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Guess some of the famous or not so famous Yankees that have donned #17 in pinstripes. Hover over the "Answer" links to view individual answers in a small pop-up.

  1. This player is one of only two Yankees to wear #17 and go to an all-star game.  In fact, he was a four-time all-star and part of the Yankees big three starting pitchers in the late 40’s and early 50’s. A three-time 20 game winner who posted a 98-44 record over a five year span from 1948-1952.  He led the league in strikeouts in 1951 and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting in 1950 and 1951.  In a 1953 game, he set a then record for RBI by a pitcher in a game with seven during a 15-0 rout of Detroit.  Also, notable as a historical footnote, in 1951 when Minnie Minoso stepped in for his first major league at-bat, he faced this #17 for the Yankees and touched him up for a home run.
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  2. This Yankee spent two tours of duty with the Yankees, first in 1976 then returning again thanks to a mid-1979 eight-player deal with the Texas Rangers. He was a solid, power hitting lefty who was tough to strike out and had a swing perfectly suited for Yankee Stadium. His wife actually sang the national anthem several times in 1976, including once before a playoff game. I could go on to list more of his impressive accomplishments but he’s probably best remembered for his prominent Afro.
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  3. The Yankee leadoff hitter for three pennant winners and two World Championships. He was probably one of the fastest Yankees ever to wear the pinstripes. Among other things he was notable for was being a terrific bunter, spending a lot of time at the track and a lot of famous, hilarious quotes. One of his most notable was in reference to teammate Reggie Jackson when he said, "No wonder you're all mixed up. You got a white man's first name, a Spanish man's second name and a black man's third name."
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  4. This Yankee was a fairly heralded outfield prospect in the mid to late-nineties that never really panned out in pinstripes or for anyone else. He only spent two and a half seasons with the Yankees, only donning #17 for the last year and a half, wearing #38 in his rookie year. Although it never clicked with the Yankees, his time in the Bronx was not a total loss. He hit .400 (8 for 20) in two World Series with the Yankees to go with 5 RBI and 4 doubles. Then, in the final possible way he could benefit the Yankees, he was a key player in the deal that brought Dave Justice to the Yankees in 2000.
    Answer
  5. This player spent an odd 1-1/2 years in the Bronx, only wearing #17 in his inaugural year in pinstripes. What made it odd was that he was traded in the winter after his first full season, then reacquired the following June. So, technically he had two separate stints with the Yankees, though they came in consecutive years. He held the nickname “The Hit Man” before the term became more familiarly associated with Don Mattingly. This guy was a solid, line drive hitting lefty with some pop. His career high was 27 homers two years before coming to the Yankees, but only hit 14 his first year with the Yanks. However, he did check in with a .302 average, the fourth time in his career he topped to .300 mark. But, his power production wasn’t what the Yankees expected and he was traded to the Phillies for some sorely needed pitching in the person of Charlie Hudson.
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  6. This player was a part timer who spent three separate stints with the Yankees, wearing #17 in his last two. Drafted originally by the Yankees, he spent five years with the big club, mostly as a backup outfielder and pinch hitter and batted .341 and .304 (in limited time) his last two years before being sold to the A’s. It was with the A’s that he had his finest season, finishing fourth in the league in home runs (38), fourth in RBI (104), sixth in average (.305), second in total bases (305) and second in slugging percentage (.592). This was also good enough to garner a fourth place finish in the MVP balloting, including 3 first place votes.

    He never enjoyed as successful a season again and two years later, was traded back to the Yankees to resume his role as pinch hitter/backup outfielder. He helped the Yankees to the World Series and batted .357 in 14 at-bats. He was lost again in the offseason, this time in the expansion draft, but was traded back to the Yankees later in the season, again to resume his familiar role. He began the next season with the Yankees, but was sold mid-season to Houston, stayed there about a month and retired.
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  7. This player was a talented left-handed pitcher who was successful at just about every stop in his career, but was a bomb in the Bronx. The Yankees signed him as a free agent as he came off a season where he earned his first all-star appearance, won 17 games and finished 5th in the league with a 3.38 ERA. He had a reputation as a durable pitcher and an excellent fielder, as evidenced by the four Gold Glove awards he would subsequently go on to collect after departing from the Bronx. He went 18-15 in his time in the Bronx, but was a colossal failure in all three of his post-season starts. The Yankees actually won each game he started despite the fact he never made it past the third inning. Eventually, the Yankees salvaged his signing, trading him to the A’s for a player to be named later, who turned out to Scott Brosius, a key cog in the Yankees 1998-2001 World Series teams.
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  8. In the Yankees never ending quest to find a regular shortstop to play alongside Willie Randolph after the departure of Bucky Dent, this player actually lasted a full season. Acquired from the New York Mets for Darren Reed, Phil Lombardi and Steve Frey, no one expected much offense from a player who never provided any in three full seasons with the crosstown rivals. It was a good thing, too because he didn’t provide any with the Yankees either. He hit .240 in his only season with the Yankees with 4 HR, a paltry .289 OBP and a weak .294 slugging percentage. He also grounded into 17 double plays, good for tenth in the league. Ahhh, the good old days of the weak hitting, good glove shortstop. Actually, he wasn’t even a good glove. His 22 errors were the third most in the AL that season. He sat out the 1989 season, was released, appeared in 7 games with Cleveland and called it a career.
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  9. This player is a famed Yankee, not so much for his physical ability, but rather his mental ability. He played seven seasons in pinstripes and never was much of a hitter and a decent fielder. His playing days were best characterized by some memorable moments in down Yankee seasons. One was his proficiency in pulling off the “hidden ball trick” which he successfully did twice in the 1970 season. He also pitched three innings in 1968, surrendered five unearned runs and struck out three batters. In 1973, his missed attempt on a bunt against Boston resulted in an infamous brawl between Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk. None of these accomplishments are going to get anyone even near the Hall of Fame. Not even a discount coupon. However, after his career he became the do-it-all man for the Yankees, filling just about every role possible from scout to coach to manager to GM. It was his front office acumen to which many attribute the Yankees’ return to glory in the mid-1990s.
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