The Yankees have been fortunate to have a powerhouse lineup over the years. But when injuries have befallen them, they’ve also been able to reach into the depths of their bench to pick up play without a hiccup. These are the Utility Players who are the backbone of any team, and these are the Yankees best.
The Yankees have not won 27 World Championships with their regular one through nine lineups alone. It takes the full complement of a blended 25-man roster to win at the major league level. And in particular, a winning team must have at least one player who is designated as the utility player.
By definition, the word utility is most used as an adjective meaning, “useful, in particular through being able to perform several functions, denoting a player capable of playing in several different positions in a sport.”
Utility players, unlike home run hitters these days, don’t grow on trees. They are almost always handpicked by a manager who sees versatility, resilience, and adaptability to team needs in a player.
Typically, they are infielders by trade with the capability of stepping into the outfield in emergency situations. Rarely do they have a big ego.Utility players might sit for days without playing and then all of sudden they find themselves called on to play for two weeks when a player goes down.
I’ve selected five Yankees utility players who have made outstanding contributions to the team over the years. As with any “Best Of” themes, there is bound to be controversy regarding the players who are selected, or perhaps players who should have been chosen but were omitted.
As always, that’s part of the fun, and I invite you to share your thoughts and comments about this story or anything Yankees on the Yanks Go Yard Facebook page.