The Yankees’ 10 finest shortstops since 1903

Yankees most famous shortstop Derek Jeter and the newest shortstop Anthony Volpe.
Michael Bennington
Monday April 17, 2023

Table of Contents

The 2023 season witnessed the Yankees opening with Anthony Volpe, a 21-year-old rookie, as their all-important shortstop. Many continue to see him as another Derek Jeter, the most famous shortstop ever to play in pinstripes, in the making. However, between 14-time All-Star and five World Series ring holder Jeter and debutant Volpe, the Bombers have many shortstops who rewrote their history and contributed to their success dating back to 1903.

Here are the top 10 Yankees shortstops of all time according to PinstripesNation.

Roger Peckinpaugh (1913-21)

Roger Peckinpaugh played nine of his 17 big league seasons in New York. He was a great defensive shortstop and a strong leader on the field. At age 23, he was the Yankees‘ player-manager and led the team well.

During his Bronx era, the slick infielder led the American League in assists and double plays and went on to have a long career with the Indians as a manager and baseball executive. Peckinpaugh played with Babe Ruth in 1920 and 1921.

Mark Koenig (1925-29)

In his early 20s, Mark Koenig hit better than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. He hit .285 and had a slugging percentage of .382. He played for the Yankees for six years, from 1925 to 1931. In the 1927 World Series, when his team won, he hit.500 without making a mistake in 28 at-bats against Pittsburgh while hitting in front of Ruth and Gehrig.

Koenig was quick at short and could play second or third base when necessary. He was the third most helpful shortstop in all of baseball in 1927. (423). After making a bad play, he got into a fight with Ruth in the dugout.

Frank Crosetti (1932-45)

As a shortstop and third-base coach from 1932 to 1964, “The Crow” helped 17 teams win the World Series and 23 teams win the AL pennant. In eight World Series, Frank Crosetti played great defense for the Yankees in the middle infield. Crosetti was a good fielder with two All-Star appearances. His best year was 1936 when he led off for the Bombers and hit .288/.387/.437 with 15 home runs and 78 RBIs.

Crossetti started his baseball career in pinstripes in 1932. He played shortstop until 1940 when Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto took over the position after Crossetti had a bad year. But when Rizzuto left to join the Navy, he took the job back. In 1946, Rizzuto came back to the club. When Crosetti retired in 1948, he became a player and coach for the club. As a Yankee, he made 948 out of 1,000 plays in the field.

Tony Kubek (1957-63)

From 1957 to 1965, Tony Kubek and Bobby Richardson played double play for the Yankees. The Wisconsin native won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 1957. He also made the All-Star team three times and played in six World Series. In short, he did a great job, with a fielding percentage of .967.

He was an All-Star three times and had 1,109 hits. He played in six World Series and won three of them before injuries forced him to retire at age 29. Kubek is the first “utility player” to make the list. He played all over the field, but he won all of his awards at short, where he played 80% of his games.

Tom Tresh (1962-69)

Tom Tresh wasn’t always a shortstop, but he was the Yankees’ Rookie of the Year in 1962 and made the All-Star team twice. The bad news was that the dangerous switch-hitter was being called the next Mickey Mantle. Tresh played for the Yankees for nine years. In his career, he had a batting average of .247 and hit 140 home runs. In five of those seasons, he hit 20 or more home runs. He was also a great fielder at both short and outfield.

Bucky Dent (1977-82)

Bucky Dent was a two-time All-Star who will always be remembered fondly in the Bronx and less so in Boston for hitting a three-run home run over Fenway’s Green Monster in a 1978 one-game playoff. People sometimes forget that he also hit .417 against the Dodgers in the 1978 World Series, which earned him the MVP award. As a Yankee, Dent was best known as a clutch contact hitter who got 518 hits.

Gil McDougald (1951-60)

McDougald played second, third, and shortstop for the Yankees. He was the Rookie of the Year in 1951 and was named an All-Star five times. After he was done playing, he coached at Fordham University and lived in Spring Lake, New Jersey. He played in eight World Series.

Phil Rizzuto (1941-54)

During his 13 seasons, The Scooter was an important part of a team that won nine AL pennants and seven World Series titles. Phil Rizzuto was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994. As a player, he was a good shortstop who was known for his ability to bunt. After retiring from baseball, he became a well-liked Yankees broadcaster.

The great fielder, who was 5 feet 6 inches tall and 150 pounds, had a .968 fielding percentage at short in his 13 years with the Yankees. Rizzuto was short, and when he first played in the major leagues in 1941, McCarthy, who was the manager at the time, said that Rizzuto was too small to be a good baseball player. McCarthy was very wrong, as time has shown. He helped the Yankees win seven World Series titles. He is sixth all-time in World Series games played, eighth all-time in hits (45), fourth all-time in walks (30), and tied for third all-time in stolen bases (10).

Derek Jeter (1995-2014)

Derek Jeter is still the best shortstop the Yankees have ever had. Jeter has been an All-Star 14 times and has hit 3,465 home runs in 20 years in the major leagues. He had 200 hits in the postseason throughout his career and hit fourteen times .350 or higher in the postseason. He was one of the “Core Four” players who helped the Yankees win five World Series.

Jeter won five World Series titles, seven American League pennants, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, and had 3,465 regular-season hits, which is the sixth-most of all time. Jeter hit .310/.377/.440 for his career. During the regular season, he had 544 doubles, 260 home runs, 1,923 runs, 1,311 RBIs, and 358 steals.

Derek Jeter is with his family at Yankee Stadium.

Jeter had many memorable moments, such as his leadoff home run in Game 4 of the 2000 World Series, the 2001 Flip Play against the Athletics, a bloody dive into the stands against the Red Sox in 2004, and a home run for his 3,000th hit in 2011. He was also the AL Rookie of the Year in 1996 and the Most Valuable Player in both the All-Star Game and the World Series in 2000.

In January, the Captain got the spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame that he had earned. Jeter got 99.75 percent of the votes, which is the most ever given to a position player. He only missed getting unanimously chosen by one vote, like his longtime teammate Mariano Rivera.

Didi Gregorius (2015-2016)

Starting in 2015, Didi Gregorius took over for Jeter as the Yankees’ shortstop. He played for the team for five years. He was the first New York shortstop to hit 20 or more home runs in more than one season. It seemed impossible for Gregorius to take over at shortstop after Jeter’s 20 years of great play, but he did so with ease over five seasons in The Bronx. “Sir Didi” has the highest slugging percentage of any Yankees shortstop (.446); Jeter is second (.440). Gregorius also ranks in the top five among Yankees shortstops in home runs (97, third), hit-by-pitches (28, fifth), batting average (.269), and on-base percentage (.759, second).

What do you think about the list? Leave a comment below.

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