30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday Night Five: Men in Pinstripes

I've recently started to rethink my position on the Men in Pinstripes.  I've hated the New York Yankees since I was a wee little boy, but now I realize that I have nothing against the Old School Yankees:  The Sultan of Swat, The Yankee Clipper, and The Commerce Comet.  They were well before my time and are key historical figures in baseball that I actually admire.

It's actually the New Era Yankees that I can't stand.  The Free Agency Era Yankees.  The franchise that uses my favorite team as their farm system and attempts to buy a World Series Championship year in and year out.  

Now I'm not saying that free agency doesn't have a place in sports.  It's always entertaining to see where the latest big name will land.  However, when one or two franchises build "dream teams" filled with all-stars... seriously, how much fun is that?

But enough ranting... let's get to the point of this post.  Tonight, I want to make up for thirty plus years of misplaced hatred and take a few minutes to honor my favorite New York Yankees.  

Are your ready?  Let's start with #5 and countdown to #1.

#5 Roger Maris

Before I watched HBO's 61*, Maris was just another Yankee I didn't like.  But after seeing what he went through and how the fans treated him... my opinion changed.

#4 Ron Guidry

His video game numbers during the 1978 season still stands out from my childhood... but the main reason he's high on this list is because he's a fellow lefty.

#3 Lou Gehrig

I have admired The Iron Horse since the first time I watched The Pride of the Yankees starring Gary Cooper.  He is remembered for being humble, kind, and hardworking... all adjectives I hopefully will be remembered for myself.

#2 Derek Jeter

It's hard not to respect any ballplayer who has been with the same team his entire 18 year career.  Throw in his accomplishments and the only reason he's not #1 on this list is because he's part of The Free Agency Era Yankees.

#1 Thurman Munson

Thurman Munson and collecting cardboard are forever tied together in my childhood memories.  His 1970 Topps rookie card was one of the first cards I ever wanted... and it only took me 30 years to acquire it.

What about you?

Who are your favorite Men in Pinstripes?

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. As a Fargo, ND resident, I have to go with Maris. Also a big fan of Jeter and Gehrig.

  2. I agree with you completely about Maris. 61* is a great movie (I like the making of... doc even more).

    Roger would be really high on the list.

  3. My "favorites" tend to be guys I respect the most, though as a Red Sox fan I can't 110% call them favorites (haha). Bernie Williams was on that list. Yogi Berra possibly. Mo Rivera for sure.

  4. Don't have any. Not a one.

    Rivera's as close as I get, but only because he laughed when we gave him a standing ovation at the 2005 OD ring ceremony.

  5. That’s a pretty good list, Fuji. You got most of them. As a life long Yankee fan, I have many more.
    Mo Rivera
    Yogi Berra
    Bernie Williams
    Don Mattingly
    Greg Nettles
    Goose Gossage
    Willie Randolph
    Elston Howard

    1. Graig Nettles was on my list until I remembered Maris. I should have put down Nettles and Bernie Williams as my honorable mentions.

  6. Growing up as the son of a Yankee fan in the 50s/60s and living in NY/NJ I saw a lot of the Yankees. Don't call me a fan but rather a 'person of interest' in several guys....
    Elston Howard
    Art Ditmar
    and Bobby Richardson

  7. My list would probably be gehrig, Ruth, Maris, mattingly, and jeter. Rickey Henderson would be number 2 at least but I don't identify him as a Yankee.

    1. Yeah... Rickey will always be an Athletic in my book and Gossage & Winfield look better in Padres uniforms.


  8. 1. Bernie Williams
    2. Jorge Posada
    3. Don Mattingly
    4. Jim Bouton
    5. Mickey Mantle
    6. Joe Pepitone
    7. Thurman Munson
    8. Dave Winfield
    9. Willie Randolph
    10. Brett Gardner

  9. I think the Free Agency Era Yankees is coming to an end. Not just because of the salary cap but because Hal Steinbrenner isn't as willing to buy talent as his father was (I don't think he likes baseball as much his father did either) plus a lot of teams are locking up their star players to long-term deals so they never reach free agency.
    And (as a Yankees fan) I really hope they stay with their homegrown talent in the future. Most of the greatest Yankees who've ever lived were Yankees farmhands like The Iron Horse, Joltin' Joe, The Mick, The Chairman Of The Board, Yogi, The Scooter, The Warrior, Tugboat, Donnie Baseball, El Caballo Boricua, Mr. November, The Sandman etc.., kudos if you can translate these nicknames into their real names.
    And as Cano, Gardner and Robertson have shown, there's always room on this list for more.

    Because I can't come up with a favorite Yanks list that isn't as big as the Yankees' wikipedia page I'll just name some of my favorite Highlanders (taking it old school baby) and my favorite future Yankees (and new school).
    *Wee Willie Keeler (yes, Keeler was technically a Yankee)
    *Jack Chesbro (41 wins in a single season, nuff said)
    *Al Orth (a spit-ball pitcher who could hit above .300)
    *Clark Griffith (one of the first to play in the AL after it's birth)
    *Manny Banuelos (one of the key prospects the Yankees are hoping they can depend on to save them from having to buy pitchers in the future)
    *Dellin Betances (same as Banuelos, although I personally like him because he was born and raised in New York and was even at David Wells' perfect game)
    *Cito Culver (New York native with great upside)
    *Mark Montgomery (the pitcher who'll either become the next 8th inning guy or 9th inning guy for the Yankees)

    1. I sure hope you're right... teams like the Yankees make it hard for low budget teams to succeed. Although, I guess the Athletics were surprisingly able to do it ;-)

      Yankee nickname quiz... I love it. Here goes nothing:

      The Iron Horse - Gehrig
      Joltin' Joe - DiMaggio
      The Mick - Mantle
      The Chairman of the Board - Ford
      Yogi - Berra
      Scooter - Rizzuto
      The Warrior - ???
      Tugboat - Munson
      Donnie Baseball - Mattingly
      El Caballo Boricua - ???
      Mr. November - Jeter
      The Sandman - Rivera

      10 out of 12 isn't too bad... right?

    2. True, although at the moment their money isn't exactly being spent to help themselves either ;).

      Regarding your quiz score, you got a A.
      I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote "The Warrior" a.k.a Paul O'Neill, as I just remembered that he was a former Red (sorry, I'm blaming it on the kush lol), so that one doesn't count.
      As for El Caballo Boricua, it's a relatively unknown nickname given to Bernie Williams. It's translation is The Puerto Rican Horse appearently.

    3. As a teacher, I'm good with the "A". Yeah, remember O'Neill earlier days with the Reds. Lol... would never had guessed Bernie. Didn't realize he was Puerto Rican ;-)