8 running; he's my lead-off hitter.

1B: Rhys Hoskins. He's a new addition based on a story I read the other day about what he and his wife have done with the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Philadelphia and how they extend themselves to those kids. I'm not crying; you're crying.

2B: Frank Quilici. How many baseball players can you cite who have…

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Jan 25
Replying to

I remember Cecil Upshaw and Ted Abernathy from when I was a kid. The Moneyball A's had Chad Bradford. I also think it's an effective novel look, but teams (and pitchers) prefer hard-throwers. Only the guys who can't blow batters away resort to submarining or the knuckle-ball.

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Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Jan 25

I have a slightly different take on the players that are my favorite enemies. To me, each player on my list is a player I feared the most at the given position, as I remember watching and rooting against them. To make my list, the player had to oppose the Yankees. All these years later, each player is one I respect and remember and in fact, without these players and many others, there would be no rivalries and there would be no scary memories. They made it fun to to be a Yankees fan.


first I weeded out most current, active players from consideration except one (Altuve). Also, many deserving players who were very instrumental in postseason rivalries didn't make…


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fuster
Jan 25

Eddie Gaedel

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fuster
Jan 26
Replying to

expected you to reject him


but thought it would be caused by his uni number


rather than his paucity of footage

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autmorsautlibertas
Jan 25

C- Joe Mauer


1B- Jim Thome


2B- Joe Morgan


SS- Davey Concepcion


3B- Chipper Jones


LF- Rickey Henderson


CF- Jim Edmunds


RF- Tony Gwynn


DH- Frank Thomas

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Jan 25
Replying to

Thanks for sharing your list.


It's funny how we also connect baseball players - one name brings up another. Thome wouldn't be on my list, for no real reason, but Kent Hrbek would. Two lefty hitting first basemen...


Your list made me think of Hrbek.


And Hebek made me think of Will Clark who had to be there too.

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