New York Yankees All-Time ERA Leaders
The New York Yankees have been a major league baseball franchise since 1901, so as I write this, well over 100 years. The Yankees have been known to have some of the best offensive players of all-time, but they have also fielded some of the game’s great pitchers. Here is a short list of the Yankees’ all-time leaders in ERA (earned run average), which is a great statistical measure for pitchers, because it’s the average of earned runs that they surrender per nine innings:
Rich Gossage (2.14)—Relief pitcher Rich “Goose” Gossage was one of the most dominant (and scary to opposing hitters) pitchers of his generation, and maybe of all-time. Gossage pitched for the Yanks from 1978 to 1983, and again briefly in 1989. Gossage was 42-28 with a 2.14 ERA for the Yankees, ranking him first in team history in that category. He also had 151 saves and struck out 512 batters in 533 innings. Gossage’s lowest ERA came with the Yankees in 1981, when he went 3-2 with a stunning 0.77 earned run average, and 20 saves in a strike-shortened season.
Mariano Rivera (2.25)—Mariano Rivera is one of the best closers in the game right now and has been dominant for over a decade. And he’s still extremely dependable out of the bullpen. Rivera has played for the Yankees his entire career, since 1995, and he ranks second in franchise history with a 2.25 ERA. Rivera also has 526 career saves, and his best season for ERA was 2005. That year, he went 7-4 with a 1.38 earned run average and 43 saves and 80 strikeouts in 78 innings pitched.
Sparky Lyle (2.41)—Lefty Sparky Lyle pitched for New York from 1972 to 1978 and ranks third in Yankees’ history with a 2.41 earned run average for them. Lyle’s career low in ERA came with the Yankees in 1974. That year, he went 9-3 with a 1.66 ERA, and 15 saves with 89 strikeouts.
Russ Ford (2.54)—Russ Ford pitched for the Yankees from 1909 to 1913, and he ranks fourth in team history with a 2.54 earned run average. Ford was a starter, and he went 73-56 with the Yanks. His best season was 1910, when Ford went 26-6 (career high in wins) with a career best 1.65 ERA, and 209 strikeouts (also career high).
Jack Chesbro (2.58)—Jack Chesbro pitched for New York from 1903 to 1909, and his 2.58 ERA over that time ranks him fifth in franchise history. Chesbro had his best overall season in 1904 in a Yankees’ uniform. That year, Chesbro had career best numbers in ERA (1.82), wins (41-12), and strikeouts (239).