New York Baseball All-Time Roster
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images


We took the New York Yankees, Mets, Giants, and Brooklyn Dodgers to make one ultimate 25-man baseball city roster.

Only 25 men.

How can it be possible? This is the question most would raise when asked to put together a 25-man roster of the greatest baseball players in New York City history.

From the New York Yankees and Giants, to the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Mets, there have been too many great ones to come through the five boroughs. And to top it off, how could only 25 be chosen from a city such as New York that loves the game of baseball to such a romanticized level.

Well, we did it, and we’re glad we did.

Instead of simply ranking the 10 best, for example, we, here at Elite Sports NY, believe the fan deserves more. We believe we should assemble an entire team consisting of the best parts.

We not only put together an entire roster, but we did it in a way that would fit an MLB lineup. Some players will be asked to shift positions if we felt the player could make the move and that the team would greatly benefit.


You already know the names of most, but do you know where they fit into the NYC all-time club?

Remember, days in San Francisco or Los Angeles mean nothing for this club. Here is ESNY’s New York City Baseball All-Time Roster:

1. Jackie Robinson, R (2B-BKN)

Leading off for the all-time New York baseball club will be second-baseman Jackie Robinson.

Spending his entire career in Brooklyn (10 seasons), Robinson was the perfect lead-off hitter. His career consisted of 197 stolen bases, a .311 batting average, and a .409 on-base percentage.

Robinson’s speed and raw ability are the perfect ingredients to set up the rest of this powerful lineup.

2. Joe DiMaggio, R (LF-NYY)

Joe DiMaggio in left field?

Yes. We ask Joltin’ Joe to slide over to left thanks to a stacked lineup. We know he can do it, and besides, it’s much less blasphemous than having the man come off the bench.

DiMaggio’s .398 OBP and .325 BA will follow Robinson in a nice way. Sticking the righty bat here will be a tremendous start to the lineup as well.

If you need power, Joe D can deliver. If you need to advance the runner, Joe D can deliver. If you need him to be patient while Jackie works his magic on the base paths, Joe D can deliver.

3. Babe Ruth, L (DH-NYY)

First Robinson, then DiMaggio, then Babe Ruth.

Honestly, when looking to put together a roster of this magnitude, you start with Ruth. You basically put the Babe in the No. 3 hole and build around that.

However, we didn’t put Babe in right field. Instead, we decided to let our best hitter (and player) focus his time and energy up at the plate in the designated hitter role. He isn’t a defensive liability by any means – as he’s sneaky athletic and has a cannon for an arm – it’s just that we’re loaded in the outfield.

You know the numbers. Ruth’s 714 home runs rank third all-time. His career .342 batting average and .690 slugging percentage are out of this world.

Along with Robinson, Ruth was the single most important baseball player who has ever played. He did that much to change the game.

4. Willie Mays, R (CF-NYG, NYM)

How about sticking a guy who’s fifth all-time in baseball’s history in home runs as your cleanup hitter?

Yeah, that’s what we did with New York Giants centerfielder Willie Mays.

Mays’s 660 home runs not only makes him a dangerous cleanup hitter for this club, but his defense in centerfield is second to none.

With Mays in center and DiMaggio in left, this club has a phenomenal athleticism-like feel to it.

Though Mays played the majority of his career in San Francisco, his first six seasons in the bigs were in New York with the Giants. His last two were with the Mets in Flushing.

5. Lou Gehrig, L (1B-NYY)

Although Lou Gehrig got his No. 4 for batting behind Babe Ruth in the lineup (cleanup), we put him in the No. 5 hole.

It makes sense to split the lefties up, in Ruth and Gehrig, with Mays. Going lefty, righty, lefty with three of the more dangerous hitters in baseball history will have opponents soiling themselves on a daily basis.

With a .340 average and 1,995 career RBI, Gehrig absolutely fits the No. 5 power slot.

Oh yeah, we also know he’ll be there for us to play every day.

6. Mickey Mantle, S (RF-NYY)

Speed, power, agility; there wasn’t anything the great No. 7 couldn’t do.

Mickey Mantle, while splendid as a defensive centerfielder, is asked to slide to rightfield for our club. He’ll easily be able to make that change. In fact, he’ll dominate that position with his rocket for an arm and top-end speed in any direction.

