The first is the obvious one. Top five all-time Yankees catchers:
- Yogi Berra
- Bill Dickey
- Thurman Munson
- Jorge Posada
- Elston Howard
OK, so no one was really going to be clamoring for either of those guys, I realize.
I don't think anyone would debate those are clearly the top five catchers in Yankees history. In fact, I think the only thing that's arguable is the relative positioning of Munson and Posada. Since some are saying Posada may be a serious Hall of Fame candidate, and Munson peaked at 15.5% of the vote, it stands to reason many would rank Jorge #3. But, not me.
Maybe it's because I'm a child of the '70s, or because Munson's premature death was one of the two biggest sports heartbreaks of my lifetime. Or, possibly it's because he was the Captain who wouldn't truly be replaced until Jeter, or because I'll take 43 WAR in 10 years over 45 WAR in 15 years (excluding both players' first partial seasons), but to me, Thurman still ranks higher than Jorge.
But, that's all I'm going to say about that. It's the next list that I find a little more interesting. Top five all-time Yankees switch-hitters:
- Mickey Mantle
- Bernie Williams
- Jorge Posada
- Roy White
- Tom Tresh
Mantle at #1 is even more obvious than #1 on the previous list. I suppose you might argue Posada over Williams, especially given the difficulty of Jorge's position. But, otherwise I think the only debatable point is whether or not to slide Mark Teixeira in at #5, and bump Tresh.
It's a little too early for that, in my opinion. I'm expecting Teixeira will eventually join the list, maybe even push White out of the #4 spot, but that's no sure thing. Right now, though, I'm ranking Tresh's 22.3 WAR in 7+ seasons ahead of Teixeira's 12 WAR in three seasons. Somewhat surprisingly, Nick Swisher's value (11 WAR) over that same time frame comes fairly close to Teixeira's, but given their respective contracts, it's fair to assume Tex will last longer in pinstripes.
So, Posada not only ranks as one of the Yankees' top players of the last 15 years, he also stacks up fairly well in all-time Bronx Bombers discussions. Hall of Famer? I'm not so sure, but he's certainly among the greatest to wear the pinstripes during my lifetime.