2002 New York Yankees

Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, and Alphonso Soriano were three key players of the 2002 New York Yankees.

Table of Contents

The final standingLost the ALDS to the Angels
Regular-season record103–58 (.640)
Post-season record1-3
Divisional rank1st
ALDS record and opponentLost 1-3 vs Anaheim Angels
AL rank1
ALCS record and opponentDid not play
World Series record and opponentDid not play
ManagerJoe Torre
CaptainNone
Top batterHome runs: Jason Giambi (41), Alfonso Soriano (39), Robin Ventura (27), Jorge Posada (20)

BA: Bernie Williams (.333), Jason Giambi (.314), Alfonso Soriano (.300), Derek Jeter (.297)

Runs: Alfonso Soriano (128), Derek Jeter (124), Jason Giambi (120)

RBI: Jason Giambi (122), Bernie Williams (102), Alfonso Soriano (102), Jorge Posada (99)
Top pitcher/ (W-L, ERA)David Wells: 19-7, 3.75
Andy Pettitte: 13-5, 3.27
Mike Mussina: 18-10, 4.05
Roger Clemens: 13-6, 4.35
Attendance record3,465,807 (2nd of 14)

2002 New York Yankees season: A brief summary

The tale of the 2002 New York Yankees season is not your average baseball story. Picture this: a season that began with the birth of the YES Network, showcasing the Bronx Bombers as a powerhouse ready to conquer the diamond. Led by the dynamic duo of Alfonso Soriano and Jason Giambi, the Yankees embarked on a roller coaster of highs and lows, leaving fans on the edge of their seats. This wasn’t just another season; it was a saga of resilience, heartbreak, and a team’s quest for glory. 

The season began slowly, with the 2002 New York Yankees trailing the Boston Red Sox early on. However, a dramatic turnaround in May, including a memorable game against the Minnesota Twins, showcased the team’s resilience. Giambi’s walk-off grand slam in that game became a turning point, propelling the Yankees to a stellar 19-9 record for the month.

The 2002 New York Yankees offense, featuring the likes of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Bernie Williams, was a force to be reckoned with, leading the league in runs scored, OBP, and SLG. Giambi and Soriano’s combined 80 home runs added to the team’s offensive prowess. On the pitching side, the rotation boasted veterans like Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, supported by a reliable bullpen featuring Mariano Rivera.

The mid-season trades for Raul Mondesi and Jeff Weaver aimed to strengthen the team, although Mondesi’s contributions were questionable. The 2002 New York Yankees finished the regular season 10.5 games ahead of the Red Sox, securing their place as American League favorites.

However, the postseason brought unexpected heartbreak. Facing the wild card-winning Anaheim Angels in the ALDS, the 2002 New York Yankees held leads in the 5th inning or later in every game but faltered consistently. The pitching staff, touted as one of the best of the decade, crumbled, giving up 31 runs in the four-game series. Despite a dominant regular season, the Yankees were stunned and eliminated, marking the end of their quest for a fifth consecutive World Series appearance.

The legacy of the 2002 New York Yankees includes the end of Jason Giambi’s peak performance in pinstripes and a decline in Bernie Williams’ contributions. The team experienced a transitional phase, bidding farewell to stalwarts like Paul O’Neill and Tino Martinez. Despite the disappointment, the Yankees would rebound in the following seasons, maintaining their status as perennial contenders. The season serves as a reminder that even the most dominant teams can face unforeseen challenges in the unforgiving landscape of postseason baseball.

Best moment of 2002 New York Yankees – The rainy redemption

In the annals of the 2002 New York Yankees season, one moment stands out as the epitome of Jason Giambi’s impact on pinstripes. The rain-soaked night of May 17, 2002, was more than just another regular-season game; it became the canvas for Giambi to paint his first magical moment in the iconic Yankees uniform.

Giambi had arrived in the Bronx amid a flurry of fanfare, signing a blockbuster 7-year, $120 million deal on December 13, 2001. The expectations were as immense as his contract, and as the raindrops fell on that fateful May night, Giambi stepped into the batter’s box with the chance to redefine his legacy in the pinstripes.

