In a recent poll of over 800 New Yorkers, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was voted No. 1 over Babe Ruth as New York’s greatest athlete.

Yes, you read that right.  According to voters, Derek Jeter is better than Babe Ruth, and Joe Namath also cracked the Top Five.

When I was initially informed of this, the first thought that popped into my head was, “They must have just polled a bunch of 18-to-25-year-old Yankee fans,” because no one older than that and in his right mind would say that Jeter is better than Ruth or that Lawrence Taylor, Mark Messier, Jackie Robinson or Walt Frasier weren’t better than Joe Namath.

All this does is confirm that polls are pretty much pointless.  It also makes me question the sports knowledge of New Yorkers.

No, not all New Yorkers fall into this category.  I’m betting the ones with any sports knowledge didn’t bother to answer the poll. 

What’s even sadder is that 59 percent of those polled consider themselves “sports nuts,” and the best Ruth could get was 11 percent (compared to Jeter’s 14 percent).

The Top Five is comprised of Jeter, Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Namath.  I have no problem with Joe D, Mickey and Babe being in the Top Five. 

I have a major problem with Namath being there at all and with Jeter being ranked higher than anyone.

If I had to do a Top Five just for the Yankees, it would be, in this order: Ruth, Lou Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle and Yogi Berra.  Jeter doesn’t even crack the Yankees‘ Top Five—he’d be sixth on my list.

I’m a Yankee fan and I think Jeter is one of the best ever, but come on, people! 

If you’re going to claim to be a “sports nut” like 59 percent of those polled did, at least have some knowledge of New York sports before 1996!

What do you think?  Am I off base or do you agree?


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