The Tuesday Discussion: The Yankees Mount Rushmore II
This week we asked:
Who Would You Put On A Second Yankees’ Mount Rushmore?
(The Next Top 4 Yankees of All Time)
My Mount Yankeesmore Part II would include the following four players:
1. Joe DiMaggio-Jeter, who had the same dignified vibe as DiMaggio, pushed DiMaggio off of the first list, but the Yankee Clipper was a great ballplayer who contributed so much to how the Yankees were viewed in the mid-century era.
2. Mickey Manlte-Berra has eclipsed Mantle as the face of the era they shared, but Mantle was a hugely important figure when he was playing.
3. Reggie Jackson-Reggie was only with the team for five years, but he was a huge national star, played well for those five years and hit several very important home runs.
4. Mariano Rivera-The greatest closer ever was on the mound for the final outs of more big Yankees wins than anybody.
Honorable Mention-Casey Stengel, Thurman Munson, Don Mattingly
The next four…
The Great Mariano – Mariano Rivera was the greatest closer of all-time and forever. He was also one of the best people ever.
Derek Jeter – The greatest Yankees player since Mantle. More hits than any Yankee ever. The rings.
Yogi Berra – Like the original four, a player who transcends the game. Even more rings. The quotes.
REG-GIE – Also bigger than life. Those home runs in the 1977 World Series will live on forever always bringing Reggie’s name to generations for years and years to come.
Honorable Mention – Whitey Ford, Thurman Munson, Don Mattingly, Bernie Williams
Mickey Mantle – Very hard to not have Mickey in the top 4, but Mariano has to make it. A 20-time All-Star, Triple Crown winner and three-time MVP who hit a record 18 World Series home runs. A switch hitter with 536 Career Home runs, and is considered the fastest ever from home to first from the left side of the plate, despite blowing out his knee in his rookie season. If he wanted to he could have been a 40-40 player almost any year he tried.
Derek Jeter – Let’s start with the Yankees’ all-time leader in hits, who also has the most hits of any shortstop in the history of baseball. Team Captain and 5 time Champion. During his incredible and classy career he amassed 3,465 career hits, sixth most of all-time. Yankee records for games played, at-bats, doubles and stolen bases. 14-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove winner. All of that while possessing a unique intuition for the intangibles that can’t be measured by statistics, analytics or awards. A winner through and through, tough as nails.
Yogi Berra – 10 time World Series champion to go with 14 pennants. Three-time MVP in a 5 year stretch, back to back MVPs in 1954 and 1955. An All-Star for 15 consecutive seasons. Yankee record for 306 home runs as a catcher. He was the Manager of the Yankees in 1964 and led them to the World Series. He never saw a pitch he didn’t like, and was solid defensively.
Whitey Ford – He pitched Game 1 of the World Series eight times, more than anyone in the history of the game. Yes, it’s a team accomplishment to get to the World Series, but he was always penciled in for games 1, 4, and 7. That is an ace! A 2.75 ERA in 3,170.1 innings pitched. He owns several World Series records, such as a 33.2 consecutive scoreless innings streak (breaking Babe Ruth’s record). Career Yankee record holder for starts, innings, wins, strikeouts and shutouts. If Casey Stengel would have put him on a normal 5 day rotation, he would have won 20 games many times.
Mickey Mantle – The boyhood hero of so many Yankee fans. Had the perfect season in his 1956 Triple Crown year. The M&M Boys. The worthy successor to DiMaggio in center field.
Yogi Berra – Not only a winner, but well known and recognized inside and outside of the game.
Reggie Jackson – Only five years with the team but his epic 1977 World Series move him to this status.
Mariano Rivera – Excelled in his closer role like no other in baseball history. Was near automatic in sixteen postseasons. Unanimous Hall of Famer.
Yogi Berra – People forget just how good Berra was. He struck out in only 4.9% of his plate appearances in his career and walked 8.4% of the time. 10 straight 20 home run seasons. One of the great catchers of all time.
Derek Jeter – Jeter was a model of consistency and had a terrific stretch from 1997 – 2009. The greatest Yankee shortstop.
Mariano Rivera – The greatest closer of all time.
Bill Dickey – Dickey was a very good catcher from 1929-1943. He only struck out 4.1% of the time versus 9.6% walks. His .313/.382/.486 slash line is certainly backup Rushmore worthy. He hit 20 home runs in 4 seasons.
Mariano Rivera: The toughest omission on my original Mount Rushmore. He’s the greatest closer of all time, one of the greatest postseason performers of all time, and was the cornerstone behind five world championships.
Mickey Mantle – Like DiMaggio, Ruth, and Gehrig, Mantle has a Yankees legacy of success and legendary feats. The Mick allegedly hit 500+ foot home runs in his prime, raced with Roger Maris for Babe Ruth’s home run records, and won three MVP awards and seven World Series in the Bronx. Injuries kept him from reaching Ruth’s status, but Mantle is still an inner-circle Hall of Famer and arguably the best switch-hitter of all time.
Derek Jeter – One of the Yankees’ other cornerstones from their late-90s success. Jeter was arguably the face of those teams, with a career filled with massive hits and flashy defensive plays. Not to mention the fact that he’s the first player to reach 3,000 hits as a career Yankee.
Casey Stengel – The Yankees have had the privilege of having some of the greatest managers in MLB history. Stengel gets the nod here just over Joe McCarthy for his success, winning seven World Series and ten AL Pennants. From the Bomber’s five-peat to his iconic quotes, Stengel brought the Yankees to new heights in his tenure.