Top 10 Yankees memories of 2017

As we get ready to bring in the new year, and hopefully also end a nine-year championship drought in the Bronx, we here at the BBB thought it would be a good idea to count down the top 10 Yankees memories from 2017. Since we've had some noteworthy moves this offseason, the list includes both on and off the field moments. The 10 moments that do make the list are completely arbitrary and decided by yours truly; however, I've also included some honorable mentions that could have easily made their way onto any other fan's list.

Photo Credit: Anthony Gruppuso/ USA TODAY Sports

1. ALCS game 4 comeback

The improbable comeback against the Houton Astros is clearly the top on-the-field memory of 2017. It was on this night that we truly realized that the home field advantage that is Yankee Stadium was indeed back. Down 4-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh in a series they already trailed 2-1 to the Astros, the Bombers rallied to pull off one of the best comebacks I've ever seen.

It started with an Aaron Judge mammoth home run to center field that put the Yankees on the board in the seventh inning. Didi Gregorius would soon triple and score on a Gary Sanchez sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to two. The bottom of the eighth, however, is where the real magic happened. After a Todd Frazier single and Chase Headley double put runners on second and third with nobody out, Brett Gardner did what he does best and manufactured a run with a ground ball to cut the Astros lead to one. Aaron Judge then doubled home a run to tie it. Two batters later, after a Gregorius single, Sanchez laced a double into the gap in right-center field, giving the Yankees a 6-4 that would become the final score.

2. AL Wild Card Game 

Entering the pivotal win or go home wild card game, the Bombers had not won a playoff game since 2012. The Yankees prospects for victory looked grim when Luis Severino imploded, as he gave up three runs and failed to escape the first inning.

However, the Yankees fortunes quickly turned around. With runners on first and third with one man out, Gregorius hit a three run home run that tied the game and brought the Yankee Stadium crowd to life. The ballpark had not been this loud since at least the 2009 World Series. Perhaps this was close to as loud as it has ever been in the new Yankee Stadium. Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge would add on home runs of their own, as the Yankees went on to win 8-4. Though the offensive firepower was key to the victory, the Yankees bullpen was the true hero, as Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, and Aroldis Chapman combined to give up only one run in 8.2 innings, while striking out 13.

3. Yankees acquire Giancarlo Stanton

Just when we thought the Yankees were turning over a new leaf by relying on solely home grown talent, we realized the team still had the capability to make a big move. On December 9, the Yankees shocked the baseball world and landed Giancarlo Stanton, the reigning National League MVP and MLB home run leader, for Starlin Castro and a few minor league arms.

Knowing that Derek Jeter's ownership group was desperate to dump Stanton and his enormous contract, the Yankees took advantage of the fact that they were one of only four teams that Stanton stated he would waive his no trade clause for. This move certainly mirrors what we saw prior to the 2004 season, when the Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers for Alfonso Soriano and prospects. Needless to say, the Yankees lineup will be a threat next season and for years to come.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Willie J. Allen Jr.

Regardless of how new skipper Aaron Boone decides to configure his lineup, Stanton, Judge, Greg Bird, Sanchez, and Gregorius will be quite a formidable and deep heart of the order.

4. Greg Bird's ALDS game 3 home run

Coming off one of the worst Yankees losses I've ever seen in which manager Joe Girardi's decision to not challenge a controversial hit by pitch call led to a crushing defeat, the Yankees headed back to the Bronx down 2-0 in a best of five series to the Indians. The game turned out to be a pitcher's duel between Masahiro Tanaka and Carlos Carrasco.

With the game still scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, Greg Bird injected a new dosage of hope into the Yankee Stadium faithful as he crushed a pitch from Andrew Miller into the second deck in right field. Tanaka's seven dominating innings, Judge robbing Francisco Lindor of a potentially decisive home run, and Chapman locking it down in relief meant Bird's home run saved the Yankees season.

5. ALDS game 5 victory 

It is no coincidence that the fifth best memory came two games after the fourth best memory. After taking game 4 and tying the series at two behind a rebound game from Luis Severino and the offense, the Yankees headed to Cleveland, with hopes of advancing to the ALCS. Didi Gregorius would be the star of the game, as he hit not one, but TWO home runs off of AL Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber. CC Sabathia would dominate into the fifth inning before he apparently ran out of gas.

Behind a lock down performance from the bullpen and two more runs resulting from a masterful at bat from Brett Gardner that culminated in a ninth inning single. Chapman later came on to shut the door and send the Yankees to the ALCS for the first time since 2012. Rallying back from a 2-0 deficit in this series made for sweet revenge from the curse of midges back in 2007.

