Yankees Continue Switch-Hitting Tradition with Teixeira

The signing of Mark Teixeira plugged a hole in the Yankee lineup, stunned Red Sox nation and continued a tradition of strength at first base dating back to Lou Gehrig.

And it also enriched another Yankee strength — the switch-hitter. Since before the early days of the Yankee dynasty right up until the present, the Yankees have used switch-hitters to bolster their attack.

Think no further than No. 7, the magnificent Yankee, Mickey Mantle, the greatest switcher ever. The current corps of Bombers can only hope some of that switch-hitting magic rubs off on Teixeira.

Ironically, earlier in the off-season the Yankees traded switch-hitter Wilson Betemit to the White Sox for another switcher, Nick Swisher, who was pencilled in to be the Yanks first baseman until the Teixeira, shown above, signing.

Here’s a lineup of the all-time Yankee switch-hitters by position:

Yankee All-Time Switch-Hitters

C — Jorge Posada…Mainstay on Yankee championship teams in the late 90s; .277 lifetime average; 221 home runs

1B — Mark Teixeira…2008 free agent signing; 30 homers, 100 RBIs last five seasons; .290 career batting average

 2B — Horace Clark…10-year Yankee career starting in 1965; .256 lifetime hitter; first two home runs were grand slams

SS — Mark Koenig…Joined team in 1925; shortstop on great 1927 Yankees team; batted career-high .319 in 1928.

3B — Jimmy Austin…Played with Highlanders in 1909 and 1910; stole combined 52 bases; played 16 seasons with St. Louis Browns

LF — Roy White…Spent entire career with Yankees, 1965-79; .271 lifetime hitter; 160 home runs; 233 stolen bases; 1977-78 champions

CF — Mickey Mantle….536 career home runs; World Series record 18 HRs; AL MVP in 1956, 57 and 62, Triple Crown in 1956; Hall of Famer. Shown right.

RF — Bernie Williams…Began 16-year career in 1991; four-time champion; hit .339 to win batting title in 1998; .297 career hitter; 287 HRs


C — Butch Wynegar…Played five years with Yankees, beginning in 1982; .hit 255 lifetime

IF — Gene Michael…Seven years with Yankees, 1968-74; famous for hidden-ball trick; later Yankee executive

IF — Wayne Tolleson…Joined Yankees in 1986; five years, primarily as shortstop

IF — Tony Fernandez…Was SS in 1995, before Derek Jeter; last Yank to hit for cycle

IF/OF — Tom Tresh….AL Rookie of the Year in 1962; career-high 27 homers 1966

 OF — Jerry Mumphrey…Hit over .300 as Yankees centerfielder in 1981 and 1982

OF — Tim Raines….Spent three years in New York beginning in 1996; two world champions . Shown left.

OF — Ruben Sierra…Two stints with Yankees late in career as OF and DH; 17 HRs in 2004

OF — Melky Cabrera…Yankee outfielder since 2005; .268 career batting average

DH — Chili Davis….Spent final two years in pinstripes; had 19 HRs, 78 RBIs in 1999

Switch-Pitcher — Pat Venditte, ambidextrous pitcher; first year 2008, pitched in Yankees farm system


3 Comments on “Yankees Continue Switch-Hitting Tradition with Teixeira”

  1. mdbirdlover says:

    Outside of the purely baseball talk, the Tex signing burns me up. I’m sorry. Yes, I’m from Baltimore and I didn’t expect him to sign here, though I’d have loved to have him but that is not why. It is the money issue.
    Didn’t Steinbrenner Jr. just ask for more money for the stadium? That is what I heard, I believe it was the Dan Patrick radio show.
    So taxpayers have to help footing more of this bill so the Yankees can play in gazillion dollar stadium while they pay the ridiculous salaries they’ve been paying.
    Okay, done venting on the economics of it all.

    Mantle was my fave and I think it was the movie “61” that did it for me.

    Anyway, nice blog…good column I enjoed it.

  2. sportslifer says:

    Appreciate the feedback. Granted Steinbrenner asking for money for the new ballpark is a bit tough to swallow. But the Yankees are just playing by the rules when it comes to the free agents. They make the money with their TV network, large crowds etc., but they use it to improve the team. That’s good business.

  3. mdbirdlover says:

    The rules are exactly what I have a problem with. Glad you see about the new money being tough to swallow.
    The rules need to change. Sure, they are legally doing their thing…they invest in their team and their revenue sharing helps the little guys, but since our counrty is in a complete fiscal meltdown, I’d hope for some restraint on the state of the art stadium.

    I guess good business doesn’t always mean ethical business.

    Anyway, do you go to a lot of games? Ive been there only once and it was this past season to say bye-bye to all that beautiful and rich history, sorta sad to see it go. But definitely needed to happen. I’ve seen the new stadium online and it looks like it is unreal. Don’t know if we’ll be able to make it down this year to check it out but I am hoping.

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