ESPN NY Ranks the Top 50 Yankees of All-Time 168

Babe Ruth New York YankeesESPN New York came up with a list of the 50 Greatest Yankees of All-Time. I think it was just a reason for them to run 50 photos for everyone to click on, but I found it very interesting as I went through it so I decided to share it with all of our readers.

I don’t know what to say about the list. It seems hard to me to compare some of these players as most played their entire careers in Pinstripes while others played as few as four or five. Because of this parts of the list seem arbitrary although I have no major complaints. I’m sure some of you will though, so take a look at the list and let us all know what you think.

  1. Babe Ruth
  2. Lou Gehrig
  3. Joe DiMaggio
  4. Mickey Mantle
  5. Mariano Rivera
  6. Yogi Berra
  7. Derek Jeter
  8. Whitey Ford
  9. Red Ruffing
  10. Bill Dickey
  11. Don Mattingly
  12. Thurman Munson
  13. Alex Rodriguez
  14. Lefty Gomez
  15. Reggie Jackson
  16. Andy Pettitte
  17. Ron Guidry
  18. Tony Lazzeri
  19. Bernie Williams
  20. Phil Rizzuto
  21. Jorge Posada
  22. Roger Maris
  23. Earle Combs
  24. Elston Howard
  25. Goose Gossage
  26. Allie Reynolds
  27. Herb Pennock
  28. Dave Winfield
  29. Graig Nettles
  30. Paul O’Neill
  31. Mel Stottlemyre
  32. Waite Hoyt
  33. Willie Randolph
  34. Spud Chandler
  35. Bobby Murcer
  36. Charlie Keller
  37. Tommy Henrich
  38. Joe Gordon
  39. Vic Raschi
  40. Rickey Henderson
  41. Eddie Lopat
  42. Jack Chesbro
  43. Hank Bauer
  44. Roy White
  45. David Cone
  46. Catfish Hunter
  47. Gil McDouglad
  48. Sparky Lyle
  49. Bob Meusel
  50. Mike Mussina

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

168 thoughts on “ESPN NY Ranks the Top 50 Yankees of All-Time

  • Hardcore Yankee Fan

    I think Mantle should be #2 or maybe Joe. Gehrig should be #4. Jeter should be #5.



  • Susan

    Bernie Williams needs to be higher than 19th. I don't know why but he seems to never get as much credit as he deserves. I think a case could be made that he was the greatest Yankee of the late 90s championship teams. The only one I might put ahead of him from the current era is Rivera.

  • none

    Wells should be no where near this list after giving up in the 2003 world series in thr pivotal game in florida

  • coolnewyorker

    Many in this list are retired HoFers and some are HoF shoo-ins on retirement. Some retired and some still playing are borderline HoFers. But who are not in HoF induction consideration, retired or active?

    Is it possible to be in this list and not be at least borderline HoF material? Murcer?

  • Tom Gentry




  • tony

    It was great to see Paul O'neill on this list. A great all around player for the Yankees and Reds and his enthusiasm and heart that rubbed off on everyone can't be measured in stats.

  • Tanned Tom

    Love lists like these. 1) Ruth 2) Mantle 3) Joe D. 4) Gehrig. 5) Yoig. It's not defaming anybody to switch positions in the top 4. It also needs to be pointed out that Mantle was the least well utilized player of the bunch. He was, even after the injuries, the fastest player in the majors for just about all of the 50's. Check out his stolen base pct and his GIDPs, both a tick above Mays for example who's usually thought of by fans today as faster. But nope, he wasn't. If Mantle played today he'd steal 30 bases every year, would have gone 30-30 ten times.

  • Tanned Tom

    Others on this list: sorry Rob, but Munson was a terrible catcher who couldn't throw, run, or hit for anything more than decent power. I'm no Posada fan, but Munson is lucky to be a back up if Posada's on the team. Mattingly? Way overrated, because he's white I think. A-Rod? Wouldn't have him on my team. Rather have Scott Brosius, and I'm serious about this. Anyone who thinks Nettles was more valuable than O'Neill, or Posada more than Maris has just given up the right to be taken seriously. And finally, 2 that really rankle: Rickey Henderson, another HOFer I wouldn't want on my team, and Mussina who never came up big, yes I'd take Wells over him. Most glaring omission: El Duque.

