These New York Yankees need to be evaluated further for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The New York Yankees can call an overload of enshrined Hall of Famers their own, laying claim to studs from Wade Boggs to Ricky Henderson. Babe Ruth was the first Yankee legend to cross the border into those hallowed halls, entering with the museum’s inaugural class.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t ample room to reevaluate some other Bombers who’ve seen their Hall cases go by the wayside.
When Derek Jeter enters next summer, he’ll be the 52nd Yankee to take his place in Cooperstown. So let’s advocate for four more, why don’t we? It’s safe to disagree with all four selections, but I doubt you’ll argue that the conversation has been fully consummated surrounding any of them.
4. Thurman Munson
Thurman Munson of the New York Yankees is probably a Hall of Famer.
Perhaps we’re just especially frosty during this Hall of Fame cycle because Ted Simmons was elected in 2020, who mattered about 1,000 times less during his much longer career than Munson did during his amazing decade in the game, but we digress.
Both Simmons and Munson rank just below the “average Hall of Fame catcher” JAWS standard (essentially set by former Yankee Bill Dickey), and are the 10th- and 12th-most deserving catchers of enshrinement in the history of the game. Of course, this is logically flawed — even beset by injuries, Munson would’ve had a few more years after 1979 to compile Hall of Fame counting stats, had he not tragically perished in a midseason plane crash.
In just 11 years, Munson made seven All-Star teams, won the Rookie of the Year in 1970, the MVP in 1976, and two World Series in ’77 and ’78 as the captain of the team in the spotlight more often than any other. He ranks well ahead of Hall of Famers like Roy Campanella, Ernie Lombardi, and Ray Schalk in JAWS, and laps Hall of Fame shoo-in Yadier Molina, who’s 24th. How is that not enough?