Yankees: 5 Players You’d Never Believe Led New York in WAR for a Full Season

1 of 5

The Yankees have a rich history, but these leaders in WAR for a full season will blow your mind.

When you go through the history of the New York Yankees and look through the list of WAR leaders for a full season, you find the usual suspects: Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Ron Guidry, Don Mattingly, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter. No surprises there.

But dig deeper and you wouldn’t believe some of those who managed to lead the way for the Bombers for an entire campaign, regardless if they made the playoffs or not. We’d like to think at least a majority of these former Yankees who led the team in this category will surprise you.

We’d also bet you don’t know who at least one of these players are.

5. Elliott Maddox

Yankees /

The Yankees endured a brutal stretch from 1965-1975 in which they didn’t sniff the postseason. After losing back-to-back World Series in 1963 and 1964, they didn’t get back to the playoffs until 1976, which featured another loss in the Fall Classic. As you can imagine, over that 11-year stretch, there were a couple of top performers you don’t exactly remember all that well. Among them was Elliott Maddox, who played for New York from 1974-1976. In 1974, he led the Yanks in WAR with a 5.4 mark and finished eighth in the AL MVP voting after slashing .303/.395/.386 with 75 runs scored, 3 home runs and 45 RBI in 137 games. It was the only year in his 11 MLB seasons that he played in more than 130 games and he hit career marks in just about every major category. This roster had Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles, Bobby Murcer, Lou Piniella, Sparky Lyle and Mel Stottlemyre, so it wasn’t exactly a bunch of slouches Maddox outplayed.