Joe Namath Authentic Jersey Sometimes, solutions are simple. It’s admitting there’s a problem that’s the stumbling block.
Well, baseball has a problem with pitchers throwing fastballs at batters’ heads. You know the most recent visible incident, the catalyst for this column and others like it across the country — Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes threw a 90-mph fastball behind the head of Orioles superstar Manny Machado on Sunday.
I don’t really care about the lead-up to that pitch. For the purposes of what we’re going to talk about here, it doesn’t matter.
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If Jeter and Mantle were the long-shining favorite suns, then Maris would be the supernova of this list. He was the best Yankee and American League player during his back-to-back MVP seasons of ’60 and ’61, culminating with his still AL record 61 home runs. It was brief dominance during a limited career that falls well short of the Hall of Fame, but those memorable moments Maris provided were Monument worthy.
It’s appropriate that Dickey shares the number with Berra, because he preceded him as the Yankees’ great catcher, ending his career as Berra’s player-manager in 1946. It’s easy to underrate Dickey — like many of Jeter’s best teammates — because he played on seven World Series winners with teammates such as Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio. He also was at a Yankees position where Berra, Thurman Munson (No. 15), Jorge Posada (No. 20) and Elston Howard (No. 32) all got their numbers retired as well. On this list, however, this is Dickey’s rightful place.