With no ball games being played because of the virus, the Yanks have time to consider a few things.
One thing is maybe adding three more plaques to Monument Park. Not retire the numbers, but add plaques. After all, for these three individuals, the numbers have already been retired for someone else.
First, Bobby Murcer. Murcer briefly wore the numbers 17 and 27 with the Yankees but is most known for wearing the numbers 1 (retired for Billy Martin) and 2 (retired for Derek Jeter). A Yankee briefly in 1965 and 1966, Murcer then spent two years in military service before becoming a full-time regular from 1969-1974. He was a 5x All-Star, 4x with the Yankees. In 1971 he hit .331, had 25 HR and 94 RBI. He led all of MLB in OBP, and the AL in OPS and OPS+. He finished 7th in MVP voting that year.
In 1972, he hit 33 HR, led the AL in runs scored and total bases, and had 96 RBI. Had not some seven games been lost to a strike, he may have topped 100 RBI. He never did it in his career. Murcer, according to baseball-reference.com, was the Yanks’ best player in 1972 according to WAR (Wins above replacement). He finished 5th in MVP voting in 1972.
His career OPS+ was a very solid 124. From 1969-1974 he averaged .285-23-89, OPS+ 136, and that’s even with that 1974 year at Shea that hurt his power.
Murcer finished 9th in MVP voting in 1973 and 21st in 1974 then was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Bobby Bonds. He returned to the Yankees from 1979-1983 and after retirement spent many years as beloved a Yankee broadcaster as he was a player.
Second, Roy White. White wore 48 and 21 for the Yankees but mostly wore #6 (retired for Joe Torre). He was with the Yankees from 1965-1979, got 2 WS rings and was a 2x All-Star. He was, according to baseball-reference, the Yankees’ best player in 1970 and 1971. He led MLB in games played in 1970 and 1973 (all 162), the AL in plate appearances in 1973 and 1976, the AL in at bats in 1973, the AL in runs scored in 1976, the AL in walks in 1972, and the AL in sac flies in 1969 and all of MLB in sac flies in 1971. He had a solid 121 OPS+ in his career. When he and Murcer played, it was more a pitcher’s era (hence the DH starting up in 1973) and of course, the alleys and CF at the old Yankee Stadium were huge. White got MVP consideration 4x.
Lastly, Graig Nettles. Second to A-Rod among Yankees’ 3B (some may put him first), the #9 he wore as a Yankee is retired for Roger Maris. Nettles, according to baseball-reference, was the Yanks’ best player in 1976 (Thurman Munson’s MVP year) and 1977 (despite Lyle, Munson, Reggie, Guidry all on that team). He led the AL in SF in 1975 and in HR in 1976, becoming the first Yankee since Roger Maris in 1961 to lead the league in HR. He finished 5th in MVP voting in 1977 and 6th in 1978, won the Gold Glove in both of those seasons, and who can forget his defensive show in Game 3 of the 1978 WS? He was a 6x All-Star (5 with the Yankees), and in his 11 years with the Yankees had a 114 OPS+. He won the ALCS MVP in 1981. He didn’t hit much for average, but his power and defense were key to 2 WS titles, 4 AL pennants and 5 division titles.
Plaques are in Monument Park for Paul O’Neill (#21 still in circulation, although no one wears it), Tino Martinez (#24), Willie Randolph and Mel Stottlemyre (both #30) for example. Numbers not retired, but plaques.
It’s time the Yankees consider three more plaques.