Andy Pettitte Retires: Power Ranking the 10 Greatest Pitchers in Yankees History

Jordan SchwartzSenior Writer IFebruary 4, 2011

Andy Pettitte Retires: Power Ranking the 10 Greatest Pitchers in Yankees History

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    After a winter of indecision, Andy Pettitte is set to announce his retirement on Friday morning, ending a remarkable career that included 240 victories, 2,251 strikeouts, five top-six finishes in Cy Young Award voting and a record 19 postseason wins.

    So where does the left-hander rank among the all-time greatest pitchers in New York Yankees history?

    Let's take a look at the list.

10. Bob Shawkey

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    Shawkey pitched for the Yankees from 1915-27, compiling a 168-131 record and a 3.12 ERA.

    He ranks sixth on the club's all-time wins list, eighth with 1,163 strikeouts and sixth with 26 shutouts.

    The most important game of Shawkey's career came on Oct. 13, 1923. With the Bombers trailing the Giants two games to one in the World Series, the right-hander headed to the mound in Game 4 and tossed 7.2 innings of three-run ball to pick up the win. That proved to be the turning point in the Series as the Yanks won the next two contests to capture their first world championship.

9. Jack Chesbro

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    The Hall of Famer pitched for New York for only seven seasons from 1903-09, but managed to put up the fourth-best WHIP (1.12) and fifth-best ERA (2.58) in Yankees history.

    In 1904, Chesbro led baseball with 41 wins, 51 starts, 48 complete games and 454.2 innings. That's 40 percent of the innings Mariano Rivera has accumulated in his entire 16-year career.

8. Mel Stottlemyre

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    Stottlemyre was a lifelong Yankee, dealing for the club from 1964-74.

    During the first seven seasons of his career, the right-hander was named to five All-Star teams and received MVP votes four times.

    His 40 shutouts are second best in team history, and he ranks seventh in wins (164) and strikeouts (1,257).

7. Andy Pettitte

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    Pettitte retires as the seventh-best pitcher in Yankees history.

    In 13 years in the Bronx, the left-hander put up the second-most strikeouts (1,823) and the third-most victories (203) in club history.

    Pettitte went 18-9 for the Bombers in the playoffs, helping them to five World Series titles as a member of the Core Four.

6. Goose Gossage

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    Gossage's 2.14 ERA is the lowest in Yankees history and his 1.079 WHIP is second only to Mariano Rivera.

    While the Hall of Famer pitched only as a reliever during his time in New York (1978-83, 1989), his workload was not as easy as the closers of today. The Goose averaged 1.2 innings per appearance with the Yankees, racking up an incredible 134.1 innings in 1978. He also pitched six scoreless frames against the Dodgers in that season's World Series, which the Yankees won in six games.

5. Ron Guidry

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    Louisiana Lightning was a lifelong Yankee, racking up 170 wins between 1975-88.

    That mark is fifth best in franchise history, and he ranks third in strikeouts (1,778) and sixth in shutouts (26).

    Guidry's best season was the championship year of 1978, when he went 25-3 with an astounding 1.74 ERA, nine shutouts and a 0.946 WHIP en route to capturing the American League Cy Young Award.

    Gator finished in the top seven of the voting five other times in his career.

4. Lefty Gomez

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    Gomez was another pitcher who spent his entire career in pinstripes (save one start with Washington).

    The Hall of Famer went 189-101 with a 3.34 ERA from 1930-42.

    He has the fourth-most wins and shutouts (28) in club history, and ranks fifth in strikeouts (1,468).

    Gomez's best year was 1934, when he led the league with 26 wins, a 2.33 ERA, 25 complete games, six shutouts, 281.2 innings, 158 strikeouts and a 1.133 WHIP.

    He was 6-0 with a 2.86 ERA in six victorious trips to the World Series.

3. Mariano Rivera

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    Rivera ranks first on the club's all-time list with a 1.003 WHIP, second with a 2.23 ERA and ninth with 1,051 strikeouts, despite only racking up 1,150 innings over his 16 seasons in the Bronx.

    His 8-1 record and 0.71 ERA in 94 postseason appearances is even more impressive as Rivera has helped lead the Yankees to five World Series titles.

2. Red Ruffing

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    Ruffing lost a staggering 47 games with the Red Sox from 1928-29, but experienced a resurgence once he came over to the Yankees in 1930.

    The right-hander's 231 wins and 40 shutouts are both second best in club history, and he ranks fourth with 1,526 strikeouts.

    Ruffing went 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA in the World Series, leading the Yanks to six titles.

    Bad news for Andy Pettitte is that Ruffing's career 3.80 ERA is the highest among Hall of Famers. Pettitte finished with a 3.88 career ERA.

1. Whitey Ford

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    Ford is by far the best pitcher in Yankees history.

    His 236 wins, 1,956 strikeouts and 45 shutouts are all franchise records. He also ranks eighth in winning percentage (.690) and 10th in ERA (2.75).

    In 1961, the Chairman of the Board went 25-4 with a 3.21 ERA to capture the American League Cy Young Award. He went on to pitch 14 scoreless innings in that year's World Series. That came after hurling 18 shutout frames in the '60 Fall Classic.

    Overall, Ford pitched in 11 World Series, going 10-8 with a 2.71 ERA en route to six championships.

    The Hall of Famer led the league in victories and winning percentage three times and ERA twice.