It’s not an apples to apples comparison, because the eras are different; Ruth played before African-Americans were allowed in the majors; Ruth didn’t have to play against the world’s best pitchers and players in a global game, as Pujols does today; etc. I’ll cede all of those valid arguments. My dad (John Branchflower) is a pilot for Continental Airlines, the Yankees charter airline at the time. After the Yankees beat the Mariners in the ALCS, he immediately began checking Open Time (the system where available trips are listed) for flights from Newark to Phoenix. He wound up picking up the trip that would take the Bronx Bombers to Phoenix to open the series. Whenever my dad has a celebrity on his flight, he likes to joke with them in hopes of getting a good story to tell his buddies. This usually involves sending back a note with some sort of ridiculous demand and threat if they don’t comply – they usually give a witty counter and sign the note. Some (abbreviated) examples.
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Captain Branch: If you want me to land this plane, I’ll need box tickets when the series comes back to New York. The rest is history. Shane Spencer guns someone down at the plate to keep it close. Tino Martinez hits a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to send it to bonus baseball. And Derek Jeter hits a walk off in the bottom of the 10th just after midnight, making him Mr. November. The Yankees have such a long history of success, now spanning nearly 80 years of consistent dominance, it’s hard to have overrated players. For a player to be overrated, they would need to not achieve the ultimate goals of sport – which is championships – and the Yankees have plenty. Although on the flip side, in order to be overrated, you need to be highly regarded to begin with – the Yankees have those too. There are candidates. Their candidacy for most overrated is there, but they all have pros (for being overrated) and cons (for not being overrated) for that case.