  • David K.

    What is it with A-Rod and the number 13? I like A-Rod but he's not the 13th greatest Yankee of all time, should be around 40 to 50. He has only won one World Series. Bernie is much too low at 19, probably should be top 10. Look at the current Yankee team, there is no clutch hitter like Bernie, not even close.

  • paul

    people in the 50 s and 60s put mamtle ahead of joe dimaggio, because many have never seen him play, i never saw dimaggio dive for a ball, never saw diaggio out at a plate, and any think, like scoring form 2nd base or tagging up he only play 10 good yrs , 4 he was in the army, struck out 361 time in 10 yrs. that 36 times a yr. who does that any more, ever get a chance look up his record

  • paul

    my 10 best yankee in a line up derek jetter s.s. 2nd base canno 3base greg nettles. 4 1st base lou gergric, c. yogi berra lf mickey mantle c.f. joe dimaggio r.f babre ruth pitcher whitty ford relief picher goose gossage lefty sparkie lye

  • kevin

    the fact remains that…. really.. most all of these guys were so good that you could move them 2 or 3 slots either way…except for the top 10.. they are pretty much a lock in my opinion … i saw most everyone from maris and mantle on up play and all one has to do is read about what those players had to say about the old school guys. ….

  • timbo

    I'd take the list one step further – select an all-time batting line-up from it, five starting pitchers in order of importance, and a relief corp comprising long relief, set-up, and closer. The 100% lock, in everyone's vote, would have to be Mariano at closer – even the Babe would get some arguments over where to play him in an era of DH hitting. Given his build and less than stellar work-ethic fitness-wise, my vote would be to slot him in at DH. Purists might argue for selecting him in the position he was known for during his hitting days.

  • RobMer

    Having Rivera at #5 feels right at first look because he's acknowledged as the greatest at what he does, so he fits into the mold of Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle and DiMaggio, yet I still can't get past the fact he's a reliever, and that makes it difficult for him to deliver more value than position players like Jeter and Berra (who by most ratings is the second greatest catcher ever.) So I'd move Berra up to 5th, Jeter to 6th and Rivera to 7th. It's close between him and Whitey, who has to get credit for pitching far more innings, yet for now I'll leave Rivera a notch ahead of Ford.

    I'm thinking King Kong Keller needs to be somewhere in the top 50, but can't say for sure where. 152 career OPS+. A HOF talent who was held back too long, his swing was messed with, and then he got injured, which prevented him from putting up HOF numbers, but even with that his impact was major.

  • pau

    Cano has earned his way onto this list and if he stays healthy, he'll be moving up a few notches each year.

  • Sonny Boy

    I saw 30 of the 50 play in my lifetime (from a little kid till now….) Jeez, I am getting old but WHAT a GREAT group of ball players, eh? by the way, to the knucklehead who said Munson couldn't hit, get your head out of your butt… he was one of the greatest clutch hitters in the 1970's… and that isn't just MY opinion. If you didn't see him (and you probably didn't) you don't know what you are talking about.

  • Jack Naylor

    Very happy to see my old friend Tommy Henrich is on the list.
    What a fine gentleman he was.
    He truly loved both the Yankees and the game of Baseball.
    Tommy was a big Paul O'Neill fan and thought Derek Jeter to be a fine representative of the franchise.
    Now, if we could only get "Old Reliable" into the H.O.F.

  • bob

    Yogi has to move up a notch because he was a every day player. Turned out to be a great catcher thanks to Bill Dickey. Goose or Sparky maybe ahead of Mariano as they would pitch to more than 1 to 3 batters per outing. As good as Mariano has been I think they should be rated on same level or higher. I grew up in the 50's so I am partial to Yanks of that time but my dad (long deceased) went back to Ruth's time and he always said no one was better than Joe D. Come to think of it the great did Ted Williams said the same thing. Cano will end of on the list if he continues as he has but let's see his stats after 10 yrs. A-Rod–#1 on most overrated-Look at what he swings at way too often!!