Having The Mick in the No. 6 spot not only extends the power down the middle of the lineup, but also provides some speed in a nice spot. It also gives us versatility in having a switch-hitter in the middle.

7. Alex Rodriguez, R (3B-NYY)

No matter where you look, Alex Rodriguez is the man for the job at third base.

Could somebody make an argument for David Wright? Absolutely. When comparing, however, A-Rod trumps Wright in every way.

Not only is he a better fielder at the hot-corner, but A-Rod’s 347 HR and 1,077 RBI in 12 seasons in New York absolutely destroy Wright’s 238 HR and 963 RBI in 13 seasons. A-Rod’s one World Series championship in New York is one more than Wright has.

PEDs aside, Rodriguez is one of the best baseball talents to ever walk the Earth. He’s currently fourth on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard and is still smashing them out today.

Tough call, but A-Rod it is.

8. Yogi Berra, L (C-NYY)

There was only one choice when it came to the starting catcher spot for this team, and his name is Yogi Berra.

Berra and winning go hand-in-hand.

Doing it with teammates Phil Rizzuto, Whitey Ford, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and a host of others, Berra was the de facto leader of those Pinstripers.

Over 18 seasons with the Yankees, Berra collected three MVPs and an incredible 10 World Series rings (more than any player in history).

Having such a leader behind the plate in guiding a pitching staff is worth its weight in gold. Berra also experienced stints as manager of both the Yankees and Mets.

9. Derek Jeter, R (SS-NYY)

Rounding out our lineup is Derek Jeter.

The wide-eyed kid who considered himself fortunate to be in the Yankees dugout during the 1995 Postseason turned out to become a Yankee legend.

The Captain was more than sheer numbers. He was more than home runs and runs produced. The guy simply captured the moment better than any player this city’s ever witnessed.

Jeter was essentially the modern-day Yogi.

With a career .310 batting average, 1,923 runs scored, and 358 stolen bases, Jeter is the perfect guy to slot into the No. 9 hole. He’ll provide the perfect “double lead-off” for our deadly top of the order.

Bench

Mel Ott, L (OF/3B-NYG)

Roy Campanella, R (C-BKN)

Duke Snider, L (OF-BKN)

Mike Piazza, R (C/DH-NYM)

Pee Wee Reese, R (SS-BKN)

Names such as Mel Ott, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Mike Piazza, and Pee-Wee Reese coming off the bench just proves how silly this roster is.

Ott was the top snub to the starting lineup. He needed to beat out A-Rod and simply couldn’t. Besides, Ott’s ability to play both third and the outfield provides great flexibility off the bench. He’d probably also be the backup first baseman.

The roster carries three catchers, all of whom can hit the hell out of the ball. Campanella would be the top backup. Piazza provides terrific right-handed power off the bench while Ott does the same from the left side.

Snider would be used as a defensive jockey should any of the starters need a blow. Reese would be the ultimate utility man.

The toughest two snubs of the entire everyday roster were the Mets David Wright and the Giants/Yankees Johnny Mize.

Starting Rotation

1. Tom Seaver (RHP-NYM)

2. Christy Mathewson (RHP-NYG)

3. Whitey Ford (LHP-NYY)

4. Doc Gooden (RHP-NYM)

5. Don Newcombe (RHP-BKN)

The choice of Tom Seaver as the ace of the staff basically comes down to gut. Either he or Christy Mathewson would get the call. Based on sheer numbers alone, it’s easy to choose Mathewson. His incredible 373 wins and 2.13 ERA are tribute to just that.

However, we went with Seaver thanks to witnessing the pure greatness he displayed for his franchise. That and Mathewson pitched during the dead-ball era, which is tough to analyze.

Seaver and Whitey Ford are a terrific righty-lefty combo after Mathewson. Doc Gooden, while he certainly should’ve enjoyed a better career, is a phenomenal choice for Game 4 of any postseason series.

Don Newcombe, the best pitcher to ever wear the Brooklyn Dodgers uniform, rounds out our rotation.

