Not only did 1998 mark the crowning of a new home run king(*), but a Yankees dynasty was born.
The '98 Yankees did not have a single superstar at the time.
Mariano Rivera was still transforming into "MO," and Derek Jeter wasn't El Capitan, just yet.
No Yankee player would hit more than 28 home runs (Tino Martinez), but the Yankees still managed to hit 207 home runs, ranking 4th in the American League.
Bernie Williams pitched in with 26 homers, and Paul O’Neill had the best year of his career, hitting .317 with 20 home runs, 116 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
The '98 lineup consisted of one future Hall of Famer (Jeter), while the Yankees' pitching staff that was comprised of David Cone, Andy Pettitte, David Wells, Orlando Hernandez, and Hideki Irabu combined for a 79-35 record during the regular season.
Wells did his part by finishing the season with a 18-4 record, a 3.49 ERA, pitching 8 complete games, 214.1 IP, a 1.045 WHIP and threw the fifteenth perfect game in baseball history. And of course, the bullpen was anchored by Mariano Rivera, who was lights out, converting 36 saves with a 1.91 ERA during the regular season.
During the postseason, the Yankees proved why they ranked number one in the AL in ERA after 162 games played.
In the Divisional Series against the Texas Rangers the Yankees surrendered only one run and 13 hits, and although they faced some adversity in the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians, the Yankees advanced to the World Series.
Looking as if the Yankees were going to fall in Game 1 of the 1998 World Series to the San Diego Padres, trailing 5-2 in the seventh inning, Chuck Knoblauch hit a three run home run tying the game at 5. Then Tino Martinez hit a grand slam into the right field stands, launching the Yankees to a come from behind win, en route to a 4-0 sweep of the Padres.
The Yankees finished the postseason with a record of 11-2, giving the Yankees a total of 125 wins for the season, an MLB record that still stands today.
Of all the greatest teams that have played throughout the Yankees illustrious history, I consider this one to be the greatest of them all.