  • Ed M

    How about Lou Pinella, clutch hitter and fielder, great catch in 77 w/s great stab in 78 playoff vs RedSox, Game winning hit in game 4 of 78 w/s

  • brett bobrzynski

    i feel like mike mussina should not be in the top 50 because he never won a world series with the yankees…. Also i feel that catfish hunter should be in the top ten….. BOBERX23

  • brett bobrzynski

    arod is probably the worst yankee to have ever walked the face of the earth

  • brett bobrzynski

    AROD is the best yankee to ever walk the face of the earth. Even though he did take steriods i feel in this time in the steriod era AROD did the right thing……………

  • brett bobrzynski

    donnie baseball should be in the top ten… he was the yankee capitan … i mean come on now i know he didnt win any world series with the yankkes but he will win one with the LA……… He is one of best yankees of all time!!! what do you thing??????????

  • James Hickey

    Joe Gordon over Lazzeri and Rizzuto. and Combs.and Randolph+ Munson. I love Henrich but he played right field, Gordon 2 base

  • mick farrell

    Moose Skowron deserves some recognition.He was a fixture of the mid 50's and early 60's teams

  • jim stevens

    a pretty simple comparison of two players of the same era, for the yanks in 20's and 30's would tell you that pitcher herb pennock cleary deserves to be ranked better than earl combs…pennock was voted into the HOF with 77% of the vote in 1948…Combs was getting about 4% at that time and needed the veterans committee to put him in 22 years later…combs only strength was BA & though he had a fine lifetime mark, he never finished in the top 5 in any year as BA's were very high those years…pennock was in the top three for wins and era several times not to mention winning 5 world series games & losing none.

  • Charles Jannuzi

    Hard to stick to 50, but I would put Matsui on the list. First, because he split his career between two teams–Yomiuri Giants and then the NYY. Second, because his numbers were very good. Third, because he more than anyone is why they won their last WS in 2009. He risked his entire baseball career on making it in NY and played very well for them.

  • Mike

    are you kidding me Arod ahead or Reggie Jackson, never, even t though Reggie played a few years for the Yanks he deliver when it matters unlike AFraud

  • Freddie

    Bernie just 2 ahead of Posada? Lower than Lazzeri? I'd say a little tweaking. Also, I would have put Ellie Howard above Maris, Rizzuto, Reggie (based on tenure) and A-Rod (based on a humongous differential in class.)

  • Bobby

    L Gomez
    E Howard

  • David

    Agree Espn list doesn't have Mickey high enough!Hey guys—- look at research of James,Neyer & Schoenfield's.

  • tom

    joe diMaggio belongs ah fielder ead of mickey on the list right behind Lou . Mantle got up 8102 times and struck out 1710 times joe got up 6821 times and struck out 369 times Mickey hit 298 and joe hit 325 Joe played in the old Yankee Stadiam like mickey did but was right handed and had hit the ball a longer distance or he would have hit a lot more home runs. he was a great center I know because i watched him play 10 years of the 13 he played most people today don't know how good he was because they never saw him play.


  • Howie G.

    ESPN got it right with Joe D. at No. 3. Would have hit 50 plus homers if left handed batter. Saw him robbed so many times in the left center alley at the old stadium. Hit many triples because he ran out every thing unlike the players of today. Watch Cano and then watch the photos of Joe. Also if picking Yankee all star team, would choose Nettles over A-Rod and would also pick Red Rolf from the 30s although I never saw him play.

  • Andoy

    Not enuf 60s players- for example, where's Kubek, Boyer, Skowron. Blanchard,, Richardson ?? I don't know where to rank them, but I'd knock out a few and put them in since they were in the WS most years they played!!

  • anthony

    Helpful information. Lucky me I Discovered your site by accident, and I'm stunned why this coincidence did not took place in advance! I bookmarked it.

  • yankeefan

    this is awesome – my only quibble would be to move Mo into the third spot behind Ruth and Gehrig. BTW – no one loves Donnie Baseball more than I do – however – Posada and Williams were certainly peers – if not (perhaps) ahead of Mattingly on this list. Andy Pettitte is also ranked way too low – I believe the benefit of hindsight will bear out my opinion on this. Great article – thank you for posting . . .

