Throughout the 2000s, the Yankees have had numerous stars don the pinstripes. The likes of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera and more brought championships and glory to the franchise.
But among those stars were players who also produced at a great rate, though they might not have received the proper credit.
Fear not, we're here to point those players out. You'll recognize these names from the last 20 years, but you may not know exactly how crucial they were to the Yankees success or remember what numbers they were putting up because they didn't make as many New York headlines.
So let's first start with someone who just so happens to be a very recent Hall of Fame inductee...
If "Moose" is in the Hall of Fame, how could he be on this list, you ask? Well, when Mussina was consistently making his starts each season after joining the Yankees in 2001, he wasn't necessarily the pitcher that came to mind. You'd likelsy think of Andy Pettitte, a member of the Core Four, and Roger Clemens first.
Even when he was heading into the Hall of Fame, some questioned if he was worthy without taking a hard look at what he produced over his career. For the Yanks, it was a 3.88 ERA over eight seasons with double-digit wins in all of them. He ate up innings, clocking over 200 in half of those as well.
Unfortunately, he never won a ring with the Yankees, retiring at 38 a year before they captured one in 2009. He also was part of the '01 and '03 teams that lost in the World Series.
Because of what he accomplished over his career as a whole, Mussina isn't just an underrated player in the last two decades, but of all time for the Yanks.
Speaking of players overshadowed by the Core Four, Williams might be the one who can speak to that the most. Of course, if you know Williams, he'd never do that. He put his head down and let his game do the talking.
Williams was a Yankee staple, and consistently got on base batting on both sides of the plate. Through the 2000s, which were the final seven years of his career, he captured two All-Star Game berths and hit .288/.372/.466 with 136 homers and 576 RBI. At age 33 in 2002, he was hitting .333 with 26 homers and 94 RBI. You just don't see that nowadays.
Yes, Williams was a fan favorite, but not like Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte and Jorge Posada were for those teams. Honestly, if Williams did come up through the ranks with them, we might have been calling them the Fab Five instead.
He may have not been in his prime when he came over to the Yankees, but Giambi's numbers didn't portray that.
At 31, he left Oakland to join the Yankees and it was a perfect fit. He'd spend the next eight years there, slashing .260/.404/.521 with his 209 homers being the most for an team he played for in his 20-year career.
But Yankee fans might not remember when Giambi was a three-time All-Star from 2002-04, or being such a clutch player in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against the Red Sox. With Pedro Martinez having a 4-0 lead to work with, Giambi put the Yanks on the board in the fifth with a solo homer to center. Then, he did the same thing again in his next at-bat to make it a 4-2 game.
We all know how that ended with Aaron Boone's walk-off homer against Tim Wakefield. But Giambi was such a key part in keeping the Yankees alive in that game. His power lefty bat doesn't always get the praise it deserves.
When Abreu was traded in 2006 from the Phillies, he immediately stepped in and raked for New York. He hit .330 over 58 games, and though the Yanks lost to the Tigers in the ALDS, he hit .333 with four RBI in that series as well.
From there, Abreu played two more seasons in '07 and '08 for the Yanks and was tremendous. And that was at 33 and 34 years old.
Overall, the lefty with one of the most unique bat grips in all of baseball, hit .295/.378/.465 with 43 dingers and 243 RBI over 372 games. One of the best contact hitters in the game was a solid asset for the Yanks, but deserves some more credit for his time in pinstripes.
Last but not least, we have Robertson, who simply couldn't stay away from the Yankees even when he left for Chicago in 2015. But coming up through the Yankees' system after being a 17th round pick, Robertson developed into a very reliable bullpen arm who was shadowed by Rivera and then Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances.
Yankee fans will remember Robertson being sturdy whenever called upon, but he mostly was the set-up man. And because he didn't wow with a triple-digit fastball and nasty curve like Betances, Robertson was overlooked by many despite his solid numbers.
His career ERA with Yanks is 2.75 over 501 games and that's just about as good as it gets. He was also a crucial piece of the '09 World Series team, not allowing a single run that postseason while embodying the mindset of the man he set up for in Rivera. Robertson also found his way back to the Yankees in 2017 in the Todd Frazier deal, and he had a 1.03 ERA over 35 innings on his way to helping the Yanks that postseason.
He might be a Phillie now, but Robertson will forever be one of the Yankees' best relievers.