The 2002 New York Yankees found themselves in a precarious situation, trailing the Minnesota Twins 12-9 in the 14th inning. The tension in the stadium was palpable, the rain adding an extra layer of drama to the already charged atmosphere. The setup was nothing short of cinematic, the kind of scenario that Yankees fans had envisioned when Giambi inked his monumental deal.

Then, with one swing of the bat, Giambi etched his name into Yankees lore. He unleashed an ultimate grand slam, a term reserved for a player hitting a bases-loaded, walk-off homer when his team enters its final at-bat trailing by three runs. It was a rare and exhilarating feat, the kind of clutch performance that defines a player’s legacy in the Bronx.

The significance of Giambi’s heroics on that rainy night went beyond the box score. This was more than just a walk-off homer; it was a defining moment for a player burdened with immense expectations. The 14th-inning blast marked the 21st time in baseball history that a player had hit a game-ending grand slam with his team down three runs. Remarkably, Babe Ruth was the only previous Yankee to achieve this feat, doing so on September 24, 1925.

Yankees manager Joe Torre, reflecting on Giambi’s performance, captured the sentiment perfectly: “This is the setup we’ve been waiting for since we signed Jason Giambi. I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked when is he going to have his defining moment.” In the rain-soaked aftermath of that game, Giambi had delivered the defining moment that Yankees fans had longed for, cementing his place in the team’s rich history and setting the tone for a season that would be filled with highs and heartbreaking lows.

2002 New York Yankees season in videos

ALDS result

Yankees 1-3 Angels

#DateOpponentScoreWinLossSaveLocationAttendanceRecord
1October 1Angels8–5Karsay (1–0)Weber (0–1)Rivera (1)Yankee Stadium56,7101–0
2October 2Angels6–8Rodriguez (1–0)Hernandez (0–1)Percival (1)Yankee Stadium56,6951–1
3October 4@ Angels6–9Rodriguez (2–0)Stanton (0–1)Percival (2)Edison International Field of Anaheim45,0721–2
4October 5@ Angels5–9Washburn (1–0)Wells (0–1)Edison International Field of Anaheim45,0671–3

ALCS result

(Didn’t play)

World Series result

(Didn’t play)

2002 New York Yankees roster

NameAgeBTHtWtDoBYrsGGSWARSalary
Alex Arias34RR6′ 3″185Nov 20, 19671162-0.1
Alberto Castillo32RR6′ 0″184Feb 10, 197081512-0.4$650,000
Randy Choate26LL6′ 1″205Sep 5, 19753180-0.2$223,350
Roger Clemens39RR6′ 4″205Aug 4, 19621929292.7$10,300,000
Ron Coomer35RR5′ 11″195Nov 18, 196685536-0.7$750,000
Karim Garcia26LL6′ 0″210Oct 29, 1975821-0.1
Jason Giambi31LR6′ 3″240Jan 8, 197181551557.1$10,428,571
Drew Henson22RR6′ 5″222Feb 13, 19801st300
Adrián Hernández27RR6′ 1″185Mar 25, 1975221-0.3
Orlando Hernandez36RR6′ 2″210Oct 11, 1965524223.7$3,200,000
Sterling Hitchcock31LL6′ 1″200Apr 29, 197111202-0.2$4,936,719
Derek Jeter HOF28RR6′ 3″195Jun 26, 197481571573.7$14,600,000
Nick Johnson23LL6′ 3″235Sep 19, 197821291090.8$220,650
Steve Karsay30RR6′ 3″210Mar 24, 197287802.5$4,000,000
Brandon Knight26LR6′ 0″175Oct 1, 1975270-0.3
Ted Lilly26LL6′ 0″195Jan 4, 1976416112.1$237,150
Ramiro Mendoza30RR6′ 2″154Jun 15, 197276201.5$2,600,000
Raúl Mondesí31RR5′ 11″202Mar 12, 1971107171-0.2
Mike Mussina HOF33LR6′ 2″185Dec 8, 19681233334.6$11,000,000
Andy Pettitte30LL6′ 5″235Jun 15, 1972822223.3$9,500,000
Jorge Posada31BR6′ 2″215Aug 17, 197081431364$7,000,000
Juan Rivera23RR6′ 2″220Jul 3, 1978228250
Mariano Rivera HOF32RR6′ 2″195Nov 29, 196984501.6$9,450,000
Alfonso Soriano26RR6′ 1″195Jan 7, 197641561544.9$630,000
Shane Spencer30RR5′ 11″210Feb 20, 197259477-0.1$885,000
Mike Stanton35LL6′ 1″190Jun 2, 1967147902.3$2,500,000
Jay Tessmer30RR6′ 3″190Dec 26, 19714200$210,000
Marcus Thames25RR6′ 2″220Mar 6, 19771st720
Mike Thurman28RR6′ 4″190Jul 22, 197361220.2
John Vander Wal36LL6′ 1″180Apr 29, 19661284650.4$1,850,000
Robin Ventura34LR6′ 1″185Jul 14, 1967141411303.7$8,500,000
Jeff Weaver25RR6′ 5″200Aug 22, 197641581.4
David Wells39LL6′ 3″187May 20, 19631631313.7$2,250,000
Rondell White30RR6′ 1″193Feb 23, 1972101261151.4$4,500,000
Chris Widger31RR6′ 3″195May 21, 1971721180.2
Bernie Williams33BR6′ 2″180Sep 13, 1968121541534.5$12,357,143
Gerald Williams35RR6′ 2″190Aug 10, 196611332-0.5$2,000,000
Enrique Wilson28BR5′ 11″160Jul 27, 197366020-0.9$720,000

