According to a release by MLB on April 8, fans can visit MLB.com/FranchiseFour to select the four most impactful players for each franchise who best represent the history of each organization out of eight choices from its lineage. There is also a space for a write-in selection. Voting is live now until May 8.
Yogi Berra (1946-1963)
Joe DiMaggio (1936-1942, 1946-1951)
Whitey Ford (1950, 1953-1967)
Lou Gehrig (1923-1939)
Derek Jeter (1995-2014)
Mickey Mantle (1951-1968)
Mariano Rivera (1995-2013)
Babe Ruth (1920-1934)
Shoestring Catches Recommendations:
Joe DiMaggio: Elected into the Hall of Fame in 1955, Joe DiMaggio was the face of the New York Yankees from the late 1930s until Mickey Mantle arrived. DiMaggio was a part of nine World Series champions, a three-time Most Valuable Player and a 13-time all-star. With all of those accomplishments, it is the 56-game hitting streak that most fans have memorized. Away from baseball, DiMaggio was also married to Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe.
Lou Gehrig: On July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig was honored at Yankee Stadium in one of the most memorable events in American history. Inflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is now commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” His speech is considered one of the best of the 20th century. On the field, Gehrig won six world championships in his 17-year career. He also knocked in over 100 runs in 13 of those years and played in 2,130 consecutive games.
Mickey Mantle: In 1951, Mickey Mantle was a rookie outfielder playing next to the legendary Joe DiMaggio. The next season he was one his way to becoming a legend in his own right. In a career hampered by injuries, Mantle hit 536 home runs many of which were quite lengthy. Mantle won the triple crown in 1956 and was a three-time Most Valuable Player, while playing in 20 All-Star Games.
Babe Ruth: When Babe Ruth joined the New York Yankees in 1920, they weren’t really The Yankees. Ruth and his bigger than life persona made them The Yankees. Ruth was not only the face of the Yankees, he was the face of American sports in the 1920s. His 714 career home runs and 60-homer season in 1927 have become required knowledge for every fan of the sport. In 1936, Ruth was one of the five charter members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Editors Note: Obviously, the computer voting screen set up by MLB won’t let you pick more than four players. The four players not selected for the Yankees would likely be in the top four for most of the other major league organizations. Yogi Berra made the MLB All-Century Team back in 1999, so how is it possible that he doesn’t get a vote? Simple, the other four players getting votes were also on the All-Century Team. Whitey Ford is just a member of the Hall of Fame. Wow, what a tough crowd. As far as the modern players go, you really can’t go wrong with Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera either, but it’s difficult to compete with icons.