Clink this link to view data since 1920 by year; two tabs: Leaders, HR >= 15.
Candidates to lead the Yankees in 2015 with their previous highs: McCann (24,24,23,23) Mark Teixeira (43,39,39,38), Chase Headley (31,13,13,12), Jacoby Ellsbury (32,16,9), Carlos Beltran (41,38,33,32), and, dare I say, Alex Rodriguez (57,54,52,48,47). For Rodriguez those numbers are for the five times he led the American Conference (AC) in home runs, twice with the Yankees. Teixeira led AC with 39 in 2009, the most recent Yankee to lead the AC/AL in homers.
Rodriguez joined the Yankees in 2004 and led the team in four of his first five Yankee seasons:
2004 (tied with Gary Sheffield) 36
2006 Jason Giambi 37, Rodriguez 35
February 16, 2004: (Rodriguez) Traded by the Texas Rangers with cash to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later and Alfonso Soriano. The New York Yankees sent Joaquin Arias (April 23, 2004) to the Texas Rangers to complete the trade.
Alfonso Soriano deserves honorable mention. In his first two Yankee seasons Jason Giambi became the first Yankee since Mickey Mantle to hit at least 40 homers in consecutive seasons: 41 in both 2002 and 2003. Second to Giambi both years was Soriano: 39 in 2002 (led AC in SB: 41), 38 in 2003.
I always thought that the Yankees should have made The Godfather II offer to Texas to acquire Rodriguez: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071562/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu
[Geary is demanding a large bribe for a gaming license]
Senator Pat Geary: I want your answer and the money by noon tomorrow. And one more thing. Don't you contact me again, ever. From now on, you deal with Turnbull.
Michael Corleone: Senator? You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally.
The Rangers were being crushed by the $252 million contract and would have traded Rodriguez for a broken bat and a bag of balls just to unload it. Instead the Yankees, with the trade of Rodriguez to the Red Sox killed by the union and with no other teams bidding, traded their young slugging second baseman Soriano who would go on to set a Montreal/Washington franchise record with 46 home runs in 2006.
Since Giambi, Curtis Granderson has also hit at least 40 in consecutive seasons: 2011 41, 2012 43.
Robinson Cano in 2013 was the only second baseman to lead the Yankees in home runs.
Four Yankee catchers have led the team:
- Yogi Berra: 1951: 27, MVP; 1952: 30; 1953: 27
- Elston Howard: 1963: 28; MVP
- Matt Nokes (surprise): 1991: 24
- Brian McCann 2014: 23
Most consecutive (includes ties):
8 Babe Ruth: 1926-1933 (1931 tied Lou Gehrig)
7 Mickey Mantle 1954-1960
5 Babe Ruth: 1920-1924
4 Joe DiMaggio: 1937-1940
4 Bobby Murcer: 1970-1973 (1973 tied Nettles)
3 Lou Gehrig, Charlie Keller, Yogi Berra, Graig Nettles, Reggie Jackson, Tino Martinez
2 Etten, DiMaggio, Maris, Mantle, Nettles, Winfield, Mattingly, Tartabull, O'Neill, Giambi, Rodriguez, Teixeira, Granderson
Most (includes ties):
Babe Ruth: 13
Mickey Mantle: 10
Joe DiMaggio: 7
Graig Nettles: 6
4: Lou Gehrig, Charlie Keller, Bobby Murcer, Tino Martinez, Alex Rodriguez
By decade (includes ties):
1920s: Ruth 9, Bob Meusel 1
1930s: Ruth 4, Gehrig 4, DiMaggio 3
1940s: Keller 4, DiMaggio 3, Nick Etten 2, Tommy Henrich
1950s: Mantle 6, Berra 3, DiMaggio 1
1960s: Mantle 4, Maris 2, Pepitone 2, Howard, Tresh
1970s: Nettles 5, Murcer 4, Jackson 2, Bobby Bonds
1980s: Mattingly 3, Winfield 2, Jackson, Nettles, Don Baylor, Mike Pagliarulo, Jack Clark
1990s: Martinez 3, Danny Tartabull 2, Paul O'Neill 2, Bernie Williams, Jesse Barfield, Matt Nokes
2000s: Rodriguez 4, Giambi 3, Williams, Martinez, Sheffield, Teixeira
2010s: Granderson 2, Teixeira, Cano, McCann
DiMaggio led in three decades.
Nettles led the Yankees in 1981 with only 15 homers in 348 AB; the Yanks played only 107 games because of a dispute between the union and owners, which resulted in an ad hoc split season. Mantle led in his final two seasons despite low numbers: 1967 22. 1968 18. Nick Etten led in the final two years of World War II: 1944 22, 1945 18. DiMaggio led in 1947 with only 20 and was AL MVP. In 1973 and 1974 the most was only 22: Murcer/Nettles, Nettles. In the 1970s the most homers was 37 by Nettles in 1977; six times the most was less than 30. In 1989 Mattingly led with 23. And most recently: Cano 27, McCann 23.
Ten best AB/HR (lower is better):
Only Mantle in 1961 did not lead the league.