When I heard the Baltimore Orioles haven’t won the American League East Division since 1997 it got me thinking, who was on that ’97 Yankees’ team?
Don’t hate me, but I was 7 years old the last time the O’s topped the division. Some were no brainers for me, Jeter, Williams, O’Neill, Martinez and Posada as position players. Funny thing though Posada wasn’t the starter, a man named Joe Girardi had more games behind the plate that year.
Here is what the Yankee lineup looked like going simply by who played the most games at each position:
C Joe Girardi (112)
1B Tino Martinez (158)
2B Luis Sojo (77)
SS Derek Jeter (159)
3B Charlie Hayes (100)
LF Tim Raines (74)
CF Bernie Williams (129)
RF Paul O’Neil (149)
DH Cecil Fielder (98)
Notable bench players:
UT Wade Boggs (104)
OF Chad Curtis (93)
C Jorge Posada (60)
UT Darryl Strawberry (11)
Pitchers I was able to get Cone, Pettitte, Wells and Rivera, completely forgetting the likes of Dwight Gooden and Kenny Rogers.
Some highlights statistically were Tino Martinez hitting 44 bombs and driving in 141 runs. Jeter had 23 stolen bases and Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill each had 21 homers and over 100 RBI’s. Pettitte lead the pitching staff with 18 wins and Mo had 43 saves.
The Yankees finished with a 96-66 record just two games behind the Baltimore Orioles. The Yanks won the wild card that year but got bounced by the Cleveland Indians in the Division series in 5 games.
The ’97 Yankees are always overlooked by history. What can you expect when you win 4 World Series in 5 years? Obviously that 1 year they didn’t win is going to be forgotten. As well it should.
Side note: if you’d like to see the complete roster for the ’97 Yankees you can click on the link below.