Top 10 Yankees who are not in the Hall of Fame

Many players come through the Yankee organization and most are average players. Then there are those exceptional few who leave a lasting mark on the franchise and the game of baseball in general. Out of those few, some make the Hall of Fame, others don’t. Most people know who has made the Hall so let’s focus on that a select number that did not.

Honorable Mentions: Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neill, Tommy John.

Roger Maris (RF): You know him for 61. He won the MVP that year. He won a Silver Slugger Award as well. What’s not well known is that he won the MVP award the year before when he slugged a whopping .581. He was close to the best back to back seasons across any players’ career in the Majors. While his career wasn’t too long, he made the most of it. In seven seasons as a Yankee he hit .265/.356/.515 with 203 home runs and 547 runs batted in.

Robinson Cano (2B): This is clearly a stretch. I include him is solely because of his past seven seasons in Pinstripes have been tremendous (see: 33 WAR). He is currently posting a career year boasting a slash of .300/.368/.540. He’s hit 30 home runs, a career high, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. If he continues on for four more years at his current pace, he’ll be in talks as one of the best second basemen to ever play the game. He’s already the best the Yankees have ever had.

10. Jorge Posada (C): Jorge Posada, member of the Core Four, will go down as one of the better switch hitters of all time. He’s joined great ranks of hitting catchers and kept the great Yankee catching tradition alive. Posada owns four World Series rings, five Silver Slugger Awards, and a career 39 WAR.

9. Thurman Munson (C): Let’s stay in line with the catching theme. He was taken before his time. He followed in the path of great Yankee catchers like Berra, Dickey, and Howard. Munson was a seven time All-Star, a two time World Series champion, Rookie of the Year in 1970 and the AL MVP in 1976. If he played a couple more years, it would warrant thoughts of him getting into the Hall of Fame not only a claim as one of the most beloved Yankees.

8. Andy Pettitte (LHP): As a member of the Core Four, Andy was instrumental in every one of those four World Series. Aside from his postseason prowess and leadership, Andy has largely been an above average pitcher when stacked up to the greats of his time. This is not a knock just to state that his impact was felt in the most important times. He holds the most postseason wins of any pitcher ever. Andy has been the best big game pitcher of the past 20 years. For example, Game five of the 1996 World Series. A pivotal game and the most important he’s pitched…ever. He threw 8.1 Innings while only allowing five hits, zero walks, and striking out four.

7. Graig Nettles (3B): While he may have never hit for average, Graig was a constant power threat. He hit 20 plus home runs for 8 of his 11 seasons with the Yankees. He amassed 390 home runs over his career and had a career WAR of 62.8. A very underrated player, for he was a two time Gold Glove winner and a six time All-Star.

6. Bernie Williams (CF): While he may be my favorite Yankee of all time, Williams deserves this position. He’s a three time World Series champion, a five time All-Star, and a four time Gold Glove recipient. Williams is second in all time postseason total bases, hits, home runs, runs scored, doubles, walks, and tops the postseason all time runs batted in list. He hit 6 home runs in the 1996 postseason and is arguably the greatest postseason baseball player the game has seen. The only competitor is listed later. Quite simply, without Bernie Williams the Yankees postseasons would have turned out quite differently.

5. Don Mattingly (1B): Donnie Baseball. He still awaits Hall of Fame selection and I’m not sure if it’s coming. A beloved Yankee, he was a terrific fielder noted by his 9 Gold Gloves and career .996 fielding percentage. He was a seven time All-Star and posted a .939 OPS in his sole MVP season. It will be a shame if he doesn’t get voted in the Hall of Fame.

4. Ron Guidry (LHP): Guidry is a tiny guy if you didn’t already know. Next time he’s in the dugout, look at him. He’s no more than 5’10” but the man could pitch. Guidry finished in the top five for the Cy Young  four different times, including the year he won (1978). That year he posted a 25-3 record with a 1.74 ERA. Of the 35 games he started that season, he threw 16 complete games 9 of which were shutouts. He had an eye dropping WHIP of .946. He would continue this dominance throughout his career. While no year ever directly mimicked 1978, he was close in 1981 and 1985.

3. Alex Rodriguez* (3B):  The man has always been a physical specimen and will continue to be. He is on the decline but that will never take away from the 2009 playoffs or his whole career for that matter. A 14 time All-Star, three time MVP (finished second twice and third once),  10 time Silver Slugger and two time Gold Glove winner, Rodriguez will be in the Hall based on those numbers alone. Add 646 home runs, and counting, to a career slash line of .301/.385/.562 and the fact he’s 119 hits shy of 3,000, there is an argument to be made that he’s not only a great Yankee,  but he’s in the upper echelon of the all-time greats.

2. Mariano Rivera* (RHP): We may have seen the end of Mariano and it is truly bittersweet. What more can be said about the greatest reliever/pitcher the game has ever known? His career postseason ERA spanning 141 innings is a .70. His 608 career saves are the most compiled by a single pitcher. Over 1219.2 innings pitched, his career WHIP is .998 and career ERA is 2.28. While he didn’t start, I regard him as the best pitcher the Yankees have ever had.

