Yankees: All-time greatest seasons by position

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First base – Lou Gehrig (1927)

Lou Gehrig is the best first baseman in MLB history. He had a long and prosperous career that was cut short because of the terrible ALS disease. But during his time playing, he was a class act and ferocious left-handed bat.

Gehrig in 1927 had a remarkable three slash of .373/.474/.765 while hitting 47 home runs and driving in an outstanding 173 RBI’s. He also led the league in total bases that year, and he would do so another three times in his career.

The most impressive factor of Gehrig’s career was his consecutive streak of games started.

He was a once in a lifetime player that excelled in baseball. It’s sad that his career was cut short, but MLB will never forget him or his memorable speech in Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939.

Honorable mentions

Having ‘The Iron Horse’ starting at first base means the backup may never see playing time. So while none of these players’ seasons will make the active roster, they are worth mentioning.

Don Mattingly (1986)

I feel bad for Don Mattingly because he retired right before the Yankees’ dynasty began, after a long career with no World Series appearances. He’ll still go down as one of the best first basemen in Yankees’ history because of his sick bat.

In 1986, ‘Donnie Baseball’ had a slash line of .352/.394/.573, hit 31 home runs and drove in 113 runs. The previous year, he won the MVP after driving in league-high 145 runs. However, he was more dangerous at the plate according to his slash line in 1986.

Jason Giambi (2002)

Jason Giambi had an immediate impact once the Yankees signed him for the 2002 season. In the long-run, the ‘The Giambino’ was not a good acquisition for the Yankees. However, in 2002 he slashed .314/.435/.598 while smacking 41 homers and driving in 122 runs.

Mark Teixeira (2009)

A lot of people don’t give Mark Teixeira enough credit for his efforts in 2009. He finished second in the AL MVP voting, won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award. He slashed .292/.383/.565 with a league-high 39 home runs and 122 RBI.

Tino Martinez (1997)

Tino Martinez was a vital player in the Yankees’ 90s dynasty. It’s fitting that he immediately made an impact following the retirement of Mattingly. While he was part of the 1996 World Championship team, his best season was his 1997 lone All-Star campaign with the Yanks.

I remember having his Showdown playing card for 1997. Man, that was a powerful card to play.  In 1997, Tino slashed .296/.371/.577 and hit a career-high 44 homers with 141 RBI.

Could Greg Bird be the next excellent Yankees’ first baseman?

There’s been a lot of hype centered around the Yankees’ young left-handed bat. He’s had moments of greatness, but we need to see a full season from him. Some analysts think this could be the year, but they also believed so at the beginning of last year.