2002 New York Yankees player additions, transactions, and trades

November

  • November 5, 2001: Free agency granted to Scott Brosius, Chuck Knoblauch, Tino Martinez, Randy Velarde, and Mark Wohlers.
  • November 6, 2001: Sterling Hitchcock and Luis Sojo granted free agency.
  • November 13, 2001: Melky Cabrera signed as an amateur free agent.
  • November 19, 2001: Free agency granted to Paul O’Neill.

December

  • December 7, 2001: Steve Karsay signed as a free agent. David Justice traded to the New York Mets, receiving Robin Ventura.
  • December 13, 2001: Jay Witasick traded to the San Francisco Giants, receiving John Vander Wal.
  • December 17, 2001: Rondell White signed as a free agent.
  • December 18, 2001: Jason Giambi and Sterling Hitchcock signed as free agents. Bernie Castro traded to the San Diego Padres, receiving Kevin Reese.
  • December 21, 2001: Alberto Castillo and F.P. Santangelo signed as free agents.
  • December 31, 2001: Jalal Leach signed as a free agent.

January

  • January 4, 2002: Brett Jodie selected off waivers from the San Diego Padres.
  • January 8, 2002: Luis Sojo signed as a free agent.
  • January 17, 2002: David Wells signed as a free agent. Clay Bellinger released.
  • January 20, 2002: David Manning signed as a free agent.
  • January 22, 2002: Jay Tessmer signed as a free agent.
  • January 28, 2002: Ron Coomer signed as a free agent.

February

  • February 1, 2002: Chris Widger signed as a free agent.
  • February 4, 2002: Manny Alexander signed as a free agent.
  • February 14, 2002: Ben Rivera and Ruben Rivera signed as free agents.

March

  • March 11, 2002: Ruben Rivera released.
  • March 12, 2002: Ben Rivera released.
  • March 15, 2002: Mike Thurman signed as a free agent. Manny Alexander granted free agency.
  • March 27, 2002: Bobby Estalella and Todd Greene released.
  • March 30, 2002: David Manning released.

April

  • April 2, 2002: Karim Garcia signed as a free agent.
  • April 8, 2002: Billy McMillon and Bill Pulsipher signed as free agents.
  • April 12, 2002: Brian McNichol signed as a free agent.
  • April 13, 2002: F.P. Santangelo released.
  • April 23, 2002: Matt Beech signed as a free agent.
  • April 30, 2002: Wilton Lopez signed as an amateur free agent.

May

  • May 23, 2002: Bill Pulsipher released.