  • tony calli

    The yanks won 20 of 27 of their world titles from the 1920's to the early 1960's and have 27 of the top 50 players of all time, the other 23 players came after that and only 7 titles to their credit, to me it seems like there should be more players from earlier years and less from after the mid 60's, but what do I know , I'm only been following them from 1949..

  • SuzyQ

    The list is pretty decent, Bernie & Posada could have been higher. People forget that the newer era has more rounds before they get to the world series.

  • kencobra7

    Having Jeter at #7 is …Why? What records has he gotten other than "Longest years playing and hitting in the #2 slot"?
    I know he has over 3,000 hits but he has had more than 2,648 PA than anyone else. Many bad records also, like the most strike outs, the most Double plays hit into, and very, very few, clutch hits! Take anyone of the top five on that list and give them 12,000 PA and they would have had about 4,000 hits and they would have done it with many times his HR's and clutch hits.
    Bottom line is; Jeter is one of the best SS the Yankees have ever had but, to put him above about 12 of the other players on that list is foolish. He is a very PC and likeable player but he never once was rated the top player on the Yankees in any year he played, not once! His defence was never that good, and the last 8 or so years it has gotten worse. Because his range was limited, he had to make a normal play look fantastick. He was a singles hitter that could play SS……well enough! He will get into the HoF.

  • Eddie Spirito

    I wish that I'd had seen this earlier. Since these are all great ballplayers, it's a given that none of them need to prove anything here. Switching them higher or lower on the list isn't gonna' change anything. Get another team and list their top 50 players, then match them up with the Bronx Bombers on-on-one. Then stand back and watch them piss their pants like I heard the Pirates did before the 1927 World Series.
    If I may be so bold, there is one change that I would make. One of the 50 ballplayers listed has demonstrated that he is worthy of his inclusion by his timely hitting. However, it is far and in between, plus his highest single season Batting Average, technically, was something like .2998 or .2999. It rounded out to .300, but a top 50 Yankee? I don't think so. I won't mention his name, but Thurman Munson was said to him, "I don't like you, Reggie."

  • Balt Yank

    Ricky Henderson was straight up amazing and lots of fun to watch in every aspect, including when he finessed a walk. Dave Winfield was a great fielder, excellent hitter. Dave Wells was fun too, though maybe not a great Yankee in terms of excellence and longevity. AROD should not be on the list, not just because he's a cheat, but also he was a mediocre fielder and never clutch. I would take Scott Brosius over him too. Mattingly had a great 8 years and, for instance compared to a-rod, was a equal hitter (more doubles, less HR, more average); great, better fielder; and great and far better leader.

  • Mr. Maverick

    Mattingly is overrated because he was white? What a f/u/c/k/i/n/g racist. Mattingly was a great player.

  • Mr.Maverick

    Here is where ESPN is way off base, appealing to the black and hispanic crowd. The top ten Greatest Yankees, WITHOUT debate are: Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra, Ford, Rivera, Jeter, Dickey and Gomez. First of all, 8 out of ten are HOF and eventually Jeter and Rivera will be there. Berra and Ford have more rings than Rivera and Jeter and they get the nod over Rivera and Jeter.
    Now lets move past the top ten. I love Mattingly and Munson, but they do not deserve that high a ranking. You cannot place them above, Red Ruffing, Earle Combs and Bob Meusel, all Hall of Famers and Life time Yankees.
    Rodriguez is not even a top 30 Yankee and the same goes for the much overrated Reggie Jackson, who only played 5 years with the Yanks. Combs and Meusel are in the second 20, following Rizzuto and Ruffing. then you go to Mattingly, Munson and Guidry, then you can go to the Ellie Howards, Mel Stottleymyres, etc. Bums such as Reggie Jackson and Alex Rodriguez are at the bottom of anyone's list.
    And that is just the way it is.

  • Mark

    I love things like this. Sometimes when I can't fall asleep, I think about coming up with a list of the best Yanks by position who I have seen play either live or on television. ( I am 65 and have watched the Yanks since 1956.) Catcher is the hardest position because of Munson, Berra, Howard, and Posada. By the way, why isn't Tino on that list?

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