It becomes more remarkable with the passage of time. From 1949-64, the New York Yankees had pennant-winning streaks of five (1949-53), four (1955-58) and five (1960-64). How many players on those teams are in the Hall of Fame and spent most of their career with the Yankees?
Hall of Famers 1949-53
The Yankees won five consecutive pennants, five consecutive world champions and did it with only six future Hall of Famers. Berra, Rizzuto and Mize were the only Hall of Famers with the team for all five titles.
DiMaggio retired at the end of the 1951 season, Ford joined the team in 1950 and Mantle was a rookie in 1951.
Ford was the only pitcher on those teams that is in the Hall of Fame.
Hall of Famers 1955-58
Enos Slaughter (St. Louis Cardinals)
This streak was not a good one for the Yankees or their fans because the four consecutive pennants produced two world championships and two World Series defeats.
Only five future Hall of Famers were Yankees during this streak. Slaughter, who spent most of his career in St. Louis, joined holdovers Berra, Rizzuto and Ford. The latter was the only pitcher on those teams voted into the Hall of Fame. The Scooter, Rizzuto, was released in August 1956.
Hall of Famers 1960-64
To paraphrase Peggy Lee, that’s all there is. This streak resulted in World Series losses in 1960, 1963 and 1964, which is why few fans realize that the Yankees won five consecutive pennants twice.
It is remarkable that the Yankees won 13 pennants and nine World Series with only one Hall of Fame pitcher. Only Berra was there for all of them.
Now, we return to the thrilling days of Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio. From 1936-39, the Yankees won four consecutive pennants and were world champions each year.
Hall of Famers 1936-39
Dickey, Gehrig, Ruffing and Gomez were on all four championship teams. Sadly, Gehrig had to stop playing in 1939. The Yankees released Lazzeri following the 1937 season and Gordon was a rookie in 1938.
How do those Yankees teams compare to other world champions with respect to Hall of Famers?
The 1927 Yankees had Ruth, Gehrig, Lazzeri, Earle Combs and pitchers Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock for a total of six.
The 1929 Philadelphia A’s had Mickey Cochrane, Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons, Eddie Collins (near the end of his career) and Lefty Grove for a total of five, but Collins only appeared in nine games.
The 1975 Cincinnati Reds had Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan and the much-maligned Pete Rose, who has Hall of Fame credentials for a total of three. No pitcher was even close to being considered for the Hall of Fame.
This was fun and will be continued.
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