Yankees: Looking Back at 7 of New York’s Cult Heroes

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The man who sparked the Yankees 2009 World Series run!

Yankees: C Francisco Cervelli

Out of the rest of the players on this list, Francisco Cervelli spent the most time in pinstripes by far. He spent seven years with major league playing time, but injuries limited him to just 250 total games with the Yankees.

The Venezuelan came onto the scene as long-time catcher Jorge Posada’s career was winding down. Cervelli saw his first significant stretch of action on the 2009 World Championship team and that is when his ‘hero status’ first took off.

In late June of the 2009 season, the Yankees were a mediocre 39-32, and the massive spending spree general manager Brian Cashman had embarked on in the offseason was not panning out. New York’s bats were cold, and the team was losing to the likes of the lowly Florida Marlins.

With the Yankees trailing 1-0 in the top of the sixth inning against Atlanta, Cervelli smashed his first career homer and, in turn, woke up the sleeping giant. New York would tack on seven more runs over the next four innings and it would kickstart their torrid second half (52-22) record. The rest was history.

Unfortunately, Cervelli could never truly take the reins as Posada’s career came to an end. He was oft-injured and was suspended for PED use in 2013. Still, throughout his career, Yankees fans were always hoping Cervelli could figure it out and become a key contributor to the team.

At the plate, Cervelli didn’t bring much power to the table, but his .280/.351/.384 line from 2009-2014 indicates that he was a threat at the plate. He would have a nice four-season run in Pittsburgh following his departure from the Yankees but was never able to truly be more than a “cult hero” in the Bronx.