On an everyday basis during the baseball season, the Yankees make me believe in things. They make me feel strong. Whether it is crushing a 400 foot home run or throwing a 99 mph fastball, it’s almost as if the Bronx Bombers possess powers and abilities beyond those of mortal men.
Simply put, the Yankees are my superheroes.
Then I got to thinking: if the Yankees were superheroes, which ones would they be? I put together a list of Bombers who represent comic book heroes. I tried to match each hero to a Yankee in accordance to their attributes and personality.
Derek Jeter: Superman
When you think of Superman, you think of strength, speed, and power. Derek Jeter has all those tools. He is strong, in a sense that knows how to win. He is fast, in a sense that he can outdo pretty much anyone on the field. And he is powerful in terms of his personality.
Jeter can do just about anything when it comes to baseball the same way Superman can do just about anything when it comes to saving the world. One example of that was July 1, 2004. The Yankees were playing the Red Sox in heated game at Yankee Stadium.
Trot Nixon popped a fly ball down the third baseline. On his horse, Jeter ran as fast as he could and with his arms outstretched like the man of steel, he dove into the stands and caught the ball for an out. It was one of the most spectacular plays of the year and probably in the history of Yankee Stadium.
Drawing another comparison between the two, Superman is the leader of the Justice League. Jeter is the Yankee captain. If Jeter had to be compared to any hero, it would have to be Superman.
Powerful, quick, strong-willed, humble, and mild-mannered: Jeter is the ultimate Yankee Superman. There probably isn’t anyone who would argue that point, either.
Jeter’s middle name is Sanderson, but it should be Superman. Just saying.
Mark Teixeira: Batman
Ever since he arrived in Gotham City, Batman has dominated. The same can be said of Mark Teixeira. Last season, Teixeira arrived on the Yankee scene and has just captured everyone’s imagination and attention.
It seems there are two sides of Teixeira. There’s the suave, handsome, and debonair man we see conducting interviews and smiling for the camera. Then there’s the aggressive side we see during the games; he gets his game face on, takes the field, and beats down the opposition.
Batman is the same way. First there is Bruce Wayne, the charming, breathtaking billionaire playboy. Then when he puts the costume on he is Batman, a ruthless, rugged individual ready to bring hardened criminals to justice.
Also like Batman, Teixeira has displayed a quick temper. When the Yankees’ first baseman was beaned by Vicente Padilla back in June of 2009, he did not handle it well. Teixeira became infuriated and mouthed off to Padilla.
Batman would have done the same thing in that situation. The dark knight does not take abuse like that and when you try to mess with him, you better watch out. Just ask the Joker, the Penguin, or the Riddler!
Teixeira is a lot like the caped crusader. And putting it into perspective, not only he is the Yankees’ bat-man, but he does it with the leather, too. I guess you can say Teixeira is a “gold glove bat-man.”
He can do it all.
Alex Rodriguez: The Incredible
Watching Alex Rodriguez in the 2007 season was one of the most enjoyable times for me as a Yankee fan. It seemed as if the whole world was watching him. They watched, not really to see if he would homer (because he basically hit a homer every game), but to see how far his home runs would go.
Rodriguez’s 2007 MVP season was just an utter display of sheer power.
And when you think of superheroes who just feed off power, the Incredible Hulk comes to mind. In the comic book world, Dr. Bruce Banner was exposed to the blast of a gamma bomb he created. In turn, he created a monster. After the accident, whenever he gets angry he transforms into the Hulk.
Not saying Rodriguez is a green, 300-pound, Frankenstein. But like the Hulk he has an impulsive nature and really can be a monster when it comes to baseball.
In terms of his impulsive attitude, remember back to July 24, 2004. Rodriguez was hit on the left elbow with a pitch by Bronson Arroyo. He tossed his bat down and angrily lipped off to the Red Sox pitcher.
Don’t get him angry. You will not like A-Rod when he’s angry.
Of course a melee ensued and Rodriguez went at it with Jason Varitek. I still have the image of Don Mattingly trying to calm Rodriguez in my head. He was absolutely livid. Rodriguez just has the temper that other players don’t want to mess with. He and the Hulk share a lot of the same traits.
Above all of his tools, Rodriguez is known for his power and the same goes for the Hulk.
Mariano Rivera: Thor
Many people know Mariano Rivera by one or two names. “The Sandman,” because he puts his opponents to sleep. “Mo,” because it’s just a shorter version of his first name. But another nickname was given to the great Rivera: “the Hammer of God.”
Thor is a comic book character who wields a hammer.