June

  • June 4, 2002: Matt Carson, Brad Halsey, Eric Hacker, Dane De La Rosa, Phil Coke drafted in the amateur draft.
  • June 5, 2002: Gerald Williams released.
  • June 6, 2002: Craig Dingman received from the Cincinnati Reds as part of a conditional deal. Alex Arias and Robert Perez signed as free agents. Bob Scanlan purchased from the Colorado Rockies.
  • June 7, 2002: Kurt Abbott signed as a free agent.
  • June 12, 2002: Nate Field selected off waivers from the Kansas City Royals.
  • June 14, 2002: Kurt Abbott released.
  • June 25, 2002: Brian McNichol released.

July

  • July 1, 2002: Scott Wiggins traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, receiving Raul Mondesí.
  • July 2, 2002: Karim Garcia released.
  • July 5, 2002: Jason Arnold, John-Ford Griffin, and Ted Lilly traded to the Oakland Athletics, receiving Jeff Weaver from the Detroit Tigers.
  • July 11, 2002: Seth Etherton selected off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds.
  • July 23, 2002: The previous waiver selection of Seth Etherton from the Cincinnati Reds voided, and player returned.

September

  • September 2, 2002: Brett Jodie released.

October

  • October 10, 2002: Alberto Castillo released.
  • October 11, 2002: Mike Thurman granted free agency.

2002 New York Yankees player debuts

  • Drew Henson – 09-05-2002 – 22 years old
  • Marcus Thames – 06-10-2002 – 25 years old

2002 New York Yankees team stats (batting)

PosNameAgeGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBA
CJorge Posada3114359851179137401209910811430.268
1BJason Giambi3115568956012017634141122221091120.314
2BAlfonso Soriano26156741696128209512391024113231570.3
SSDerek Jeter281577306441241912601875323731140.297
3BRobin Ventura3414156246568115170279331901010.247
LFRondell White301264944555910921014621225860.24
CFBernie Williams33154699612102204372191028483970.333
RFRaúl Mondesí­3171302270396518011436428460.241
DHNick Johnson23129441378569215015581348980.243
OFShane Spencer309432928832711526340331620.247
RFJohn Vander Wal368424521930571716201123580.26
3BRon Coomer3555156148143970317006230.264
IFEnrique Wilson2860119105171922211118220.181
OFJuan Rivera232891839225016116100.265
CChris Widger31216864419500500290.297
CAlberto Castillo32154137351104001120.135
OFGerald Williams3533191760000020240
OFMarcus Thames257131323101200040.231
IFAlex Arias3468700000000120
OFKarim Garcia2625511000000010.2
DHDrew Henson2231110000000010
Team Totals30.1161637756018971540314122238571003864011710.275
Rank in 14 AL teams5134142671143

2002 New York Yankees team stats (pitching)

PosNameAgeWLW-L%ERAGGSGFCGSHOSVIPHRER
SPMike Mussina3318100.6434.0533330220215.220810397
SPDavid Wells391970.7313.7531310210206.121010086
SPRoger Clemens391360.6844.35292900001801729487
SPOrlando Hernandez36850.6153.64242210011461316359
SPAndy Pettitte301350.7223.2722220310134.21445849
SPTed Lilly26360.3333.41611121076.2573129
CLMariano Rivera32140.22.7445037002846351614
RPRamiro Mendoza30840.6673.446201400491.21024335
RPSteve Karsay30640.63.2678038001288.1873332
RPMike Stanton35710.87537902500678732926
RPSterling Hitchcock31120.3335.492021100039.1572924
Jeff Weaver25530.6254.04158300278813835
Mike Thurman281015.18122600033452119
Randy Choate26006.041801100022.1181815
Brandon Knight260011.427050008.2111211
Adrián Hernández270101221000061088
Jay Tessmer30006.752000001.1011
Team Totals33.2103580.643.87161161152955314521441697625
Rank in 14 AL teams11444522644

2002 New York Yankees record vs. opponents/ team splits

Opponent (Games)WonLostWP
Anaheim Angels (7)430.571
Arizona Diamondbacks (3)210.667
Baltimore Orioles (19)1360.684
Boston Red Sox (19)1090.526
Chicago White Sox (6)420.667
Cleveland Indians (9)630.667
Colorado Rockies (3)210.667
Detroit Tigers (9)810.889
Kansas City Royals (6)510.833
Minnesota Twins (6)601.000
New York Mets (6)330.500
Oakland Athletics (9)540.556
San Diego Padres (3)210.667
San Francisco Giants (3)210.667
Seattle Mariners (9)450.444
Tampa Bay Devil Rays (18)1350.722
Texas Rangers (7)430.571
Toronto Blue Jays (19)1090.526

