The first three Subway Series games this season were wiped out because the New York Mets had two positive COVID-19 tests. If all goes well (which it usually doesn’t in 2020), we’ll see five Yankees/Mets matchups this weekend. However, this blog isn’t about the current teams. I decided to make an all-time Yankees/Mets crossover lineup. The only criteria are that the player must have had both the honor of playing for the New York Yankees and endured the hardship of being a Met.
Catcher: Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra is a Yankee legend. 3-time MVP, 18-time All-Star, and 10-time world champion in 18 seasons with the Yankees. After that, Berra ended up making four cameo appearances at catcher while coaching the Mets. Berra also managed each team to a pennant (’64 Yankees and ’73 Mets). Although nobody remembers him as a Met player, I couldn’t leave Yogi off of this list.
First Base: John Olerud
I remember Olerud most for wearing a batting helmet in the field. He did that as a result of a brain aneurysm he suffered in college. Olerud also had a consistently good MLB career. He posted a .295 average, .398 OBP, and .863 OPS over 17 seasons with five different teams. Olerud was a Met from 1997-99, posting a .998 OPS and finishing twelfth in the MVP voting in 1998. Olerud played in just 49 games with the Yankees after they signed him in Aug. of 2004, but I don’t remember how that season ended.
Second Base: Robinson Cano
Robinson Cano, an amazing ball player for the #Yankees from ‘05-‘13. Hitting a walk-off 3-run HR in 2009 against the White Sox.
Cano got himself a WS ring that year after an epic season and played all but 1 game!
One of the prettiest swings the game has ever seen. Robinson Cano had a legitimate Hall of Fame case before he got popped for steroids. Unless voters ease up by the time he’s on the ballot, it’ll be hard for him to get in. That being said, his resume is amazing, especially for a second baseman. 8-time All-Star, 2-time Gold Glover, nine seasons batting over .300, and a 2009 World Series champ. I think the Yankees clearly made the right move not re-signing him after 2013, but I truly wish they didn’t sign Jacoby Ellsbury immediately after.
Third Base: Todd Frazier
Todd Frazier only played half a season with the Yankees, but it was a special season. After the Yanks didn’t re-sign him because Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar were big-league ready, Frazier switched boroughs and suited up for the Mets. Todd and I are also both Rutgers alumni, and he loves my ideas on how to grow baseball.
It was slim pickings at shortstop, so I had to go with Fernandez. He put together a really good career with five All-star appearances and four Gold Gloves but played only a season each with the Yankees and Mets. He’s best known in New York for getting hurt during Spring Training in 1996. That essentially handed the starting shortstop job to some kid named Derek Jeter. Not too sure how he turned out, but every 14-year-old on Twitter tells me he was overrated.
Left Field: Curtis Granderson
Thanks for a career Curtis Granderson! Here is what he did during his time with the Yankees from 2010 – 2013:
As far as players who are beloved by both Yankee and Mets fans, I’m not sure anyone fits that description better than Curtis Granderson. He was extremely productive as a Yankee, making two All-Star teams and leading the league in both runs scored and RBI in 2011. Granderson then went on to play three seasons for the Mets, including for their 2015 NL Pennant winning team. The Grandy Man is always welcome back in New York, no matter what type of fans he encounters.
Center Field: Carlos Beltran
Despite being remembered for the strikeout that ended the ’06 NLCS, Beltran was an elite player for the Mets. He was an All-Star in five of his six and a half seasons in Flushing, racking up two Silver Slugger awards and three MVPs on the way. Beltran also went on to become the first Mets manager to never lose a game after being fired due to the 2017 Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal earlier this year, just months after he was initially hired. I actually feel for Beltran. He was scapegoated in my opinion, as that operation started with Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow, not Beltran. Although he was at the end of his career by the time he made his way to the Bronx, Beltran was a pretty solid Yankee too. Here’s hoping he’s able to get a new job in baseball relatively soon.
Right Field: Darryl Strawberry
1998: Darryl Strawberry of the Yankees hits a home run at Shea Stadium against the Angels in a make-up game, and they raised the apple. pic.twitter.com/qAOtQyOQQK
Strawberry is one of the few players with the honor of winning a World Series with both the Yankees and the Mets. He was part of the legendary ’86 Mets, the drugged-out team that shocked the world, and the late-90’s Yankees dynasty. Speaking of drugs, they did hamper Strawberry, as he was suspended for using them three times in his career. That doesn’t change the fact that he was a great player, winning the 1983 NL Rookie of the Year and then making eight straight All-Star teams after that. I’m not a huge Simpsons fan, but the Softball episode is absolutely hilarious and Strawberry is among the players who guest star to voice themselves. Watch it, it’s worth your time.
Designated Hitter: Gary Sheffield
Cano might have the best swing on this list, but Gary Sheffield for sure has the best batting stance. Every kid my age growing up would impersonate his stance while playing wiffle ball. Sheffield was also a legendary player who has nine All-Star appearances, five Silver Sluggers, and a batting title to his name. As a Yankee, he finished second in the MVP race in 2004 and eighth the next season. Sheff completed his career with the Mets in 2009 and was pretty damn good for a 40-year old, posting a .823 OPS in 100 games.
Tough choice between Cone and Doc Gooden here. But ultimately, I went with Coney because he pitched at a high level for both teams. Gooden was electric early on in his career with the Mets. However, although he threw a no-hitter in pinstripes, Doc wasn’t a Yankee until he was well past his prime. Cone pitched in the postseason with both New York clubs, the ’88 Mets, and the 90’s Yankees dynasty. He made two All-Star teams with each New York club, also posting a top-5 Cy Young finish with both teams.
Relief Pitcher: Dellin Betances
I know, shocker that I didn’t pick Luis Avilan here. Betances was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball with the Yankees, making four consecutive All-Star teams from 2014-2017. After spending the beginning of his career in the Bronx, Betances signed with the Mets this past offseason. He’s still looking to return to his dominant form after missing nearly all of 2019 with various injuries.
That’s it for the all-time Yankees/Mets crossover lineup. Let me know who I missed!