A baseball legend that lived off hot dogs and beer and slammed mammoth home runs or the shortstop with GQ looks who drives fancy cars and is now a member of the 3,000 hit club: Who do New York baseball fans think is the greatest Yankee of all time? Depends who you ask.
Babe Ruth and Derek Jeter tied for tops on the list at 29 percent in a recent Quinnipiac University poll conducted July 19-25. And Jeter has the ladies to thank for propelling him to the No. 1 spot with Ruth.
Thirty percent of women said Jeter deserves the title, with Ruth at 16 percent, while 29 percent of men favor the Babe over Jeter at 18 percent.
Among fans 65 older the greatest Yankee of all time is Joe DiMaggio with 24 percent of the vote. Jeter and Ruth were tied at 19 percent.
“Derek Jeter’s solid performance for 16 years and the superstar way he got his 3,000th hit – a Babe Ruth-style home run into the left-field seats, has elevated him to the pantheon of baseball gods, at least among women and younger fans – right next to the Sultan of Swat,” said Maurice Carroll director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Ruth and Jeter were far and away the favorites of the 785 baseball fans surveyed about two weeks after Jeter homered for the 3,000th hit of his career.
“Except for The Captain and The Babe, it isn’t even close. Remember how great The Yankee Clipper was? Remember the most memorable radio broadcast a baseball player ever made – Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech? Remember Mickey Mantle, even when he was playing on crippled knees? None of them gets out of single digits.”
For those who want to debate the rest of the list, Joe DiMaggio received 9 percent of the vote, followed by Lou Gehrig with 8 percent and Mickey Mantle with 6 percent.
The poll’s margin of error was 3.5 percent.