2002 New York Yankees monthly record

Month (Games)WonLostWP
April (27)17100.630
May (28)1990.679
June (26)14120.538
July (25)1780.680
August (28)17110.607
September (27)1980.704

2002 New York Yankees All-Stars

  • Jorge Posada
  • Jason Giambi
  • Alfonso Soriano
  • Mariano Rivera
  • Robin Ventura
  • Derek Jeter
  • Joe Torre (as Manager)

2002 New York Yankees awards and honors

Silver Slugger Awards

  • Bernie Williams – AL Silver Slugger
  • Jason Giambi – AL Silver Slugger
  • Jorge Posada – AL Silver Slugger
  • Alfonso Soriano – AL Silver Slugger

Single-Season Record

Alfonso Soriano set the record for the most home runs in one season by an American League second baseman (39).

Other Achievements

  • Alfonso Soriano finished 3rd in AL MVP Voting.
  • Jason Giambi finished 5th in AL MVP Voting.
  • Bernie Williams finished 10th in AL MVP Voting.
  • Joe Torre finished 4th in AL Manager of the Year Voting.

The 2002 New York Yankees’ heartbreaking ALDS collapse

In the storied history of the New York Yankees, the 2002 season marked an uncharacteristic twist—a tale of missed opportunities. After a regular season that saw the Yankees lead baseball with an impressive 103 wins, their journey took an unexpected turn in the American League Division Series (ALDS) against the Anaheim Angels.

Facing the Wild Card-winning Angels, who hadn’t tasted postseason success since Dave Henderson’s home run cost them the American League pennant in 1986, the Yankees were poised for another deep playoff run. However, destiny had other plans, and the 2002 ALDS became a narrative of missed chances and untimely collapses.

The 2002 New York Yankees found themselves in a matchup against a resurgent Angels team that embraced the role of underdogs. Despite the Yankees leading in the 5th inning or later in every single game of the series, the pitching staff crumbled at crucial moments, unraveling the dreams of a fifth consecutive World Series appearance.

Game 1 set the tone for the series, with Roger Clemens, arguably the 2002 New York Yankees’ weakest full-time starter, delivering a mediocre performance. Although the Yankees rallied, tying the game with a Jason Giambi single and sealing the victory with Bernie Williams’ three-run homer, it was merely a prelude to the heartbreak that awaited them.

In Game 2, the 2002 New York Yankees showcased their resilience, led by Soriano’s two-run homer and a late-game surge. However, the bullpen faltered in the 8th and 9th innings, allowing the Angels to snatch an 8-6 victory. The Yankees, usually masters of postseason comebacks, fell short in their bid to regain control of the series.

The series moved to Anaheim for Game 3, where the Yankees held a commanding 6-1 lead. Yet, the pitching staff, once considered one of the best of the decade, crumbled. Mike Mussina’s early exit, coupled with a lackluster bullpen performance, paved the way for the Angels’ comeback, securing a 9-6 win. The Yankees, now on the brink of elimination, faced an uphill battle.

Game 4 in Anaheim became the epitome of the 2002 New York Yankees’ postseason heartbreak in 2002. Despite Derek Jeter’s stellar performance, going 8-for-16 with two homers and six runs scored in the series, the Angels surged ahead with an eight-run inning. The Yankees, staring at elimination, saw their dreams of a fifth straight World Series appearance shattered.

The 2002 ALDS marked the end of an era for the Yankees, signaling the conclusion of a dynasty that had dominated the baseball landscape. For the first time since 1997, the Yankees failed to advance to the World Series, putting an end to their bid for a fifth consecutive pennant. The Angels, fueled by the Year of the Wild Card magic, moved forward on their journey, leaving the Yankees to grapple with an unexpected and painful two-year title drought.

How do you rate the 2002 New York Yankees?

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