The New York Yankees have done more than their share through the years to help the American League in the All Star Game. So it is time to pick an All-Time Yankee All Star Fantasy Team. The question is, how?
Since the competitiveness of the National League has varied through the years, it is difficult to penalize Mickey Mantle, for example, for facing better pitching then let’s say Bernie Williams may have faced, or vice versa. So the Yanks Go Yard All-Time Yankees All Star Fantasy Team is based on the number of times players have been on the roster, and how well they performed on all star game record lists.
Since the game didn’t get going until the 1930′s, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were not selected for the team enough times. So they are chosen as honorary captains. Also, players investigated for performance enhancement are not eligible. All statistics are according to Baseball Reference. So, here is our team along with a prospective batting lineup:
Batting First: Derek Jeter at Shortstop. Jeter’s .440 All Star Game batting average places him fifth all time in all star competition. His .481 on base percentage also places him fifth in that category. Jeter has been selected for 14 teams.
Batting Second: Yogi Berra at Catcher. This is an unusual spot in the order for Yogi, but with the big bats to follow some protection for Jeter is affordable. Besides, his ability to hit the ball no matter where it was pitched is a plus in hit and run situations. Yogi was selected fifteen times, the most of any Yankee catcher.
Batting Third: Joe DiMaggio in Center Field. Joe scored seven runs, which puts him in a tie for fifth place all time. He was selected thirteen times.
Batting Fourth: Mickey Mantle in Left Field. Mantle followed Joe D. as a Yankee, so it is fitting that he follows him in this batting order. The Mick is tied for seventh place in all star at bats with 43 and is tied for second in all star selections with 16.
Batting Fifth: Dave Winfield in Right Field. Winfield may be a surprise until you look at the all star numbers. Winfield is tied for fifth with 13 hits, tied for seventh in total bases with 20, and first in all star doubles with seven. He was selected 12 times.
Batting Sixth: Reggie Jackson as the Designated Hitter. Jackson makes the team based on his 14 selections. Winfield gets the nod as the right fielder and Jackson is the DH.
Batting Seventh: Johnny Mize at First Base. Mize was selected 10 times, so based on our criteria he earns a spot in the lineup. But if needed, Honorary Captain Gehrig is waiting in the dugout.
Batting Eighth: Joe Gordon at Second Base. Gordon was selected nine times, more than any Yankee second baseman.
Batting Ninth: Graig Nettles at Third Base. Nettles, a six time selection, replaces a 14 time selection who was deemed as ineligible.
Pitchers: Whitey Ford and Catfish Hunter who were selected eight times each. An 11 time selection was also deemed ineligible. The Bullpen includes Mariano Rivera, 13 times selected, and Rich Gossage, who was selected nine times. Rivera had an all star ERA of 0.00.
That brings us to the coaching staff. And what a great one it is.
Manager: Casey Stengel
First Base: Coach Ralph Houk
Third Base Coach: Billy Martin
Bench Coach: Joe Torre.
So there you have it, The Yanks Go Yard Yankees All-Time All Star Fantasy Team. Now, let´s get the game started. So here is our Stadium Announcer, Bob Sheppard. ¨BATTING FIRST, FOR THE AMERICAN LEAGUE, NUMBER TWO, DEREK JEE- TER!¨