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The 61 Greatest Home Runs in Yankee History

October 6, 2012

Posada connects in the Stadium’s inaugural game (NY Daily News)

Of the 14,772 home runs that the New York Yankees have clubbed in their history, there are a handful that stand above the rest.  Some are legendary, hovering somewhere between truth and lore.  Some are the result of underdogs rising to the occasion.  Others are among the most transcendent moments in the history of baseball.  All of them, however, are a part of the powerful, winning tradition of Major League Baseball’s most storied franchise.

The following list of 61 represents just 0.4% of the home runs in Yankee history.  If you don’t know why I chose the number 61, please leave this page and do not return until you do.  To begin, here are three long balls that did not make the final cut, but are still are worthy of remembering.  They are the honorable mentions.

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Honorable Mention

Paul O’Neill | Ties it in the 10th | vs. Boston Red Sox | 4/22/2001

This home run has little historical significance, but any clutch dinger against the Sox is worthy of recognition, and it is a quintessential Paul O’Neill moment.  With 1 out and the Yanks down 3-2 in the bottom half of the 10th, O’Neill connected with a 1-2 pitch from Derek Lowe.  Thinking he had flown out, O’Neill slammed his bat down in disgust, while the ball continued to carry, and carry, over the head of Darren Lewis and into the right field stands.  I can only imagine the ribbing he received when he got back to the dugout.  It was a classic moment for a player who was always his own harshest critic.  Two batters later David Justice atoned for his 4 strikeouts by taking Lowe’s first pitch deep for a game-winning homer.

Babe Ruth | 1st as a Yankee | vs. Boston Red Sox | 5/1/1920

Of course it came against the Red Sox.  Some of his greatest home runs came against his former ball club: his 1st at Yankee Stadium, his last at the Polo Grounds, his 300th.  This one came in a 6-0 win at the Polo Grounds (Yankee Stadium had not been built yet), as Ruth helped defeat the Sox by going 2 for 4 and blasting his first round-tripper in pinstripes.  It was the first of his 659 home runs with New York.

Jorge Posada | 1st at New Yankee Stadium | vs. Cleveland Indians | 4/16/2009

It will never be called the House that Jorge Built, but the beloved catcher of the Yanks’ most recent dynasty christened the new digs in the 2nd inning off of Cleveland’s Cliff Lee.  It may not feel incredibly significant now, but 50 years from now people will want to know who hit the first bomb at One East 161st Street.  The answer will be a tried and true Yankee legend.

I hope you enjoy the following list that pays homage to the most significant, memorable, mythical, and improbable home runs in Yankee history.

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