This will be like an all pro football team: the best players at each fielding position, which also means no DH, which would be silly since only the Yankees had any full time DH. It also means that you do not move the right tackle to left tackle to accommodate a second string right tackle who is better than the first string left tackle. In other words, Babe Ruth stays in right field.
- played at least half the time for New York teams:
New York Giants through 1957
Brooklyn Dodgers through 1957
New York Yankees
New York Mets
- played at least half of that time at the fielding position
This criteria eliminates Willie Mays and precludes moving Mickey Mantle to shortstop, or worse, Lou Gehrig to DH. Stuff like that. This will be straight up best at position.
As a practical matter, I did not seriously consider players before 1903.
C - Yogi Berra, Yankees
1B - Lou Gehrig, Yankees
2B - Robinson Cano, Yankees
SS - Derek Jeter, Yankees
3B - Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
LF - Zack Wheat, Dodgers
CF - Mickey Mantle, Yankees
RF - Babe Ruth, Yankees
P - Christy Mathewson, Giants
Probably the most contended position with four Hall of Fame candidates from three teams:
Bill Dickey, Yankees
Yogi Berra, Yankees
Roy Campanella, Dodgers
Mike Piazza, Mets
Campanella's career was a bit short and not because of his crippling car accident. He was pretty much finished in 1957, before the accident. Piazza played mostly for the Mets but had his best seasons with the Dodgers.
Dickey and Berra are pretty much a tossup. Berra played about 2.5 seasons as the starting LF but still had plenty of playing time as catcher.
1B: Lou Gehrig is a no brainer; OPS+ 179 in 9,663 PA; 112.4 WAR
2B: Did I pick the wrong Robinson? Jackie played only 56% (6,393) of his 11,330 innings at second base, mostly 1948-1952.
Cano: OPS + 126 in 5,791 PA; 45.2 WAR with the Yankees; tournament OPS only .686 in 217 PA
Jackie: OPS+ 132 in 5,802 PA; 61.5 WAR but only about 40.7 WAR at 2B; WS OPS only .679 in 160 PA
That makes their hitting about even. But since Jackie barely qualifies as a second baseman using my pretty easy criteria, I gave the decision to Cano.
Tony Lazzeri, Yankees: Only 144 of his 7,315 PA (Dodgers & Giants 51 each) were for a non New York team (Cubs), so we can use his career stats: OPS+ 121, 49.9 WAR. WS OPS .762
Willie Randolph, Yankees: OPS+ 105 in 7,464 Yankee PA; OPS 93 in 336 Met PA; NY WAR: 65.5 - 11.2 = 54.3
SS: Derek Jeter: Like Gehrig, a no brainer. OPS+ 115 in 12,602 PA; 71.8 WAR; never played another fielding position
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: 54% (6,520) of 12,207 PA with Yankees; OPS+ 136; supplanted Nettles as greatest Yankee 3B; AL MVP twice as a Yankee.
Graig Nettles, Yankees: 61% (6,248) of 10,228 PA with Yankees; OPS + 113
David Wright, Mets: OPS+ 133; 49.9 WAR
Zack Wheat, Dodgers: Hall of Fame; OPS+ 130 in 9,725 Dodger PA (another 275 with Phillies); 60.2 WAR (.5 with Phillies)
Mickey Mantle, Yankees: OPS+ 172 in 9,907 PA; 109.7 WAR
Joe DiMaggio, Yankees: OPS+ 155 in 6,821 PA; 78.1 WAR
Duke Snider, Dodgers: OPS+ 144 in 6,086 Brooklyn PA
Babe Ruth, Yankees: OPS+ 209 in 9,199 Yankee PA; with Yankees 1,128 (56%) games in RF and 869 in LF.
Mel Ott, Giants: OPS+ 155 in 9,456 PA; 107.8 WAR
Christy Mathewson, Giants: ERA+ 138 in 4,780 innings (9 with Reds: 8 ER)
Carl Hubbell, Giants: ERA+ 130 in 3,590 innings
Whitey Ford, Yankees: ERA+ 133 in 3,170 innings
Tom Seaver, Mets: ERA+ 136 in 3,045 Met innings (64% of his 4,783)