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Posts Tagged ‘Elston Howard’

Jorge Posada’s retirement got me looking at the Yankees all-time catcher’s statistics. One thing that stands out in particular is Posada’s on base percentage, which is second only to Bill Dickey, which is 101 points above his career average. Also, each of these catchers played their entire career with the Yanks except a few at-bats for Berra with the Mets and Howard’s last two seasons were with Boston.

Accolades of Note:

All of them have their number retired with the Yankees.

Yogi Berra:  10 WS rings, 3 time MVP, HOF and did it all while standing 5’7” tall

Jorge Posada: 5 WS rings, 5 time All-Star

Bill Dickey: 7 WS rings, 11 time All-Star

Elston Howard: 1st African American player on NYY, 1963 MVP, 9 time All-Star, 4 WS rings

Thurman Munson: Captain, 2 WS rings, 1973 ROY, 1976 MVP

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ESPN New York released their “50 Greatest Yankees” list the other day. I can’t really argue too much with their list, although I probably would have swapped Thurman Munson (#12) and Bill Dickey (#10). Yes, I know Dickey is in the Hall of Fame and Munson isn’t. But it was Munson’s leadership, as much as anything else that returned the Yankees to their winning ways in the ’70s. And who knows what kind of numbers he would have put up if not for the plane crash?

Anyway, here’s their list. I’ve added in the dates they played for the Yanks, along with their position. An asterisk denotes a playing career interrupted by a military commitment; # denotes a Hall-of-Famer. Current players are in red type. Feel free to let us know how you feel about the list!

50. Mike Mussina (RHP, 2001-2008)

49. Bob Meusel (LF, 1920-1930)

48. Albert “Sparky” Lyle (LHP, 1972-1978)

47. Gil McDougald (IF, 1951-1960)

46. Jim “Catfish” Hunter (RHP, 1974-1978)#

45. David Cone (RHP, 1995-2000)

44. Roy White (LF, 1965-1979)

43. Hank Bauer (RF, 1948-1959)

42. Jack Chesbro (RHP, 1903-1909)#

41. Eddie Lopat (RHP, 1948-1955)

40. Rickey Henderson (1985-1989)#

39. Vic Raschi (RHP, 1946-1953)

38. Joe Gordon (2B, 1938-1946)*#

37. Tommy Henrich (RF, 1937-1950)*

36. Charlie “King Kong” Keller (LF, 1939-1949)*

35. Bobby Murcer (CF, 1969-1974, 1979-1983)

34. Spurgeon “Spud” Chandler (RHP, 1937-1947)

33. Willie Randolph (2B, 1976-1988)

32. Waite Hoyt (RHP, 1921-1929)#

31. Mel Stottlemyre (RHP, 1964-1974)

30. Paul O’Neill (RF, 1993-2001)

29. Graig Nettles (3B, 1973-1983)

28. Dave Winfield (OF, 1981-1990)#

27. Herb Pennock (LHP, 1923-1933)#

26. Allie “Superchief” Reynolds (RHP, 1947-1954)

25. Rich “Goose” Gossage (RHP, 1978-1983, 1989)#

24. Elston Howard (C, 1955-1967)

23. Earle Combs (CF, 1924-1935)#

22. Roger Maris (RF, 1960-1966)

21. Jorge Posada (C, 1995-present)

20. Phil Rizzuto (SS, 1941-1956)*#

19. Bernie Williams (CF, 1991-2006)

18. “Poosh ‘Em Up” Tony Lazzeri (2B, 1926-1937)#

17. Ron “Gator” Guidry (LHP, 1975-1988)

16. Andy Pettitte (LHP, 1995-2003, 2007-2010)

15. Reggie Jackson (RF, 1977-1981)#

14. Vernon “Lefty” Gomez (LHP, 1930-1942)#

13. Alex Rodriguez (3B, 2004-present)

12. Thurman Muson (C, 1969-1979)

11. Don Mattingly (1B, 1982-1995)

10. Bill Dickey (C, 1928-1946)#

9. Charles “Red” Ruffing (RHP, 1930-1942)#

8. Edward “Whitey” Ford (LHP, 1953-1967)*#

7. Derek Jeter (SS, 1995-present)

6. Lawrence “Yogi” Berra (C, 1946-1963)#

5. Mariano Rivera (RHP, 1995-present)

4. Mickey Mantle (CF, 1950-1968)#

3. “Joltin” Joe DiMaggio (CF, 1936-1951)*#

2. Lou “Iron Horse” Gehrig (1B, 1923-1939)#

1. George “Babe” Ruth (RF, 1920-1934)#

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I thought about this for a long time, but Rebecca Glass’ blog post about Posada urged me to get this up:

