The Yankees are known for having some of the game's best hitters: Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Jackson, Mattingly, A-Rod, etc. Surprisingly, for the history the Yankees have, they're hardly known for their pitchers.
Below are the top pitchers in Yankee history, in terms of (B-Ref's) Pitching Wins -
1. Whitey Ford
2. Mariano Rivera
3. Red Ruffing
4. Lefty Gomez
5. Ron Guidry
6. Bob Shawkey
7. Spud Chandler
8. Andy Pettitte
9. Waite Hoyt
10. Tiny Bonham
As expected, Whitey Ford tops the list; he leads the Yankees in starts, wins, innings, shutouts and strikeouts. Ford's numbers would look even better if not for missing two full years to the Korean War (1951-52).
No. 2 is surprising though. For a reliever to make the top five, never mind the top two, speaks to both the quality and quantity of production from Rivera over 16 years (and counting).
Red Ruffing gets a big boost from longevity: He threw 3168.2 innings, just a hair below the leader. He also missed two seasons to World War II.
Gomez and Guidry are both known more for their peaks - which rank among the best pitched Yankee seasons ever - than their longevity, though both are testaments to their success.
Bob Shawkey is a name you should know; he was bought from the Philadelphia A's for $3500 and was a staple in the rotation in the late teens and early '20's. He helped the Yanks win their first World Series in 1923, leading the team in starts and strikeouts.
The best way to describe Spud Chandler might be to call him a 'winner.' He's the Yankee leader in win percentage for pitchers with at least 100 starts (.717, 109-43). Chandler remains the only Yankee hurler to win the MVP, which he did in 1943 (20-5, 253 ip, 1.64 ERA, .99 WHIP). Unfortunately for Spud, he didn't break into the majors until he was 29 - otherwise he might be remembered as one of all-time Yankee greats. And like many other players of the day, he served in WW2, losing almost all of '44 and '45 to military service.
If not for Andy Pettitte going to Houston for three years, he would've been fifth on the list instead of eighth.
Waite Hoyt played 21 seasons for seven teams, but he's best known as the ace of the Murderers Row Yankees, where he led the staff in pretty much every major category.
Tiny Bonham was a name I'd barely heard before. 'Tiny' must have been a sarcastic nickname considering his size: 6'2", 215 lbs. He was an impressive starter who never topped a 4.00 ERA until his last two years with Pittsburgh. He died at 36, during the Pirates' season, after stomach surgery stemming from an appendectomy.
- How does the list look to you? Who would you include or exclude?