09/23/09 5:10 AM ET
Legends dominate Yanks' All-Time 9
Berra, Gehrig, Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio among early leaders
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
But to select the "All-Time 9" starting lineup of the greatest campaigns by hitters in franchise history is a slightly more daunting task -- one that, thus far, the baseball masses have not been shy at all about lending a hand in.
Here's a look at how the Yankees' closest races are shaping up:
C: Yogi Berra, the greatest living Yankee, always enjoys some of the loudest cheers upon his introductions at the Stadium, and it should be no surprise that Berra is receiving plenty of support in the balloting. Behind his 1950 campaign (.322 BA, 28 HR, 124 RBIs), Berra leads his Yankees catching brethren by more than 20,000 votes at the latest checkpoint, but fans are also showing plenty of love for Bill Dickey, Thurman Munson and Jorge Posada.
1B: Derek Jeter may have caught Lou Gehrig this month, logging his 2,722nd hit to eclipse the Iron Horse, but there's likely no catching Gehrig in this ballot. Fueled by his 1927 showing in the Murderer's Row lineup (.373 BA, 47 HR, 175 RBIs, 149 R), Gehrig is up by 28,000 votes over his nearest closest competitor, Donald Arthur Mattingly and his 1985 MVP season (.324 BA, 35 HR, 145 RBIs).
OF: It's the outfield alignment of dreams, even if you can't be exactly sure where everyone would play. But with the lethal bats of Babe Ruth (1927: .356 BA, 60 HR, 164 RBIs), Mickey Mantle (1956: .353 BA, 52 HR, 130 RBIs) and Joe DiMaggio (1937: .346 BA, 46 HRs, 167 RBIs) all ranked one through three in the all-time Yankees outfield, would it really matter where they'd be on defense? Roger Maris (1961: .269 BA, 61 HR, 142 RBIs) comes in fourth in his pursuit of the all-time 9s, trailing by 23,000 votes.
2B: He was the chip the Yankees had to part with to install Alex Rodriguez into the infield, but fans haven't forgotten the contributions and bright potential of Alfonso Soriano (2002: .300 BA, 39 HRs, 102 RBIs, 41 SBs), who has jumped ahead by about 9,000 votes among second basemen. Willie Randolph (1987: .305 BA, 7 HR, 67 RBIs) and Robinson Cano (2009) are primed to make up ground behind Soriano and put a dent in that lead.
SS: 3,000 hits and a place in Cooperstown should be a cinch for Jeter, who is sitting pretty atop the list of Yankees all-time shortstops. The strength of his season for the 1999 World Series champs (.349 BA, 24 HR, 102 RBIs) is giving him a lofty lead over "The Scooter," Phil Rizzuto, (1950: .324 BA, 7 HRs, 66 RBIs) and Tony Kubek (1960: .273 BA, 14 HRs, 62 RBIs).
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.