Yankees Need a Hall of Fame: Who Comprises the First Class?

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31:  The New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers look on as West Point Cadets unfurl the American Flag during the opening ceremonies on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on March 31, 2011 in Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Recently, I wrote a piece detailing five current or former Yankees I felt deserved to have their numbers retired.

As the debate rages on here (feel free to jump in and share your thoughts), a few things have come to light.

1. My choices are not the choices that others would make.

2. Yankee fans in general feel that the team currently has too many numbers retired, which cheapens the honor.

3. Yankee fans do agree that there are a group of players from different eras that deserve to be celebrated and honored, just in a different way then the true legends of the organization.

No. 1 came as no surprise to me, as everyone has a different take on who was great; everyone has their own favorites. The second point did surprise me a bit, though; after thinking about it, that does have some merit.

No. 3 can be remedied fairly easily by creating a Yankees Hall of Fame. What it would be called remains to be seen, perhaps something to the effect of  "Honor Hall".

Sure, the team already has the Yankee Museum, perhaps this could be an addition to it. Lord knows there is plenty of room at the new stadium.

This honor would be instead of having their respective number retired. That honor would still be reserved for only the true legends of Yankee lore.

So, who would be inducted in the first class?

It would have to be a rather large one, encompassing players from different eras. I envision 10-15 first time members.

Here is who I would include.

Catcher

Jorge Posada (upon his retirement)

First Base

Tino Martinez

Moose Skowron

Second Base

Tony Lazzeri

Bobby Richardson

Joe Gordon

Willie Randolph

Third Base

Graig Nettles

Shortstop

Bucky Dent

Gene Michael (more for his off the field work in the Yankees front office then anything)

Outfielders

Paul O'Neill

Bobby Murcer

Roy White

Hank Bauer

Dave Winfield

Rickey Henderson

Pitchers

Mel Stottlemyre

Allie Reynolds

Andy Pettitte

Sparky Lyle

Dave Righetti

Rich Gossage

Creating this Hall of Legends would keep the integrity of Monument Park while allowing fans to celebrate these great Yankees, ensuring that their important contributions to the team and generations of Yankee fans are never forgotten.

*From my initial article, I am still convinced that Bernie Williams and Joe Torre will have their respective numbers retired, so I am not including them here.