By Daniel Friedman
» More Columns
Here we are, the final stretch. These are the best local athletes in history by jersey number, from 9-1.
9. Roger Maris, Yankees
Somehow, Maris is not in the Hall of Fame. Among his many accomplishments — breaking Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record with 61, in 1961. It was a tough call to choose him over legendary Islander Clark Gillies.
Runner-up: Gillies (Islanders), Adam Graves (Rangers), Andy Bathgate (Rangers), Zach Parise (Devils), Todd Hundley (Mets)
8. Yogi Berra, Yankees
Played in 18 All-Star Games, won 13 World Series (10 as a player, three as a coach). One of the greatest catchers of all time.
Runner-up: Gary Carter (Mets), Bill Dickey (Yankees), Latrell Sprewell (Knicks),
7. Mickey Mantle, Yankees
No explanation required. If you need one, just take a trip over to Monument Park or Cooperstown.
Runner-up: Rod Gilbert (Rangers), Ed Kranepool (Mets). Carmelo Anthony (Knicks), Boomer Esiason (Jets)
6. Joe Gordon, Yankees
Second baseman’s phenomenal Yankee career was highlighted by four World Series titles and six All-Star appearances. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2009.
Runner-up: Ken Morrow (Islanders), Tony Lazzeri (Yankees), Kenyon Martin (Nets/Knicks)
5. Joe DiMaggio, Yankees
Denis Potvin is one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history and is a runner-up here. That should tell you everything you need to know about how special DiMaggio was. His 1941 record of 56 straight games with at least one hit has yet to be broken.
Runner-up: Denis Potvin (Islanders), David Wright (Mets), Jason Kidd (Nets/Knicks), Barry Beck (Rangers)
4. Lou Gehrig, Yankees
Almost certainly the best first baseman to ever play, Gehrig’s career was tragically cut short when he was diagnosed with ALS at age 36. His famous “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech will never be forgotten, nor will his courage.
Runner-up: Duke Snider (Dodgers/Mets), Scott Stevens (Devils), Mel Ott (Baseball Giants), Ron Greschner (Rangers), Robin Ventura (Mets/Yankees)
3. Babe Ruth, Yankees
I could sit here and tell you why Ruth gets the nod, but you probably already know.
Runner-up: Bud Harrelson (Mets), John Starks (Knicks), Harry Howell (Rangers), Ken Daneyko (Devils),
2. Derek Jeter, Yankees
Jeter was a truly respected captain, sure-fire Hall of Famer and a phenomenal ballplayer. He is, among other things, the Yankees’ all-time hits, stolen bases and games-played leader. He was the centerpiece of their dynasty from the mid-1990s to early 2000s, and a big part of the 2009 championship squad.
Runner-up: Brian Leetch (Rangers), Larry Johnson (Knicks)
1. Ed Giacomin, Rangers
His 289 wins rank 25th on the NHL’s all-time leaderboard, while his 54 shutouts rank 19th. An outstanding goaltender, Giacomin was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1987.
Runner-up: Billy Martin (Yankees), Pee Wee Reese (Dodgers), Glenn Resch (Islanders/Devils)
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