Frankie Crosetti: “King of Rings”

The New York Yankees have long been admired for their brilliant winning pedigree. They’ve won 27 World Series Championships, 40 American League Pennants and produced some of the greatest players the game of baseball has ever seen. They are truly the standard to which all teams in any sport are measured against. They’re the only team in baseball history to win four straight championships (1936-1939) and five straight (1949-1953). For 85 years, the original Yankee Stadium was the most hallowed ground in sports and home of some of the greatest games ever played. In 2009, that tradition continued as the Yankees won title number 27 in their first season at the new Yankee Stadium. Because of the team’s tremendous success, they’ve had players and coaches who have done a tremendous amount of winning (with apologies to Don Mattingly). Babe Ruth won four times, Joe DiMaggio nine, Mickey Mantle seven, and Lou Gehrig six. Then of course you had the man with the greatest sayings in baseball, the incomparable Yogi Berra who won ten championships as the Yankee catcher. Berra won three more championships as a coach to have 13 in total. Amazingly he still sits four rings behind the true “King of Rings”, Yankees shortstop and coach Frankie Crosetti who 17 times was a World Series Champion.
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Frank Peter Joseph Crosetti also known as “The Crow” was born on October 4, 1910 in San Francisco, California. As the son of Italian immigrants, he grew up in the same part of the Bay Area as future Yankee teammates and fellow first generation Italian Americans Tony Lazzeri and Joe DiMaggio. Mark Koenig of the famed murderers row Yankees also grew up in the North Beach section of San Francisco. Like many young men from the west coast, Crosetti began his baseball career by playing in the Pacific Coast League as a member of San Francisco Seals. Crosetti joined the Yankees in 1932 and won the World Series in his very first year, this season is also of note because it was the final championship Babe Ruth won with the Yankees.

Crosetti had excellent speed and was known for his good glove work. Eventually he would lose his starting job with the emergence of the brilliant youngster Phil Rizzuto. With the United States entry in World War II, Rizzuto joined the Navy and Crosetti reclaimed his starting spot at short. The Crow’s playing career with the Bronx Bombers spanned from 1932-1948. He spent the last two years of his career as player/coach before transitioning to being a full time coach. He won eight World Series championships as a player and nine more as a coach. His 17 championships and 23 American League championships are still a record to this day. He finished his career with a .245 batting average and 98 home runs while driving in 649 runs. Those aren’t stats that jump off the page and make you scream wow, but there is no denying Crosetti was the ultimate winner.

Crosetti sadly passed away at the age of 91 on February 11, 2002. His legacy of winning is still passed down through every generation of players who have the distinct honor to call themselves Yankees.

Article by: Fave Ruggiero


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