List of Yankee Captains – A Comprehensive Guide

As the backbone of the team, Yankee captains hold a unique position in the annals of baseball history. Their influence extends far beyond the field, playing a crucial role in defining the spirit of the Yankees. In this blog post, we’ll explore the list of Yankee captains.

List of Yankee Captains

List of Yankee Captains

Here is the list of Yankee Captains:

  • Hal Chase (1912)
  • Frank Chance (1913)
  • Roger Peckinpaugh (1914–1921)
  • Babe Ruth (1922)
  • Everett Scott (1922–1925)
  • Lou Gehrig (1935–1941)
  • Thurman Munson (1976–1979)
  • Graig Nettles (1982–1984)
  • Willie Randolph (1986–1988)
  • Ron Guidry (1986–1989)
  • Don Mattingly (1991–1995)
  • Derek Jeter (2003–2014)
  • Willie Randolph (interim, 2005)
  • Thurman Munson (captaincy reinstated posthumously in 2009)
  • Don Mattingly (honorary captain, 2009–2014)

Here’s an explanation of the list of Yankees captains:

List of Yankee Captains

Hal Chase (1912):

Hal Chase, born Harold Homer Chase, was a versatile baseball player known for his adaptability to multiple positions. Appointed as the first-ever captain of the New York Yankees in 1912, Chase brought a mix of offensive and defensive skills to the team. His ability to play both infield and outfield positions showcased his versatility.

Frank Chance (1913):

Frank Chance, nicknamed the “Peerless Leader,” succeeded Hal Chase as the captain of the Yankees in 1913. Before joining the Yankees, Chance had a storied career as a player-manager with the Chicago Cubs, leading them to multiple National League pennants and two World Series championships.

Roger Peckinpaugh (1914–1921):

Roger Peckinpaugh assumed the role of captain and served the Yankees for several years, from 1914 to 1921. A skilled shortstop, Peckinpaugh played a crucial role in the team’s defense and became the youngest player-manager in MLB history at the age of 23.

Babe Ruth (1922):

The larger-than-life Babe Ruth, renowned for his powerful hitting and charismatic personality, briefly held the captaincy in 1922. However, Ruth’s captaincy was short-lived, as it was determined that his free-spirited and non-traditional approach to leadership wasn’t the best fit for the team.

Everett Scott (1922–1925):

Following Babe Ruth’s brief captaincy, Everett Scott assumed the role and brought stability to the team. Scott was a steady and reliable shortstop, known for his durability and defensive prowess. His leadership style emphasized consistency and discipline, helping to guide the Yankees through a period of transition.

Lou Gehrig (1935–1941):

Lou Gehrig, often referred to as the “Iron Horse,” became captain in 1935. Gehrig’s tenure as captain coincided with the prime of his playing career, during which he set numerous records and became a Yankees icon. Known for his incredible durability and consistency, Gehrig’s leadership extended beyond the field.

Thurman Munson (1976–1979):

Thurman Munson, a gritty and talented catcher, was named captain in the 1970s. Munson’s leadership was instrumental in the Yankees’ success, particularly during the team’s back-to-back World Series championships in 1977 and 1978.

Graig Nettles (1982–1984):

Graig Nettles, a power-hitting third baseman, took on the captaincy in the early ’80s. Nettles was known for his defensive prowess, setting a standard for excellence at the hot corner. As captain, he provided leadership during a transitional period for the Yankees.

Willie Randolph (1986–1988):

Willie Randolph, a skilled second baseman, assumed the captaincy in the mid-1980s. His steady play and veteran presence added stability to the team during this period. Randolph’s leadership on the field, coupled with his strategic acumen, made him a respected figure in the Yankees organization.

Ron Guidry (1986–1989):

Ron Guidry, known as “Louisiana Lightning,” was a dominant left-handed pitcher who shared the captaincy with Willie Randolph in 1986. Guidry’s impact extended beyond his prowess on the mound; he provided leadership during a transitional phase for the Yankees.

Don Mattingly (1991–1995):

Don Mattingly, affectionately known as “Donnie Baseball,” served as captain in the early ’90s. A fan favorite, Mattingly was a consistent performer and symbolized the heart and soul of the team. As captain, he brought a sense of grit and determination to the Yankees.

Derek Jeter (2003–2014):

Derek Jeter, often referred to as “The Captain,” is perhaps the most celebrated captain in Yankees history. Serving for over a decade, Jeter’s leadership, clutch performances, and unwavering dedication to the team made him a symbol of excellence.

Willie Randolph (interim, 2005):

Willie Randolph briefly assumed the captaincy in 2005 during Derek Jeter’s absence. This interim period showcased Randolph’s continued connection to the team and his willingness to step into a leadership role when needed. His experience and understanding of the Yankees’ culture made him a natural choice for this temporary captaincy.

Thurman Munson (captaincy reinstated posthumously in 2009):

In a poignant gesture, Thurman Munson’s captaincy was reinstated posthumously in 2009, recognizing his enduring impact on the Yankees and the sport. Munson, a gritty and talented catcher, had previously served as captain during the 1970s, leading the team to back-to-back World Series championships.

Don Mattingly (honorary captain, 2009–2014):

Don Mattingly was bestowed with the title of honorary captain from 2009 to 2014, highlighting his lasting influence on the Yankees even after his playing days. This honorary role acknowledged Mattingly’s continued connection to the team, recognizing the impact he had on both players and fans.


In conclusion, the legacy of Yankee captains is a tale of leadership, resilience, and triumph. Their impact on the team and the sport as a whole is a testament to the enduring spirit of the New York Yankees. As we celebrate their contributions, we eagerly await the next chapter in the evolving saga of Yankee captaincy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How many Yankee captains have there been throughout history?

A: The Yankees have had a storied history with numerous captains, each contributing uniquely to the team’s legacy. The exact number varies across different eras.

Q: Who was the first-ever Yankee captain?

A: The inaugural captain of the New York Yankees was Hal Chase, appointed in 1912.

Q: Are there any eligibility criteria for becoming a Yankee captain?

A: While the Yankees organization has certain criteria, the selection of a captain often involves a combination of leadership qualities, dedication, and contributions to the team.

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Henry Stewart
Henry Stewart

Meet Michelle Koss, the list enthusiast. She compiles lists on everything from travel hotspots to must-read books, simplifying your life one list at a time. Join the journey to organized living!.

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