When you think of all the Yankees great players from the 1995-2010, some of the names that come to mind are Derek Jeter, Mariano RiveraBernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, etc. One name missing from that list would probably be Jorge Posada. He’s always been overshadowed, with the constant sluggers coming and going in the Big Apple (Giambi, Sheffield, Abreu). When you look at a team filled with superstars, sometimes people get left out of certain discussions, and it’s about time Posada is given credit for all that he’s done.

Posada is a 5X All-Star, 5X Silver Slugger and a 4X World Series champion (5X if you count ’96..where he played only 8 games). I’m not going to analyze all of his numbers, and start comparing him to each and every player, because you already know that he’s one of the greatest offensive catchers of all-time.

When Posada took over the starting catcher’s role in 1997, the fans didn’t know what they really had. Over the next thirteen years, Jorge became an offensive force in the American League. You can tell me that he can’t run, he calls a bad game behind the dish and he doesn’t have a very good arm. It almost sickens me to hear all the complaining about him. How often do you get a catcher who can both hit for power and play great defense? Not very often. Posada has one of those qualities, and he’s good at what he does.

Finding a solid catcher in the major leagues isn’t a very easy thing to do. Georgie is a switch-hitting catcher with power, which is considered a rare commodity. Watching Molina, Cervelli and Moeller hit over the last few years has been painful. It gives you a greater appreciation for what Posada has done, and how long he has done it. I’m well aware that the Yankees have great catching depth in the minors, with Montero, Romine, Sanchez and Murphy coming up through the system, but prospects don’t always pan out.

With Posada’s career winding down, you really shouldn’t take him for granted. He ranks right up there with Elston Howard and Yogi Berra in the record books, and will go down as one of the greatest to wear the pinstripes. Hopefully, one day he’ll be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. When Posada hangs up his cleats, fans will look over his career and really start to appreciate all the things he’s accomplished in his career.

Jorge’s Career Statistics: .276AVG 259HR 1013RBI .378OBP .480SLG .858OPS (more…)

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In the Yankees’ long line of history, they have retired in total 16 numbers for 17 players (Including Jackie Robinson) which is far above any other team in Major League Baseball history and over the course of the next 5 years will be adding more numbers to the list. Below is the list of current retired numbers with the appropriately named player for those numbers.

1 – Billy Martin
3 – Babe Ruth
4 – Lou Gehrig
5 – Joe DiMaggio
7 – Mickey Mantle
8 – Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra
9 – Roger Maris
10 – Phil Rizzuto
15 – Thurman Munson
16 – Whitey Ford
23 – Don Mattingly
32 – Elston Howard
37 – Casey Stengel
44 – Reggie Jackson
42 – Jackie Robinson
49 – Ron Guidry

Now, in the next decade, give or take, the Yankees will be adding more numbers to the already historic list. Personally, I believe the Yankees will retire all the below listed numbers.

2 – Derek Jeter
6 – Joe Torre
20 – Jorge Posada
21 – Paul O’Neill
42 – Mariano Rivera
46 – Andy Pettitte
51 – Bernie Williams

When do I think all these numbers will be retired? Hard to tell. Derek and Mo’s numbers are a given to happen within the first year or two of retirement. However, I don’t think Torre’s number will be retired with Brian Cashman working in the organization considering their falling out, but crazier things have happened. There is something that tells me Bernie and Posada’s numbers might take a little bit longer, but will eventually join Mariano and Derek’s numbers in time. Another issue that will come up is whether or not Pettitte’s number should be retired due to his admitted use of HGH. Now, I believe what he has told us, so I don’t think he should be penalized for what he has done. I mean, the Yankees have brought him back the last two years, so obviously they don’t think it’s an issue.

So there is the potential for 23 numbers for 25 players to be retired in the next decade, give or take, which is kind of crazy, but after this group gets their just due, it won’t be for a while that another number gets retired.

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