In part two of the MSG Series “The Lineup”, we will be ranking the top 5 first basemen in the history of New York baseball. Last week, we predicted the first 4 correctly until host and former Met Gary Carter weaseled his way into the top 5. Very suspicious, I know, but this week we’ll go for our first perfect picks.

  1. Lou Gehrig – New York Yankees (1923-1939) With catchers you have Yogi, and with first basemen, you have Gehrig. Although he will likely be remembered for having his career end early to ALS, his “The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech will be remembered as the best speech in the history of sports. Gehrig’s long list of accolades include: 7-time All-Star, 6-time World Series Champion, 2-time American League MVP, and winner of the 1934 Triple Crown. He also hit four home runs in a game.
    Career Stats: .340 BA, 493 HRs, 1995 RBIs
  2. Johnny Mize – New York Giants (1942, 1946-1949), New York Yankees (1949-1953)
    Johnny Mize is one of the best baseball players of all time that not a lot of people have heard of. The 1981 Hall of Fame inductee currently holds the records for most games with three home runs (6). Other awards include being a 10-time All-Star and a 5-Time World Series Champion.
    Career Stats: .312 BA, 359 HRs, 1337 RBIs
    Why he’s not higher: He was never an MVP. Also, he missed four years in his prime serving his country in World War II. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen to Mark Teixeira!
  3. Don Mattingly – New York Yankees (1982-1995)
    Donnie Baseball was the face of the Yankee franchise during the 1980’s. Known for his hardwork on and off the diamond, Mattingly was one of 14 captains in the storied history of the Yankees. Mattingly was a 6-time All-Star selection, a 9-time Gold Glover, a 3-time Silver Slugger, and the 1985 American League MVP.
    Career Stats: .307 BA, 222 HRs, 1099 RBIs
    Why he’s not higher: The only criticism of Mattingly is his lack of World Series hardware.
  4. Gil Hodges – Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1943-1961), New York Mets (1962-1963)
    Although Hodges is unfortunately known as one of the best players of all time not to be in the Hall of Fame, his offensive ability combined with his stellar defense proves that he is one of the top five first basemen in New York history. He was an 8-time All-Star, a 3-time World Series Champion, a 3-time Gold Glover, and he was one of 15 players, including Lou Gehrig, to ever hit four home runs in a game.
    Career Stats: .273 BA, 370 HRs, 1274 RBIs
    Why he’s not higher: The lack thereof recognition for Hall of Fame consideration is likely due to his relatively low batting average.
  5. Tino Martinez – New York Yankees (1996-2001)
    Although Tino was only in New York for seven seasons, his production before, during, and after that tenure in the Bronx cements his spot in our list. Martinez was instrumental in the late 1990’s Yankee dynasty. His accomplishments are as follows: 2-time All-Star, 4-time World Series Champion, and in 1997, he won the Silver Slugger Award as well as the Home Run Derby.
    Career Stats: .271, 339 HRs, 1271 RBIs
    Why he’s not higher: He had more years not playing in the Bronx then he did playing in pinstripes.

Why do you think? Who do you got in your top five? Let us know, and fill out a lineup card here.

Photo Credit: New York Daily News