The New York Yankees announced that Aaron Judge has been named team captain, becoming the 16th player to receive the honor in franchise history, and just the second since 1996.
The honor was bestowed during today’s press conference at Yankee Stadium by Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner.
On hand at today’s press conference to celebrate Judge’s new nine-year contract with the club were former captain Willie Randolph (captain from March 4, 1986 – Oct. 2, 1988) and the Yankees’ most recent captain, Hall of Famer Derek Jeter, who held the title from June 3, 2003, through his final season in 2014. Jeter’s tenure in the role was the longest of any captain in team history.
Judge, a native of Linden, Calif., is a homegrown Yankee. He was originally selected by the club in the first round (32nd overall) of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Fresno State. Over parts of seven seasons with the Yankees (2016-22), he has batted .284/.394/.583 (748-for-2,638) with 535R, 121 doubles, four triples, 220 HR, 497 RBI, 472 BB and 40 SB in 729 games. A 6’7”, right-handed hitting outfielder, Judge was named the American League Rookie of the Year in 2017, batting .284 (154-for-542) with 52 home runs and 114 RBI. Most recently in 2022, Judge was named AL MVP, hitting an American League-record 62 home runs and batting .311/.425/.686 (177-for-570) with 133 R, 28 doubles, 131 RBI, 111 BB and 16 SB in 157 games.
ALL-TIME LIST OF YANKEES CAPTAINS & BACKGROUND RESEARCH EXPLAINED:
The function of a team captain in baseball has changed over time. Early 20th century baseball rules required teams to designate an active, uniformed player as captain to do many things a modern-day manager typically would handle, such as changing pitchers, positioning fielders and talking with umpires. Non-playing managers at that time were limited to directing players from within the confines of the dugout. However, by the mid-1910s, managers assumed the modern responsibilities they have today, and the designation of captain became largely ceremonial. Based on best available records and a review of historical newspaper accounts, the list below represents the all-time list of Yankees captains. (Please note that extensive research efforts were not able to confirm a team captain for the 1912 season. Additionally, Everett Scott took on the role of “acting captain” during the 1922 and 1923 World Series but is not included in the team’s all-time list).
1. Clark Griffith: 1903-05
2. Norman “Kid” Elberfeld: 1906-08
3. Willie Keeler: 1909
4. Hal Chase: 1910-11
5. Frank Chance: start 1913 - midseason
6. Rollie Zeider: midseason 1913 - end of season
7. Roger Peckinpaugh: 1914-21
8. Babe Ruth: 3/13/1922-5/25/1922*
9. Lou Gehrig: 4/12/1935-1939
10. Thurman Munson: 4/17/1976-8/2/1979
11. Graig Nettles: 1/29/1982-3/30/1984
12. Willie Randolph: 3/4/1986-10/2/1988
13. Ron Guidry: 3/4/1986-7/12/1989
14. Don Mattingly: 2/28/1991-1995
15. Derek Jeter: 6/3/2003-2014
16. AARON JUDGE: 12/21/2022-present
*Ruth did not play in the team’s first 33 games of the season. Was an active captain for just six total games from 5/20-25/1922.