6. Yankees choose not to renew Joe Girardi's contract, hire Aaron Boone as his replacement 

I've been a long time Joe Girardi hater, so for me personally, his departure may be the top 2017 Yankees memory. Nonetheless, the Yankees hiring a new manager is a big deal. Girardi had been at the helm since the 2008 season, leading the Bombers to a championship in 2009, six playoff appearances in 10 seasons, and never once presiding over a losing season.

Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Girardi appeared to hit rock bottom after his non-challenge in game two of the ALDS against the Indians, but the Yankees rallied back to win the series. However, general manager Brian Cashman later let it be known that the real reason for Girardi's dismissal was his inability to connect with younger players, most notably, we can surmise, Gary Sanchez.

Going with a rookie manager in Boone is certainly an interesting choice by the Yanks, but the new manager is great with the media and should create a more friendly environment in the clubhouse. If anything, he'll be much more fun than Girardi's typical "it's not what you want" press conference. Boone is being handed the keys to a Maybach in the Bronx, so even the slightest managerial prowess should suffice.

7. Aaron Judge wins the Home Run Derby

Along with teammate Gary Sanchez, Judge dominated the 2017 Home Run Derby in Miami. After Sanchez bested future teammate Giancarlo Stanton in the first round, Judge was the clear cut front runner to walk away with the title. In total, Judge hit 47 homers, a few of which measured in at longer than 500 feet. At times, it looked effortless from Judge. One downside, however, is that Judge went into a prolonged slump in the second half of the season. Many fans chose to blame the home run derby for the fall off in his production.

Regardless of any detrimental long-term effects the derby had on Judge's performance, it was surely a night to remember. Judge became the first Yankee to win the derby since Robinson Cano did it in 2011.

8. Brett Gardner's ninth inning home run caps sweep of Cubs at Wrigley Field

Postseason moments easily made it to the top of our 2017 memories list. On the other hand, it was difficult to select the regular season moments that cracked the list. Brett Gardner's ninth inning home run in Chicago was surely one of the most memorable moments of the season. In the first game of what would amount to a series sweep of the Cubs at Wrigley Field in early May, the Yankees appeared destined to lose. Down 2-0 in the top of the ninth with two men on base and two outs, while unable to get anything going offensively the entire day, Gardner stepped to plate and rocked a three-run shot to right field off of Hector Rendon. Gardner's home run would prove to be decisive as the Yankees held on to the 3-2 victory.

9. Yankees comeback from 9-1 deficit against Orioles

Who would have thought that a game the Yankees were trailing 9-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth would make its way on to the list of best 2017 memories? In a game that didn't go too well for the Yankees pitching staff, the offense came through. Following two home runs from Aaron Judge and a Jacoby Ellsbury grandslam, the Yankees went into the bottom of the ninth down 11-8. After an Ellsbury force out brought the Bombers within two, Starlin Castro hit a two-run home run to tie the game.

Matt Holliday was the hero in the bottom of the 10th, as he went on to hit a three-run homer to right center field to cap off a 14-11 victory. Coming back from eight runs down is no easy feat, but the Yankees gave the fans something to cheer for in late March, foreshadowing a season that would feature this gritty club fighting adversity and never giving up. Such a win would have been unimaginable for the 2013-2016 New York Yankees.

10. Clint Frazier's walk off home run against the Brewers

It was especially tough for me to pick the last memory to make the list, but I decided to settle on Clint Frazier's July 8th walk-off home run against the Milwaukee Brewers. Frazier's name has been mentioned in trade talks as of late and it appears that he will have no spot in the crowded Yankees 2018 outfield so we should appreciate him while we can. On this hot July day, Frazier stole the show, driving in all of the Yankees runs.

Down 3-2 with two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth, the rookie outfielder who headlined the Andrew Miller trade showed off his impressive bat speed, crushing a home run to left field. This victory was of heightened importance because the Yankees were going through a tough skid for about a month following an impressive start to the season. Regardless of whether Frazier's future is with the Yankees, his walk off homer against the Brewers is a moment most Yankee fans won't forget for a long time.

Honorable mentions: Ronald Torreyes' walk off single against the Rangers, Chris Carter being designated for assignment twice, the 18-inning victory against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the infamous brawl with the Detroit Tigers, and Luis Severino dominating the Red Sox in early September.

Do you have any memories to add to the list? If so, please feel free to comment or reply to the article on Twitter!

Though the Yankees fell one game short of reaching the World Series, as they lost a heartbreaking game seven to the Houston Astros in the ALCS, the team provided us fans with reason to believe again. As we bid the year 2017 adieu, we look positively towards 2018. The expectations for the Bombers will once again be World Series or bust, and I think I speak for many other Yankees fans when I say that there's no other way we'd rather have it.

Article by: Steven Eareckson


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