History: Great Yankees You May Not Know Of


by: Matt Nadel

The New York Yankees are one of the most successful franchises in sports history and, thus, have had a ton of great players play on their rosters. Everyone knows who Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle are, but
those are just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some Yankee greats that you probably have never heard of.

Jack Chesbro

Probably the only bright spot in Yankees history prior to the Babe Ruth era, Chesbro was as insane a pitcher in some years as Cy Young (and they played in the same era). Chesbro pitched from 1899-1909 with the Pirates, Yankees, and Red Sox and won 198 games, averaging 18 wins a season. He won 20 or more games five times and even won a
whopping league-leading 41 games in 1904. The 1946 Hall of Fame inductee posted a 2.68 career ERA, which is good for 76th on the all time list.

Earl Combs

Combs played with Ruth and Gehrig back in the 1920s and 1930s and was an absolute hitting machine. He topped 170 hits in eight consecutive years (1925-1932) and collected 200+ hits in three of those seasons. Combs’s best season was arguably 1927, when he led the league in hits (231) & triples (23) and batted an astounding .356 to help the
Murderers’ Row Yankees reach and win the ’27 World Series. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970.

Joe Gordon

From 1938-1950 (he missed 1944 and 1945 due to military service), the Hall of Fame second baseman was one of those all-around guys that could hit and field as well as anyone. A four-time leader in defensive assists and three-time leader in double plays turned, Gordon, nicknamed “Flash,” was also a crazy good hitter, posting 20 or more home runs in seven seasons and 80 or more runs batted in in eight seasons. Gordon won the 1942 AL MVP with a .322 batting
average, 18 home runs, and 103 RBIs. He won World Series championships with the Yankees (1938, 1939, 1941, 1943) and Indians (1948).

Dave Winfield

One of the most underrated baseball players in history, Winfield used his 6’6” frame to popularize the emphasis of the line drive. Winfield played with the Padres, Yankees, Twins, Angels, Indians, and Blue Jays from 1973-1995 (he missed 1989 due to injury) and collected 3,110 career hits, good for 21st on the all time list, and 465 home runs. But probably the way he is most underrated is his RBI numbers; he sits 18th all time in the category with 1,833 RBIs, driving in 90 or more runs in 11 seasons. Winfield was an All Star in 12 consecutive years, the only 12 years he was an All Star, and batted over .300 in four seasons. The Minnesota native was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001 with 84.5% of the vote.

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