While sports are on hiatus, it's a good time to reminisce about the past and your favorite teams. For the Yankees, it could be happy memories like their previous World Series titles, Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit, and many others.
Or you could reflect on some of your favorite players -- anyone from "The Core Four" to Rogers Clemens and Bernie Williams might come to mind.
But how about those players who aren't thought about all the time because, well, they were never truly appreciated by the fanbase? There are many underappreciated Yankees over the years, so we'll condense this list to from 2000 and on. And that's still a lot of players who could fit the bill.
Going through them, here are the Top 5, starting with one Yankee who is honestly still feeling it today...
He's the longest-tenured Yankee on the current roster, as he's set to play in his 13th season in 2020. Gardner was 24 when he got his first shot at the majors in 2008, and he quickly turned into the team's reliable center fielder as part of the 2009 World Series-winning squad.
From there on, Gardner only missed a large chunk of time in 2012, playing in full seasons in all the other years. He was an All-Star in 2015. He owns a .260/.342/.401 career slash line with 267 stolen bases, 124 homers and 524 RBI.
But, still to this day, Gardner doesn't get the credit he deserves as a hard-nosed player who leaves it all out between the lines each and every game. On and off the field, he's everything you'd want to see in a Yankee, and hopefully he'll continue that to the end of his career in the Bronx.
And it better be to a roaring crowd.
With four All-Star appearances from 2014-2017 and a career 2.36 ERA, Betances might have been recognized as one of the most dominant relievers of this past decade, but Yankee fans tend to forget just how good he really was.
Maybe it's due to his affinity to get hurt? There were also spurts of not being able to control his stuff on the mound that led to somewhat harsh backlash.
But overall, Betances was virtually untouchable when he was on. He has a triple-digits fastball and curveball-slider that just falls off the table. Mets fans will see him up close and personal this season, as he looks to come back from an injury-stricken 2019. We'll see what their impressions are, too.
After a very successful career in Japan, Kuroda decided to come to the states to play in MLB. First, it was four years with the Dodgers, but his final three seasons in the league were in New York. And from ages 37-39, he was the team's most consistent starter from 2012-2014.
Yankee fans forget that, though.
Before you go and look up his stats to see if I was right, here they are: 3.44 ERA over 97 starts, six complete games, three shutouts, and a 1.14 WHIP. Also, in his only postseason with the team in 2012, Kuroda went 8.1 innings against the Orioles in the ALDS and 7.2 innings against the Tigers in the ALCS.
He'd lose that contest against Detroit after allowing three runs on five hits, but he struck out 11 hitters. As for the Baltimore game, he got a no-decision after giving up only two runs on five hits (two solo homers).
Kuroda showed up every fifth day for his start and gave the Yankees very quality innings -- ones that deserve more kudos.
Honestly, Yankee fans were very split about Damon coming over from their most hated rival, the Red Sox. It was a big deal to see the long-haired, bearded Damon go from potential Geico caveman fill-in to his clean-shaven, tapered-haircut self when he donned the pinstripes for the first time.
But when it got time to start playing, there were some who doubted Damon from the get-go. In four years with the Yankees, though, Damon was the quintessential top-of-the-order hitter who slashed .285/.363/.458 with 296 RBI, 125 doubles and 77 homers -- a career-high with a single team.
He may have come from the enemy, but Damon was the best Red Sox to turn Yankee.
He joined the team in 2002 after eight seasons in Oakland and would spend the next seven seasons being a true force on the left side of the plate with the short porch in right.
Giambi's numbers with the Yankees weren't as good as his prime A's ones, but they weren't far off in the slightest. A .260 average is lower than his career .300 in Oakland, but a whopping .404 OBP because of his stellar eye at the plate -- and 109 hit-by-pitches -- and .521 slugging percentage that included 209 homers wasn't always applauded enough.
Giambi was also a solid postseason bat -- his three homers in the 2003 ALCS against Boston were memorable. "The Giambino," as John Sterling called him, left the Yanks at age 37 to join the Rockies. But the last of his glory days ended in the Bronx.
Honorable Mention: Hideki Matsui, Gary Sheffield, Rafael Soriano, Scott Brosius