The next in my series of the greatest Yankee players I have ever seen is third baseman. It is pretty much a no brainer as A-Rod is generally considered, for the last few years, to be the best player in the game. So, it would be silly to try to build up any suspense. But it would be a failure on my part to not mention some of the great third sackers I have seen in pinstripes. There have been duds like Rich McKinney, Celerino Sanchez, and Gerry Kenney, but the team has also had some superstars. Graig Nettles, who anchored the hot corner for 11 seasons from 1973 until 1983, was easily the equivalent of Brooks Robinson with the glove, and his performance in Series play against the Dodgers was the stuff of highlight films. And he was no slouch with his bat. Stats don't tell the whole story. Yes, he led the league in 76 and was second in 77 in home runs hitting 32 and 37 respectively. Things were different back in the 70's. But he was a streak hitter. While his lifetime average was only .248, and his best year he hit .276, I can remember him going on streaks where he would lead the team with game winning hits for about a 2 week period. He would wear out pitchers, and belt a bunch of homers and drive in runs like crazy. Then he was back to being one of the greatest fielding 3rd baseman in the game. Back in his hayday, many baseball fans would debate whether Graig or Brooks was the better fielder.
But no way A-Rod isn't the greatest. While Nettles was the better fielder, A-Rod is a force with the bat. He's got 2 MVP awards in his last 3 seasons with the Yanks.
- ► 2010 (8)
- ► 2009 (73)
- ▼ 2008 (101)