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All-time Oddball Yankee Team

Mike Kekich (left) and Fritz Peterson swapped wives while with the Yankees prior to the 1973 season.

We know, of course, that our New York Yankees are the most storied franchise in sports history. No one can match the 26 World Championships and the number of great players and great moments that have gone along with them.

For whatever reason, my co-writer over at Big Blue View, 'jrs1940' and I got discussing some of the stranger moments, events, plays and players in Yankee history the other day.

Our chat leads to this, a very different kind of all-time Yankee team. I call it the "All-time Oddball Yankee Team." Let's see where this goes.

Please, feel free to share your own suggestions or memories. I am sure there are plenty of them.

Starting Pitchers

Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich -- Here are two guys who famously traded wives. Who else would you use to start an oddball team?
George 'Doc' Medich -- Here's a guy who went into the stands twice during his career to save fans who were suffering heart attacks. Oh, and had his medical license suspended in 2002.
Carl Pavano -- Just because he's Carl Pavano, and his saga with the Yankees is one of the strangest in franchise history.
Hideki Irabu -- From the 'Nolan Ryan of Japan' to George Steinbrenner's least favorite 'Fat Toad,' Irabu's time in New York was definitely memorable.


Sparky Lyle -- Yes, he was terrific on the mound. But, Lyle is the choice here because of his famous cake-sitting antics. Anyone with a section called 'Clubhouse Antics' in his Wikipedia profile has to make this team.

Position Players

Catcher -- Brad Gulden: This guy has a forgettable career, except for getting traded for himself. That makes him an automatic member of this team.

1B --Joe Pepitone: A good player, and a very vain one. Pepitone was known for his toupees and his reliance on hair products.

2B -- Jim Leyritz: This selection has nothing to do with Leyritz' legal troubles. He did a lot of good things for the Yankees during his career, but the three games he played at second base were, umm, forgettable.

SS -- Gene Michael: His claim to fame as a player is pulling off the "hidden ball trick" five times. That's goofy enough for me to put him here.

3B -- Don Mattingly: If you remember the slick-fielding left-hander played three games at third in 1986. That was definitely an odd sight. By the way, he handled 11 chances, turned two double plays and committed one error.

LF -- Yogi Berra: Because Yogi is a catcher who was stuck in left field just to get him in the lineup. Plus, he is one of the oddest and most colorful characters in baseball history. He has to be here.

CF -- Ron Guidry: One inning in the infamous Pine Tar Game lands the great Yankee pitcher here.

RF -- Jeffrey Maier: I know, not a player. He did, however, make one of the best plays ever for the Yankees in right field. The alternate on this one, courtesty of 'jrs' is Reggie Jackson. Replaced, of course, mid-inning by Paul Blair.

DH -- Rick Rhoden: Won 151 games as a pitcher, but Billy Martin actually started him at designated hitter in a 1988 game. Courtesy of Martin, Rhoden gets a spot.

Manager -- Billy Martin: When it comes to manager of a Yankee Oddball Team, who else but Martin could sit in that chair? Hired and fired as skipper fives times, responsible for the Pine Tar Game, the Jackson/Blair incident and the Rhoden as DH game, this is an obvious choice.

Feel free to share your memories of some of the oddest moments or players in Yankee history. I would love to hear them.