7/12/11 – Yankee Greats

The most popular sports debate at the moment is which players deserve to be on the New York Yankees version of Mount Rushmore. The debate is subtitled: Does Derek Jeter rank among the four greatest Yankees of all time?

Babe Ruth is a slam dunk. Lou Gehrig is too. My Yankee quartet also includes Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. Sorry, Derek.

So allow me to extend the debate by adding a second Yankee Mount Rushmore.

I’ll start this debate by putting Yogi Berra on the Mountain. I certainly can’t leave off Whitey Ford, the greatest Yankee pitcher of all-time. The man won 236 games and a record 69 percent of all of his decisions. I can’t leave off Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer in baseball history.

So is Jeter greater than Bill Dickey, the best catcher of his era? Greater than Don Mattingly, considered as best player in the game during part of his career? Greater than Ron Guidry, who won 65 percent of his decisions and had three of the best years in Yankee history?

Okay, Jeter makes my second Yankee Mountain. Barely.

 

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