This season, the New York Yankees are in the conversation for one of the greatest lineups of all-time. However, what Yankees teams really posted the best lineups over the years?
The great thing about New York Yankees‘ history is that it is so rich in success that it’s hard to pick the best of the best. The bad thing about the Yankees’ history? When you have to pick the five best lineups, there are far too many to choose from.
Over the years, the Yankees have snagged 27 World Series championships, collected 40 American League division titles and 18 AL East division titles. They are truly the most successful franchise in the history of sports.
And you don’t get to this elite level simply by being lucky. They had some incredible talent leading the way, some more prominent and some underrated superstars. Nevertheless, the Yankees always found a way to win.
Some years, they had exceptional talent all across the board leading to wildly successful seasons and stacked lineups. But where do these all stack up?
Take a trip down memory lane and peruse through our top five greatest Yankees lineups of all time.
5. 1977: The Zoo comes to town
Welcome the Bronx Zoo, they’ll crush you. Billy Martin’s team was entertaining to watch and successful, as they went 100-62 in the regular season. This year also marked the first World Series title for the Yankees under George Steinbrenner.
The boys in pinstripes batted .281 for the season and while they only had 184 home runs, they got a lot of production out of their lineup, with three players totaling 100 or more RBIs (Munson, Jackson and Graig Nettles).
The Bronx Zoo, indeed. This season had a stellar lineup and is a great way to kick off the countdown.
4. 1932: Hall of Famers galore
When was the last time a Yankees team had more than four future Hall of Famers? Okay, what about nine?
That was the case in 1932 with the Yankees. Their season ended in another World Series but the regular season was even more impressive. Finishing with a 107-47 record, the Yankees also had nine (NINE!) future Hall of Famers. Those players are Earle Combs, Babe Ruth, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Sewell and Herb Pennock.
I mean…with a lineup like that, how could you NOT come out on top? Plus the Yankees swept the Chicago Cubs to capture their World Series title. This team HAD to be on the list.
3. 1998: The Dream Team
Hopefully, some of you youngsters are more familiar with this team. The Joe Torre-led squad featured Paul O’Neill, Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and Darryl Strawberry. The rotation featured the likes of Andy Pettitte, David Cone and David Wells. All of that culminated in a 114-48 record in the regular season, a feat that stands as the record for most wins in a single season for a Yankees franchise.
The team, as a whole, batted .288 with 207 home runs. To finish out the impressive season, they swept the San Diego Padres, their second sweep of the playoffs. While their lineup wasn’t necessarily stacked at face value, it definitely paid off, bringing the Yankees their 24th World Series.
All in all, it was a magical season for the Yankees and one in the modern era of the game that was absolutely remarkable. Maybe we’ll see a repeat in 2018?
2. 1961: M&M dominate
Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle put on a clinic for the rest of baseball during that season and for years to come. But these two weren’t the only ones who brought the Yankees a 109-53 record for the season.
Yogi Berra also highlighted that lineup, along with Elston Howard (.348 BA and 21 home runs) and a 25-year-old Bobby Richardson. While they didn’t have the best team batting average (.263), they crushed 240 home runs. With this season’s New York Yankees’ squad, they could easily eclipse that.
Regardless, the M&M era was most impressive in 1961. That was the year of the great home run race and also the year where the Yankees defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series to bring home yet another title.
Oh, and Whitey Ford won a Cy Young Award for his outstanding 25-4 record and 3.21 ERA.
1. 1927: Murderer’s Row
Did you expect anything less? The 1927 Yankees are the team that made people view dominance in a whole new light. Even today, they are still being discussed because of their terrifying lineup with the appropriate nickname of “Murderer’s Row.”
Lead primarily by the legend Babe Ruth and a 24-year-old Lou Gehrig and coached by the impressive Miller Huggins, the 1927 Yankees went on to sweep the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series that season and a dominating 110-44 record in the regular season. The team as a whole batted .307 on the year as well.
Any team that has Ruth and Gehrig on it has to be at least in consideration but they completely dominated in 1927. Gehrig led the team in batting average (.373) and Ruth and Earle Combs tied for second with a .356 BA. Ruth also slugged 60 home runs and Gehrig added 47 to make the team that much more deadly.
This season’s squad has already been dubbed Murderer’s Row 2.0 with Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez leading the way. Can they live up to this gold standard? That’s what we have to look forward to this year.
Hopefully next year there will be another team to add to this list.