Leading into the 2015 season it appeared that fielding would be a strength of this Yankees squad. Surprisingly, after two months of play, the team boasts a winning record in spite of their fielding rather than because of it. They not only rank 13th out of 15 AL teams in errors committed, but advanced metrics agree that Yankee gloves have cost the team a lot of runs. If that's any indication, it's safe to say that no Yankee will win a Gold Glove this year and that has actually been a rare occurrence throughout the team's history. Of the 58 years that the Gold Glove award has been in existence, at least one Yankee has been among the winners in 43 of them. Here's a look at those who won the award in the 1950's and 60's.
Bobby Shantz - P - 1957 through 1960
This diminutive pitcher was named the 1952 AL MVP when he won 24 games for the Philadelphia Athletics. While he never lived up to that standard on the mound again, he gained a reputation as a skilled fielder as evidenced by the four consecutive Gold Gloves he won as a Yankee from 1957 through 1960. What's even more remarkable is that he transitioned to a full-time reliever in 1959 yet still continued to win the award. By the time his career ended in 1964 he had eight Gold Gloves to his name.
Norm Siebern - OF - 1958
As the everyday left-fielder for the World Series champion Yankees, Siebern had a fine offensive season batting .300 with decent power and a solid walk rate. This would also be the only Gold Glove he would win in his career, and rightfully so. According to dWAR, Baseball Reference's defensive component of WAR, 1958 was the only season of his career that he was above replacement level in the field and by the time he was 27 he was shifted permanently to first base.
Roger Maris - OF - 1960
In a season that ended with a heartbreaking defeat, Maris performed like a champion, earning his first of back-to-back MVP awards. While his 1961 season may have been the more impressive one for obvious reasons, his one and only career Gold Glove came in 1960. Like Siebern, his Gold Glove season was also far and away the best of his career in terms of dWAR.
Bobby Richardson - 2B - 1961-1965
Richardson was a constant presence in the lineup of some very successful Yankee teams and it had little to do with his bat. With a career on-base percentage of less than .300, it was his glove that kept him productive over the course of his career. He helped the Yankees reach the World Series in four out of his five Gold Glove seasons and earned MVP votes in all five.
Mickey Mantle - OF - 1962
A horrific knee injury early in his career didn't deter Mantle from becoming one of the greatest offensive players in major league history, but it might have prevented him from fulfilling his potential as a center fielder. That's why this Gold Glove can be seen more as a lifetime achievement award for him. It coincided with his last World Series win and third and final MVP award even though his days as even an average fielder were well behind him.
Elston Howard - C - 1963 & 1964
As Yogi Berra aged out of the position, Howard was able to take over the full-time catching job for the Yankees in 1960. He took to the role well and his game flourished as a result. Advanced defensive metrics confirm that he was great behind the plate during his two Gold Glove years and in 1963 he was also named AL MVP. He probably could have won a few more Gold Gloves earlier in his career had Berra not been ahead of him on the depth chart.
Joe Pepitone - 1B - 1965, 1966 & 1969
A young Pepitone took over first base from Moose Skowron in 1963, just in time to miss all the fun in the Bronx. The Yankees got progressively worse as his career wore on, but he kept himself quite busy off the field and hit enough home runs to keep himself relevant. In hindsight, defensive metrics say he was about average at first base but he had a strong reputation when he played. The Yankees even had enough faith in him to play center field when Mickey Mantle was relegated to first base at the end of his career.
Tom Tresh - OF - 1965
After winning the 1962 AL Rookie of the Year as a shortstop, Tresh was moved to the outfield in 1963. While his bat remained productive, his glove work in the outfield was mediocre at best, especially when he moved to center field with Mantle sliding to left. In fact, his Gold Glove year ranks among the worst of his career in terms of defensive runs saved, which makes this one a bit of a head-scratcher.