But it’s not just the hammer that makes Thor comparable to the great Rivera. Among Thor’s powers are superhuman strength, durability, and longevity. Those powers could not possibly come any closer to Rivera’s.
The cutter is probably the strongest and most effective pitch in the game of baseball. Rivera is one of the most durable closers there ever was. And finally, he has been the best closer in the game since he became a closer in 1997, showcasing his brilliant longevity.
Along with his powers, Rivera has stood toe-to-toe with some of the best hitters in the world. Thor has gone up against several mythical foes, like Hercules and Galactus. Both heroes have stood up against some of the deadliest adversaries, making them so alike it’s scary.
There could not be a better hero than Thor to compare Rivera to.
Robinson Cano: The Green Lantern
In brightest day or in blackest night, Robinson Cano always comes up big. Whether it’s at the plate or with his glove, this young second baseman has everything going for him.
The Green Lantern is a superhero who wears a jumpsuit and wields a power ring that can pretty much do anything. Like Cano, he is young, abrasive, and does anything he can to help his team win.
One power the ring gives the Green Lantern is flight. He can soar through the air and basically conquer any evil he sees. Cano has that same function; although he technically cannot fly, he glides across the infield making hair-raising grabs and superhuman-like web gems.
Although it is a mighty weapon, Green Lantern’s ring needs to be charged every so often. It runs on a battery and Cano is the same way. Even though he is quite durable on the field, he needs rest in order to stay on top. In 2008 he was forced to start almost every game and his game became sloppy as a result. It probably stemmed from too much playing time and he needed to sit out.
Whatever the case, Cano has a tendency to aid his team in victory without necessarily putting the team on his back. Green Lantern and Cano have a lot in common.
CC Sabathia: Beast
I searched long and hard, trying to think up a hero that CC Sabathia reminds me of. When it came down to make a decision, I came across the perfect match: Beast.
A student of Professor X, Beast is a lot like the Yankees’ ace. He is big, beefy, and has amazing stamina. Sabathia, really an avid student of the game of baseball, is big, beefy, and has amazing stamina.
Beast once fought Magneto, the Juggernaut, and the sentinels all at once. He is so powerful; he can fight ridiculously strong villains all by himself. Not only does he fight them, he manhandles them!
I look at what Sabathia did in the 2009 playoffs and compare him to Beast. He went up against some of the strongest players in the game. I’m talking about Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Torii Hunter, and Joe Mauer.
Sabathia did not just beat these players, he demolished most of them.
Any way you look at it, Sabathia is so much like Beast. Not really just his looks, but how he handles himself in battle. They have a lot in common and their powers are pretty much equally matched.
Come to think about it, Alex Rodriguez called Sabathia a “beast” after Game Four of the ALCS…
Nick Swisher: Michelangelo
He may not be a “hero in a half shell,” but Nick Swisher exhibits a lot of qualities that the orange ninja turtle has. He is fun-loving, has an infectious personality, and wants only the best for his team.
Described in the 1987 ninja turtles cartoon, Michelangelo is “a party dude.” There is no better way to sum up Swisher. The Yankees’ right fielder has that mentality of being a “party dude.” He wants to play the game and have fun, which is what it is all about.
Although Michelangelo does not have hair, I cannot really make the comparison to the Swish-hawk. However, recently I noticed Swisher shaved his head. Maybe it was only for spring training and he will grow the hawk back for opening day?
Who knows. But I do know that Swisher is like Mike. Rock on, boys!
Brett Gardner: The Flash
This one really was a no-brainer.
The Flash is the fastest man alive but Brett Gardner is the fastest man on the Yankees. He might even be the fastest man in Major League Baseball (Yes, I said it Jose Reyes. Faster than you!)
In the comic books, Superman and the Flash once had an argument about who is the fastest man alive. To settle their dispute, they decided to race around the world. In fact, the duo had several races many of which the Flash won because his main power is speed.
Like the Flash, Gardner’s main tool is speed. What he lacks in power and throwing ability he makes up for with his wheels. He can outrun probably anybody on the diamond and do it in convincing fashion.
On May 15, 2009, it took Gardner 14 seconds to run 360 feet around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. No disrespect to the Flash, but I’m not even sure he could pull that off! It was the most amazing show of speed I have ever seen in my life. (I’m glad I was there at Yankee Stadium to see it in-person, too!)
If there is any hero to compare Gardner to, it’s the Flash. I’d like to see them race around the world to find out who is faster. It would be an interesting race!
Well that’s all. Hope you enjoyed my list!
Also seen at Bleacher Report