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Sunday Readers' Thread: Berra or Jeter?

February 4, 2024

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Here's a great question that came up in the discussion in an article from a week or so ago:


Between Yogi Berra and Derek Jeter, who was the better player?


Note - They're both Top 10 Yankees all-time. They're both Hall of Famers. They're both iconic, but which of the two was better? (You'll have to define "better." Most valuable? Most important to the team? Etc...)


If you could start a team and have only one of the two, who would you take?


If you were listing the greatest Yankees in order, who is higher?


(Yes, this just might be impossible to actually answer. We have another tough question coming soon: Whitey Ford or Mariano Rivera? But for today - focus on Jeter or Berra.)


This should be a very fun topic to discuss and debate.

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63 Comments


Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Feb 05

MIchael Saffer shared the following:


Derek Jeter was great. He played the game in a way that honored the pinstripes. He was a captain in every sense of the word. However, I must go with Berra if asked to choose him or Yogi Berra. Full disclosure, I volunteer at the Yogi Berra Musem and Learning Center, so I deeply appreciate Yogi Berra and all that he stood for as a human being. 


I will start with his three American League MVP awards. That, in and of itself is impressive. Many people don’t realize he finished in second place twice (1953 and 1956). He was an 18-time all-star. And, of course, he was a 10-time world champion. 


Yogi Berra was a…


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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Feb 06
Replying to

Not to mention the raw emotions the veteran players had when they learned that Yogi had been fired by Steinbrenner.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Feb 05

I love this discussion.


I think it's a toss-up and much closer than most think.


I think when one looks closely at the stats that Jeter was a much better player than most remember.

He was so hyped that he became the focus of people who wanted to point out his flaws. Then, he become this symbol of the over-rated Yankee.


Jeter should have been the MVP in 2006.


Yogi had the rings, no doubt, but Jeter didn't have Mickey Mantle in his line-up helping his team. Mantle was the third greatest Yankee of all-time.


Yogi also had Whitey Ford throughout this career.


So, Yogi had two of the greatest Yankees at their position. Jeter had no greatest Yankee a…


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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Feb 06
Replying to

A couple more facts from the 1968 season (the "Year of the Pitcher"): Mantle was third in the AL in OBP behind only Yaz and Frank Robinson (Roy White was No. 10, BTW), and No. 8 in OPS. His oWAR was tied for 17th. He really would have benefitted from the DH because his dWAR was -2.3, tied for second-worst in the League with Mike Epstein and behind only Frank Howard (-3.4).

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jeff
Feb 04

I am going to go with Berra. I am inspired by the choice of Berra by Austin Wells, and what Wells said about the catcher position. And the reason Wells passionately wants to be the Yankees catcher, and not be moved to 1B, DH, or another position. And why he is willing to work very hard at his craft of being a catcher, and is willing to absorb as much instruction and advice as possible from catching instructor Tanner Swanson like a sponge. The catcher, even more than the shortstop, controls the whole game. He is in on every pitch, calling each pitch for better or for worse, unless it's a very successful veteran pitcher who prefers to mak…

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Feb 04

Let me put another spin on this one:


Berra had Richmond Hill H.S. own, The Scooter, as his SS for the majority of his Championships;

Jeter had Posada as his catcher for most of his time in Pinstripes.


But as Ted Williams said, the biggest difference between his Red Sox and those Yankees - that #10 at SS. Therefore I'll take Berra (& The Scooter) over Jeter (& Georgie).

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fantasyfb3313
Feb 06
Replying to

dont mistake my comments. i am NOT one of the people who thinks Jeter was a bad defensive player. i am surprised by his DWAR number, VERY SURPRISED. my intent was just to relay the numbers


like i said in the other post, i feel like Jeter basically NEVER botched a play he was supposed to make. in my book that should count for something. pitcher gets someone to hit a groundball directly at the SS he should KNOW that is always gonna be an out that said i would not have guessed that Rizzuto DWAR was basically 25% higher than anyone else in team history

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Mike Whiteman
Feb 04

It's like do I choose black cherry or coffee ice cream? They both are the best flavors ever. I can pick one and enjoy it but a little voice says "maybe the other is better...". I think if Jeter played in the 1950s he would have about the same number as rings as Yogi. If Yogi played in the 1990s I think he would have about the same number of rings as Jeter. They both are iconic players. They both played important positions on the field. Yogi's MVP awards push him ahead of Jeter in my mind ever so slightly.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Feb 04
Replying to

This is brilliant:


"I think if Jeter played in the 1950s he would have about the same number as rings as Yogi. If Yogi played in the 1990s I think he would have about the same number of rings as Jeter. They both are iconic players. They both played important positions on the field."

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