Bullpen

Closer: Mariano Rivera (RHP-NYY)

Setup: Goose Gossage (RHP-NYY)

Setup: John Franco (LHP-NYM)

Middle: Tug McGraw (LHP-NYM)

Middle: Red Ruffing (RHP-NYY)

Long: Carl Hubbell (RHP-NYG)

Putting together the bullpen was, perhaps, the toughest section on the list.

For one, the position of relief pitcher didn’t really materialize until the 1970s.

Secondly, it’s tough to take a bullpen of pure relievers when it’s most definitely feasible to believe starters can do the job as well. That’s what we did with both Carl Hubbell and Red Ruffing, in taking the last two bullpen spots. Each guy could provide a spot start when called upon.

The choice with Mariano Rivera at closer was easy. Goose Gossage and John Franco in the setup spots present a nice one-two righty-lefty punch late in games.

Tug McGraw barely beat out the likes of Sparky Lyle and Dave Righetti for the top middle relief spot.

Lefty Gomez was the killer name to leave off of the entire 11-man pitching staff.

Coaching Staff / Front Office

Manager: Casey Stengel (NYY, NYM, BKN)

General Manager: Ed Barrow (NYY)

Assistant GM: Branch Rickey (BKN)

Scouting Director: Frank Cashen (NYM)

Owner: George Steinbrenner (NYY)

Bench Coach: John McGraw (NYG, NYY)

Pitching Coach: Jim Turner (NYY)

Hitting Instructor: Gil Hodges (NYM)

3rd Base Coach: Joe Torre (NYY)

1st Base Coach: Joe McCarthy (NYY)

Not only did Casey Stengel manage the New York Yankees to seven World Series championships, he also served as manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Mets at one point in his storied baseball career.

The tough snubs on our overall staff included Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, Yankees manager Miller Huggins, Yankees owner Jacob Rupert, Yankees’ general managers George Weiss and Lee MacPhail, and Brooklyn Dodgers/New York Giants manager Leo Durocher.

That provides just a glance into how tough it was putting together a 10-man coaching/front office staff.

While George Steinbrenner is a tad overrated, the ability to connect with a fanbase and just be there enough to show the world that he cares is the main reason he gets his name in that owner’s slot.

Roster At A Glance

Everyday Lineup

1. Jackie Robinson, R (2B-BKN)
2. Joe DiMaggio, R (LF-NYY)
3. Babe Ruth, L (DH-NYY)
4. Willie Mays, R (CF-NYG)
5. Lou Gehrig, L (1B-NYY)
6. Mickey Mantle, S (RF-NYY)
7. Alex Rodriguez, R (3B-NYY)
8. Yogi Berra, L (C-NYY)
9. Derek Jeter, R (SS-NYY)
Bench: Mel Ott, L (OF/3B-NYG)
Bench: Roy Campanella, R (C-BKN)
Bench: Duke Snider, L (OF-BKN)
Bench: Mike Piazza, R (C/DH-NYM)
Bench: Pee Wee Reese, R (SS/INF-BKN)

Pitching Staff

No. 1 Starter: Tom Seaver (RHP-NYM)
No. 2 Starter: Christy Mathewson (RHP-NYG)
No. 3 Starter: Whitey Ford (LHP-NYY)
No. 4 Starter: Doc Gooden (RHP-NYM)
No. 5 Starter: Don Newcombe (RHP-BKN)
Long Man: Carl Hubbell (RHP-NYG)
Middle Relief: Red Ruffing (RHP-NYY)
Middle Relief: Tug McGraw (LHP-NYM)
Setup Man: John Franco (LHP-NYM)
Setup Man: Goose Gossage (RHP-NYY)
Closer: Mariano Rivera (RHP-NYY)

Coaching Staff / Front Office

Manager: Casey Stengel (NYY, NYM, BKN)
General Manager: Ed Barrow (NYY)
Assistant GM: Branch Rickey (BKN)
Head Scout: Frank Cashen (NYM)
Owner: George Steinbrenner (NYY)
Bench Coach: John McGraw (NYG, NYY)
Pitching Coach: Jim Turner (NYY)
Hitting Instructor: Gil Hodges (NYM)
3rd Base Coach: Joe Torre (NYY)
1st Base Coach: Joe McCarthy (NYY)


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