The Yankees have had many great players who have had record-setting individual seasons. While there are intangible factors to consider when looking at a player’s individual success, for this article available statistics, post-season honors, and the team’s overall achievement during the season were considered. Since most players have had more than a few outstanding years, only one season has been included for each player.
10) Rickey Henderson, LF, 1985: The Man of Steal hit .314 with a superb on-base percentage of .419. He stole 80 bases, to go along with 24 home runs, 72 RBI’s, 99 walks, and 146 runs scored.
9) Don Mattingly, 1B, 1985: Donnie Baseball won the American League Most Valuable Player Award and the Gold Glove this season. He batted .324 with 35 home runs and 145 RBI’s, along with 211 hits and 107 runs scored. Mattingly led the league with 48 doubles and 370 total bases.
8) Whitey Ford, SP, 1961: Winner of the Cy Young Award, Ford’s record was 25-4, and .862 winning percentage. He struck out 209 batters while leading the league with 283 innings pitched. His ERA was 3.21. Ford was named MVP of the World Series, as he went 2-0 and held the Reds scoreless in 14 innings.
7) Roger Maris, RF, 1961: Named Most Valuable Player, Maris led the American League with 61 home runs, 141 RBI’s, 132 runs scored, and 366 total bases. He batted .269 with a .620 slugging percentage.
6) Alex Rodriguez, 3B, 2007: Winner of the MVP award, Rodriguez hit .314 with 54 home runs and 156 RBI’s. He led the American League with 143 runs scored, 376 total bases, and a .645 slugging percentage.
5) Mickey Mantle, CF, 1956: The AL MVP, Mantle won the Triple Crown with a .353 batting average, 56 home runs, and 130 RBI’s. he also led the league with 132 runs scored, 376 total bases, and a .705 slugging percentage. Mantle also walked 112 times and had an on-base percentage of .464.
4) Ron Guidry, SP, 1978: Louisiana Lightning won the Cy Young Award with a 25-3 record, a .893 winning percentage. Guidry struck out 248 batters in 273 innings. He led all pitchers in ERA with 1.74, an amazingly low number for a starter, and also led the majors in tossing 9 shutouts.
3) Joe DiMaggio, CF, 1937: It’s difficult to select any one season for DiMaggio, since he had a number of outstanding years. But in 1937 he batted .346 with 215 hits and 167 RBI’s. He led the American League in runs scored with 151, home runs with 46, total bases with 418, and slugging percentage at .673. DiMaggio also led all American League outfielders with 22 assists.
2) Lou Gehrig, 1B, 1927: Gehrig had many incredible years so it’s tough to pick just one as his best. In 1927 he batted .373 with 46 home runs, 218 hits, 149 runs scored, 109 walks, 18 triples, and 10 stolen bases, with an on base percentage of .474 and slugging percentage of .765. He led the American League with 52 doubles, 175 RBI’s, and 447 total bases, and was named Most Valuable Player.
1) Babe Ruth, RF, 1921: Ruth’s numbers were astounding in just about every season that he played. So we’ll pick 1921 as the best. He batted.378, and led the American League with 59 home runs, 171 RBI’s, 177 runs scored, 145 walks, 457 total bases, on base percentage at .512, and slugging percentage at .846. He had 204 hits, 44 doubles, 16 triples, and 17 stolen bases. Ruth’s statistics sometimes do not even seem real.
source for statistics: http://www.baseballreference.com