I have been having an internal debate as to where Derek Jeter stands in the history of the Yankees.  I first came up with a list of who I feel were the greatest Yankees of All Time.  This was done without the aids of stats, just off the top of my head.  Here is my list in no particular order:

  • Mickey Mantle
  • Babe Ruth
  • Lou Gehrig
  • Yogi Berra
  • Joe DiMaggio
  • Derek Jeter
Next I stare at the list for about an hour debating who meant the most to their team in the era they played.  This is tough, all of them won multiple rings and multiple awards.  The key for me on this is to remove stats and just go on emotion.  Here is my new list:
  1. Babe Ruth
  2. Mickey Mantle
  3. Yogi Berra
  4. Lou Gehrig
  5. Derek Jeter
  6. Joe DiMaggio
At least now I have a plan, and I can now go to the stats and see if this changes anything in my opinion.  First I just look at MVPs, Ruth has one, Jeter has none, Berra, Mantle and Gehrig all have 3 and DiMaggio has 2.  Next I look at league leaders, how many statistical categories did the player lead the league in.  This is where Ruth and Gehrig pull away from the pack, their careers potmarked with all kinds of league leading stats. Finally the rings, Ruth – 7, Gehrig – 6, Mantle – 7, DiMaggio – 9, Jeter – 5, Berra – 10.  Here is my final tally:
  1. Babe Ruth
  2. Lou Gehrig
  3. Mickey Mantle
  4. Yogi Berra
  5. Joe DiMaggio
  6. Derek Jeter
So in my estimation he is 6th all time.  That isn’t a slight on Jeter in the least, look at the company he is in!  Jeter is and was a great player both on and off the field.  His stats are amazing and given the rich tradition of the Yankees, it’s amazing that he is the first to ever hit the 3000 mark.  In my opinion though, as great a player as he is, he just doesn’t stack up against the greatest of all time.  He is a top 6, but unless his career bounces back to his days of his early 30s, his best work is behind him.  A first ballot Hall of Fame member for certain, he will remain just outside of the top 5 in Yankees history.


2 responses »

  1. Brian B says:

    Ruth, Gehrig and Mantle, without a doubt, Yankee Nation if you have a clue, must put them at the top 3, at 45 yrs old, 21 yr season ticket holder, I personally had the chance to watch and appreciate a FULL Yankee career, starting with Mattingly, and I love him, Thurman was my favorite player, but I was 13 when he died, but he was the 1st autograph I ever recieved in my life. Yogi with 10 rings, is phenominal, I cant take anything away from him, but they all played in a different, more ‘pure’ era of baseball, nothing like now, and Jeter has done it with class and dignity, that superseeds, 95% of todays players. Todays young studs, Troy T, wears #2 in Colorado, out of his love for Jeter. It is sad, Jete’s best days are behind him, I would love to just shut up all my Red Sawx hater friends, but in the end, if you have to rank them, I want Jeter, at 4, and if I had to be pushed, he wont drop below 5, moving DiMaggio into 4, but Yogi at 6…..3000 hits, any Yankee fan, and baseball fan, when you look at the greats to don the pinstripes, how is it possible, nobody else hit 3000, that alone gets him in my top 4, bend my arm a little, Top 5

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