Mike has not been in the top 100 baby names since the 1960s. However, “Mike” is the most popular name in Yankees franchise history.
To be exact, 45 “Mikes” have worn Yankee pinstripes.
Before taking a look at the roster, let it be known that “Michaels,” “Mickeys” or “Mikeys,” while they have similar names, do not fit on this list. Only players who are listed on BaseballReference.com as “Mike” were eligible for the All-Time Mike squad.
That means Giancarlo “Mike” Stanton cannot be honored.
There have been five Mickeys, two Michaels, and no Mikeys… they have a long way before any of them catch up to the Mikes.
To make this roster, each Mike had to have the highest WAR during their Yankee tenure at their position.
Here it is, a surprisingly underwhelming roster of the best Mikes in Yankee history.
Starting Pitcher: Mike Mussina
Mussina is the only Hall of Fame Mike in Yankee history, so he easily gets a spot on this list. Mussina was a three-time Gold Glover with the Yankees and pitched in 86.1 postseason innings for the Yankees,
Relief Pitcher: Mike Stanton
No, obviously this is not the Yankee slugger. This is a guy who pitched seven seasons for the Yankees and had a 3.77 ERA in pinstripes and a 121 ERA+, pitching from 1997-2002, and shortly in 2005.
Catcher: Mike Stanley
Stanley had his three best seasons as a Yankee and even won a Silver Slugger Award with the team in 1993. In the 1995 ALDS, he hit .313 with a home run.
As a Ranger later in his career, he caught Nolan Ryan’s final ho-hitter.
First Base: Mike Ford
Ford is one of two current Yankees on the All-Mike Team, which shows how rare it was to find a good Mike, which is ironic because it is the most common name in team history. Ford projects to make the Opening Day lineup for the Yankees…if there is a season.
Second Base: Mike Gallego
Gallego was a defense-first player but hit 19 of his 42 career home runs as a Yankee. He was also the final Yankee to wear #2 before Derek Jeter.
Third Base: Mike Pagliarulo
In 1987, Pagliarulo hit a career-high 32 home runs. The Yankees drafted Pagliarulo in 1981 a few rounds ahead of Fred McGriff and Lenny Dykstra.
Shortstop: Mike Milosevich
Somehow, Milosevich only played two seasons in his career (1944-95), but still made this list. This may be the only all-time team Milosevich has made. Milosevich hit four triples in his rookie season
Outfield: Mike Tauchman
Tauchman is the greatest outfielder named Mike in Yankee history, and at the beginning of 2019, he did not even make the major league roster. Known for his high socks, Tauchman added much-needed depth to a talented, but injured Yankee team and hit 13 home runs. He also stole six bases without being caught.
Outfield: Mike Hegan
Hegan played for the Yankees four different times but never was able to make a real impact, or play more than 70 games. He was an All-Star for the Seattle Pilots in 1969 when he hit .293 in the first half of the season with 7 home runs.
His power dwindled in the second half and he only hit one more dinger. In fact, he never hit more than 6 home runs in one half of a season for the rest of his career.
Outfield: Mike Aldrete
Alderley is the only Mike on this list with a WAR below 0.1. His 0.0 WAR was earned in the final season of his career, 1996 when he hit three home runs in 32 games for the Yankees after being traded from the California Angels.
Featured Image: AP