By Ian Teti
Note: It was extremely difficult to limit the most enduring Yankees All-Stars. This list could easily be 30 names long, but we attempted to narrow it down to 10. It’s important to keep in mind that players whose careers didn’t last into the 1960s were not eligible (Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, Lou Gehrig, etc.).
– Mickey Mantle: 20 consecutive All-Star selections and seven World Series championships, all with the Yankees. The switch-hitter won the AL MVP award three times and won the Triple Crown in ’56. The Mick made the ‘50s a magical decade for New Yorkers, and there surely won’t be another player quite like him.
– Yogi Berra: 18 consecutive All-Star selections from 1948-62. 13-time World Series champion, including two as a coach for the Yankees. Are you kidding me? Yogi dominated the game of baseball in his day. And then when his playing days were over, he dominated as a coach and a manager. As debatably the best catcher of all time, he was a truly unique and concise hitter, having five seasons where he had more home runs than strikeouts. Pitchers didn’t know how to throw to him. Talk about a born winner.
– Roger Maris: While he was not the most liked Yankee during his playing days, Maris’ legacy lives on in the hearts of true fans today. He gave the Yankees two World Series victories, and as we all know, he hit 61 home runs in 1961 to break Ruth’s record, which lasted for 27 years. He was elected to six straight All-Star games as a Yankee and is still considered one of the greatest Yankee outfielders.
– Chris Chambliss: Although Chambliss only had one All-Star selection, his fame as a Yankees player and coach will go down in history. He was a six-time World Series champion, winning twice as a player and four times as a hitting coach. And no one will forget his walk-off home run in the 1976 ALCS, which gave the Yankees their first World Series trip in 12 years.
– Reggie Jackson: No one wanted to win the World Series more than Reggie Jackson did in 1977. He went into “beast mode” and hit three first-pitch home runs in Game 6 to close out the World Series. That’s out of control. It was so out of control that the Yankees gave him a candy bar the season after that. That’s right. The “Reggie!” bar. What’s more baller than having a candy bar named after you? When was the last time that happened?
– Thurman Munson: In his 11 years with the Yankees, Munson tallied seven All-Star selections and two World Series victories. He is still the only Yankee to win the Rookie of the Year and the MVP award in the same year. And who can forget Munson’s come-from-behind, 475-foot bomb in the eighth inning of Game 3 of the 1978 ALCS? He also gave Jackson his famous nickname, “Mr. October.”
– Don Mattingly: Donnie Baseball started and finished his playing career with the Yankees. He was named team captain in 1991 and was selected to six All-Star teams. As good as he was with the bat, Mattingly was equally talented with the glove, earning nine Gold Glove Awards at first base.
– Wade Boggs: We all know Boggs is one of the greatest third basemen ever, even if he did spend 10 years with the Red Sox. But he was instrumental to the Yankees’ 1996 World Series win when in Game 4 he drew a bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning to give the Bombers the lead. And after the Yanks closed out the series, their first title in 18 years, Boggs jumped on the back of an NYPD horse and trotted around the field, even though he was deathly afraid of horses. Look, even if you aren’t afraid of horses, you’ve got to be one bad dude to jump on the back of an NYPD horse.
– Derek Jeter: Jeter will go down in history as one of the greatest shortstops to ever play the game. The 13-time All-Star has recorded countless clutch hits and has consistently been a fan favorite. Just look at The Cap’s resume. Even if Jeter was having his worst season of all time, he would still deserve to be an All-Star based on everything he’s done for the Yanks.
– Mariano Rivera: The greatest closer of all time. Does anything else really need to be said?
You can follow Ian on Twitter @icteti.
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