1.  Derek Jeter* (SS): When it’s all said and done and Jeter hangs up his cleats, he’ll be the greatest Yankee ever. He may even be the all-time hits leader. People thought he was on the decline this year at age 38 but he posted a slash of .324/.368/.449, has recorded 58 multi-hit games, which leads the majors, and will surpass 200 hits for the seventh time in his career. He’s the Yankee leader in just about every offensive category you can think of sans home runs. He is Mr. November; he rivals Bernie Williams.

*-Will be a Hall of Famer

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12 Responses to Top 10 Yankees who are not in the Hall of Fame

  1. Mike Sommer says:

    How about Bob Meusel?

  2. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    It's very debatable whether ARod will get voted in.

    You say that Cano is the best second baseman the Yanks have ever had and you seem to like citing WAR but no mention of Willie Randolph? The guy did have a 63 WAR, 52 of those in Pinstripes. As for Cano, it would take a lot more than four years of this kind of play to be mentioned among Hornsby, Collins, Morgan and that French guy, let alone guys like Alomar, Sandberg, and that guy who broke the color barrier.

    And what about at least mentioning Tommy Henrich and Charlie Keller???

  3. Greg says:

    Bernie won 4 world series titles no?

  4. Curtis says:

    Well I agree with you on Willie Randolph – who will be mentioned in another post which was how I feel about him. I also don't discredit the works of those gentlemen (Henrich/Keller) however they played in a time where baseball was exclusionary to many groups. They could have been mentioned but I chose not too. They were good players and could have been mentioned however I didn't. Not to discredit their work.

    I'd also like to say that in 6 years with the Yankees Robinson has a WAR of 33. If he continues this pace over the next four years, I'm going to say it'll be upwards of 50. That's four years in his prime and staying healthy. I did regard it as a stretch but four more seasons of 25-30 HRs will have him with a better career in shorter time than Sandberg. Willie Randolph had 0 200 hit seasons in his whole career.

    Robinson Cano has one season – his rookie year – with less hits (155) that Randolph had in a single season (162) his entire career. So there's that.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      I'm not suggesting that Randolph is better, but he's got more WAR (in some cases A LOT more) than most of the guys on your list. As for Cano's hits, the guy never walks. After this (his 8th) season, he won't even have 300 walks recorded.

      Cano is arguably the dumbest and EASILY the laziest ball player I have EVER laid my eyes. The guy considers it some kind of deadly disease to actually have to leave the batter's box once the ball is in play until he knows for certain that it is a hit of some sort. Obviously his high level of talent makes up for that but what a horrible example the guy is. And there is no way that a guy who is going to be 31.5 years old when his new contract kicks in should be given anything remotely close to the $200M talk that's been floating around. Anything more than $120M (and that's a HUGE stretch for me) and I'm perfectly comfortable letting him walk.

  5. MIKE DELANEY says:

    I THINK THAT MIKE DELANEY IS THE GREATEST YANKEE OF ALL TIME. EXAMPLES: HE HIT .385 IN HIS ROOKIE 1945 SEASON, FOLLOWED UP BY 15 STRAIGHT SEASONS OF HITTING OVER .300. ESPECIALLY AT RIGHT FIELD, HOW CAN YOU LEAVE MIKE DELANEY OFF THIS LIST? HE AVERAGED 150 HITS A SEASON AND HIT 200 HOME RUNS IN PINSTRIPES. FUCK YOU FOR LEAVING MIKE DELANEY OFF THIS LIST. GOREOS.

  6. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    BTW, Jeter is not ever going to be the greatest Yankee of all time. I think it's a bit of an arrogant position for anyone to currently say that. And he will not ever be the all time hits leader. I say all this as a big fan of his.

  7. Fred says:

    I know Roger Clemens wasn't a Yankee for the majority of his career, but he did win 2 rings with us and was one of the best pitchers of all time. Surely worthy of an honorable mention, since on talent alone he was better than several guys on that list

  8. QaA says:

    I would like to mention Chris Chambliss also, he was a clutch bat of the late 70s lineup. Not a hall of famer, but worthy of a mention.

  9. Paul says:

    Here is some more stats not mentioned on Thurman Munson.
    Thurman Munson is:

    #1 – All – time singles in World Series -9
    #10 – All-time – Batting Average by Catcher
    #11 – All -time – Post season Batting Average -.357
    #11 – All – time – Caught Stealing Precentage
    #16 – All-time – On Base Precentage by Catcher
    #20 – All – time – OPS by Catcher
    #24 – All – time – Slugging by Catcher
    #26 – All – time – Hits by Catcher
    #26 – All -time – Runs by Catcher
    His batting average in the World Series was .373. Munson not getting voted in the HOF is a disgrace to Baseball!!!