The House That Ruth Built. Two different “Loveable Losers.” Some of the most well-known and beloved athletes in the history of the United States.
Baseball and New York have been intertwined since what seems like the day before forever. It's hard to imagine one without the other. As much as some may not want to admit it, Major League Baseball is just better when both the New York Yankees and New York Mets are good.
New York has, for over a century, produced some of the greatest baseball teams ever put together. The Yankees, the US' most-successful professional sports franchise, has been responsible for many. It's a franchise that no longer resides in one of the five boroughs, though, that get things started here.
10 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers
“Wait 'til next year!” was the mantra that had been embraced by the Dodgers faithful due to the way that the club broke the hearts of Brooklyn fans season after season after season. The '55 Dodgers will forever be remembered for winning the first World Series in franchise history, the only title won by the team until it moved out West to Los Angeles.
What's shouldn't be forgotten is that it was also one heckuva baseball team.
9 1954 New York Giants
The '54 (baseball) Giants weren't supposed to have a chance against the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Cleveland was far and away the best team in all of baseball. Winning the club's second World Series in six years seemed to be the destiny of the Tribe.
Then, Willie Mays made his famous over-the-shoulder grab in center field in Game 1 of the Series.
8 1986 New York Mets
I believe that it would be impossible for anybody to read the book on the '86 Mets titled The Bad Guys Won and not, depending on how you view the world, either love or hate that team. They gambled. They drank. They partied hard.
And they won it all.
7 2009 New York Yankees
Sure, the '09 Yankees were a team bought built to win rather than one that was an organic creation. That doesn't take away from all of the talent on the squad, or from the fact that, when it mattered most, there was just no way that New York wasn't winning it all that fall.
6 1969 New York Mets
The '69 Mets, like the '54 Giants, are more remembered for what they did than for their overall greatness. Known as the “Miracle Mets,” the Amazin's went on what was an unexpected run that ended with 100 regular season wins and a postseason trip during which New York lost only one game.
5 1932 New York Yankees
The '32 Yankees were as high on name-value as was any other team mentioned in this piece. That roster had nine to-be Hall of Fame players. New York crushed the baseball that season, producing 1,002 team runs. They also had a great pitching staff, one responsible for a 16-game winner, a 17-game winner, an 18-game winner, and a 24-game winner.
4 1939 New York Yankees
Like runs? The '39 Yankees just may be the team for you. Four different starters hit for over 100 RBIs. Joe Dimaggio batted .381. As a team, the Yanks scored 967 runs, and New York outscored opponents in total by 411 runs.
No, that last stat isn't a typo.
3 1961 New York Yankees
The home run battle involving Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle was the talk of the baseball world in the summer of '61. Maris famously won it in the end, and the two combined for 115 HRs and 269 RBIs. They weren't alone in contributing offensive production. Three other starters had over 20 homers.
Whitey Ford was the leader of the rotation, going an impressive 25-4 and winning the Cy Young. Ralph Terry went 16-3. Luis Arroyo had 15 wins, 29 saves and a 2.19 ERA.
2 1927 New York Yankees
The '27 Yankees are probably the most well-known baseball teams and one of the most referenced North American professional sports teams ever assembled. Their “Murderers' Row” lineup included Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Earle Combs, Bob Meusel, Mark Koenig and Babe Ruth. Gehrig hit 47 homers and he had 173 RBIs, while Ruth slammed 60 bombs that season.
New York also had pitching. Waite Hoyt went 22-7. Herb Pennock went 19-8. Urban Shocker had a record of 18-6. The staff as a whole had a league-low 3.20 ERA.
1 1998 New York Yankees
Baseball fans sometimes get so swept up in history that they don't realize that the greatest Yankee team wasn't one that played when games were shown in black and white. Not only that, but the '98 Yankees are, for me, the greatest single-season MLB team ever assembled.
The '98 Yankees finished with a franchise-best record of 114-48. They won the division by 22 games. There were no holes in the lineup. Six pitchers had double-digit victories. New York was solid in the field.
They literally had it all.
Anything other than a World Series victory would have been a massive failure, and the Yanks didn't disappoint. No team, not the San Diego Padres or anybody else, would have been capable of stopping that runaway train. I'd put the '98 Yankees against any team before or after it.
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