May 31, 2012

Perhaps no other honor could be bestowed upon a player that to be called: 'Captain of the New York Yankees'.

Here are the eleven men who have been so honored:

1. Hal Chase. He was named the first Yankees captain in 1912, was a career .291 hitter and had a 33-game hit streak with the then-Highlanders in 1907.

2. Roger Peckinpaugh.  He hit .257 in eight-plus seasons with the Yankees, served as the second Captain from 1914-21.

3: Babe Ruth. he served as Yankee Captain just 6 days. He was named as the third Captain on May 20, 1922, but was stripped of the title on May 25 after he went into the stands to confront a heckler at the Polo Grounds.

4. Everett Scott. Known as the man who succeeded The Babe as Captain, he played exactly 481 games with the Yankees from 1922-25. He spent all but the first month of his tenure in New York with the proverbial “C” on his jersey, and hit .254 before being waived.

5. Lou Gehrig. The Iron Horse became the fifth Captain of the Yankees on April 21, 1935, played the final 621 games of his legendary streak (and his career) with that honor . Even though his career ended in 1939, Gehrig would nominally remain the Captain until he passed away on June 2, 1941.

Then nearly 35 full years passed before the Yankees would honor one of their own with the title: Captain...

6:  Thurman Munson. He was bestowed with the honor on April 17, 1976, and like Gehrig would hold it until his tragic passing on August 2, 1979.

7. Graig Nettles. He was 37 years old when he was named as the seventh Yankees Captain on January 29, 1982, and was 39 years of age when he was traded to the San Diego Padres (and relieved of the Captaincy) on March 30, 1984. Those two ages make him the oldest man to ever be named Captain, as well as the oldest man to ever hold the title so far.

8. The Yankees have only had Co-Captains once in the history of the franchise. Those two men were Willie Randolph and Ron Guidry, who were jointly named to the post on March 4, 1986. Randolph’s Captaincy ended when he became a free agent (and subsequently signed with the Dodgers) after the 1988 season, and even though Guidry never pitched another game after 1988, he nominally remained as the sole Captain until officially retiring on July 12, 1989.

9. Don Mattingly. He became the 10th Yankees Captain on February 28, 1991, and went on to hit .288 with nine homers and 68 RBI that season. It was a stark turnaround for “Donnie Baseball,” who had put up a .256-5-42 line while playing just 102 games in 1990 due to a back injury.

10: Derek Jeter. He was named Yankees Captain on June 3, 2003. That makes 2012 Jeter’s ninth full season (and 10th total campaign) as the Bombers’ honorary leader, giving him the longest tenure of anyone who has ever held the position.

The 11 Yankee Captains