Yankees Continue Switch-Hitting Tradition with TeixeiraPosted: January 7, 2009
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