Love 'em or hate 'em, the New York Yankees are synonymous with baseball. Baseball's most dominant team boasts a league-leading 27 titles and 40 pennants, not to mention plenty of Hall of Famers. Where do the current stars rank among the greats of the past?
Alex Rodriguez, 3B — 2004-present
Rodriguez hasn't had the longest, or smoothest, career with the Yankees ... and it could be coming to a surprising end with a suspension looming. A-Rod became the youngest player to hit 500 home runs — and then 600 — beating Babe Ruth's pace by more than a year. Rodriguez won a World Series with the Yankees in 2009.
Reggie Jackson, OF/DH — 1977-81
Simply put, Jackson's postseason numbers are eye-popping. His clutch hitting in the playoffs earned him the nickname "Mr. October." In Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, he belted three home runs off three different Dodgers pitchers. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993, Jackson's No. 44 jersey is retired by the Yankees.
Whitey Ford, P — 1950–67
Hall of Famer Whitey Ford spent his entire 18-year career with the Yankees. Nicknamed "The Chairman of the Board" for his ability to remain calm in pressure-packed situations, he was a six-time World Series champ and holds the record for most games won (236) with the Yankees.
Derek Jeter, SS — 1995-present
Jeter, another Yankees lifer, started his career in New York with a bang, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1996. He was then instrumental in New York's World Series victories in the mid-to-late '90s. The Yankees captain since 2003, Jeter's the Yankees all-time hits leader, hitting his 3,000th with a homer on July 9, 2011.
Yogi Berra, C — 1946-63
Berra's widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, if not the greatest. He won a record 10 World Series titles with the Yankees. A force with the bat, he's also famous for his unique take on the English language. Berra, a three-time AL MVP, was known for being able to hit even the worst pitches, to which he said, "If I can hit it, it's a good pitch."
Mariano Rivera, RP — 1995–present
It seems as though Rivera has been anchoring the Yankees' bullpen forever. The ageless wonder continues to amaze, setting the all-time saves record on on Sept. 19, 2011 — and he's not done yet. He also boasts the MLB postseason record for saves and ERA, marks both he and the Yankees hope to improve upon.
Joe DiMaggio, OF — 1936–42 and 1946–51
DiMaggio's a legend for his game both on and off the field. He holds what many consider to be an unbreakable record: a 56-game hitting streak. "The Yankee Clipper" was an All-Star selection in all 13 of his major league seasons, thanks in large part to his hitting prowess and ability to patrol center field with blistering speed. Off the field, DiMaggio's best known for his marriage to Hollywood pin-up Marilyn Monroe. He missed three seasons because of military service.
Mickey Mantle, OF — 1951-68
"The Mick" spent the entirety of his dominant 18-year career in Yankees pinstripes. A switch-hitter, Mantle won the Triple Crown in 1956, to go along with three AL MVP honors during his career. Mantle holds multiple World Series hitting records, including most home runs (18) and runs batted in (40).
Lou Gehrig, 1B — 1923-39
Gehrig was a member of the Yankees from 1923-39, enjoying his breakout season in 1926. To this day, he still holds many hitting records, including most career grand slams, with 23. He was dubbed the "The Iron Horse" for his consecutive games played streak (2,130), a record that stood for 56 years. His career was suddenly halted at age 36 by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), now commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease. He died in 1941.
Babe Ruth, OF/P — 1920-34
The best Yankee ever is inarguably Babe Ruth. Yankee Stadium will forever be known as "The House that Ruth Built," and for good reason. Ruth was the first player to belt 30, 40, 50 and 60 home runs. In 1920, his 54 bombs with the Yankees eclipsed the total for every other American League team. The Babe: a Yankees, and baseball, legend.