We as Yankee fans are lucky that our team has such a rich history. Say what you will about the amount of retired numbers, but the fact that there is that many is a testament to how incredible this team has been. We've been lucky to have seen a lot of awesome baseball players come through Yankee Stadium, which makes this question a tough one.
Q: Old-Timer's Day was last weekend. Quite simply, who is your all-time favorite Yankee?
My all-time favorite Yankee is Bernie Williams. When I first got into baseball, around the age of 5 or 6, Don Mattingly was who I went to the stadium to watch. Donnie Baseball was exciting to watch. As I began my early teen years and actually know what was going on besides cheering and such, my attention turned to then young prospect Bernie Williams in the early 90's. As baseball puberty was settling in, Bernie was the player I was most interested in. There was something about him that was just so much fun to watch. When Donnie Baseball retired before his time, Bernie was still there and then had one of the greatest runs of any Yankee player ever during the Dynasty Era. Before Jeter, Mo, Pettitte, and Posada, there was Bernie Williams.
For me, he will always symbolize when things truly started to turn around for the Yankees. He is who I think of when I think of the Dynasty Era Yankees. From his beautiful swing to the greatest slide into home plate ever, Bernie will always be my favorite New York Yankee. When they announced that his number was going to be retired this year, I immediately went online and overpaid for tickets because I could not miss that. I bought a fitted Yankee cap with the Bernie #51 Retirement Patch on the side. While he will probably always remain in the Hall of Very Good (or the Parliament of Excellence as I like to call it) and not the Hall of Fame, having his number retired in Monument Park is more that I could ask for.
It's definitely Mariano Rivera. There's nothing that compares to the thrill of being a little kid and having the whole stadium go nuts as Enter Sandman plays and the greatest of all time comes in to throttle the opposition.
I'm going to have to say Mariano Rivera. You see pitchers all the time who get into hitters' heads by beating their chest and yelling after every pitch. Mo's relaxed demeanor on the mound was more intimidating than any of that. When he entered a game you got the feeling that he was just going to get in and get three outs. Business as usual. Also, he has the whole greatest closer of all time thing working in his favor.
Don Mattingly is the primary reason why I became a Yankee fan. When I was first getting interested in baseball, he just looked to me like what a player was supposed to look like - eye black, often dirty uniform, classic compact swing. In those days there wasn't a lot to be excited about with the Yankees and even Donnie himself was not the player he was a little before my time, but for me he still made those teams interesting and watchable.
Babe Ruth, just from studying baseball. In my lifetime, Mike Mussina and Derek Jeter.
For me, it's Mariano Rivera. I grew up in the Rivera era. There were guys like Jeter and Williams, among others, but when I saw Rivera come into a game, I knew I was in for a treat. It's nice to see such a humble man have such a great career. I only wish the Nats didn't draft his son.
It's the common answer here, but it also is Mariano Rivera for me. There was just something incredible about watching someone who was quite evidently the best at what they did in the history of the game. Yes, watching Derek Jeter was incredible, but he's not the greatest shortstop ever. Mariano Rivera is absolutely the best closer in baseball history, and I got to see all of his career. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Those are our answers and now we want to hear from you. Who is your all-time favorite Yankee?