For more than a century the New York Yankees have been considered one of the teams that baseball fans either love, or at least love to hate.
Related to this appreciation, or lack of, often is curiosity about particular players and what they do in their personal and professional lives – including what cars they like and how they get around.
Though a player’s choice of auto has absolutely nothing to do with their performance at bat or on defense, nevertheless people seem to like learning what type of car they own, out of simple curiosity. For those in the collector market, a car that someone bought or drove around in, can definitely up its value.
Here’s a list of favorite past Bronx Bombers and their time behind the wheel:
Probably the most famous Yankee ever still has people talking about some of his cars decades after his death. George Herman Ruth drove a variety of cars over the years but one particularly continues to grow great attention: a 1948 Lincoln Continental coupe he given to him right given to him a year before his death. The big-sized car painted Yankee blue was a big-sized gift from the Ford Motor Company to Ruth, who enjoyed driving around and visiting kids and giving inspirational speeches even a decade after his retirement.
Speaking of loving or loving to hate was Mr. Mantle. The heavy hitter had an abrasive personality and made plenty of enemies. But he also earned some impressive statistics as a ball player. And he always seemed to have room in his heart for his 1949 Plymouth P-18 Special Deluxe. The convertible was powder blue and the top of the Plymouth line at the time.
Not everyone knows that Mr. October continues to be a huge car fan, and has had an interest in collecting higher-end autos. He’s owned more than one Rolls-Royce Corniche, including a 1974 coupe he sold for $43,000 at an auction, and a 1977 Corniche convertible in Yankee blue and gray tones he picked up for about $64,000 to commemorate his role in helping the Yankees win the World Series victory that year.
The Yankees car
Along with one particular auto owned by one particular driver, the Yankees also had the interesting notoriety of owning their own car that was used for several seasons to drive players around during the games, including ferrying pitchers back and forth from the mound or other players to their bases or the outfield. Other teams also had ‘bullpen cars,’ that were usually nothing more than tricked-out golf carts, but the Yankee Stadium version, a 1972 Datsun that had pinstriping that resembled the team uniforms, was particularly memorable.
Joltin’ Joe was known for not just his accomplishments on the baseball diamond but his relationship with Marilyn Monroe. He also continued to enjoy cars all of his life – his final car, a 1991 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL, was presented to him in 1991 at Yankee Stadium’s Old Timers Day, and the 50th anniversary of his 56-game hitting streak. It had the Yankees logo on the back, and was the last of this model to leave the assembly line.
If you’re interested in a certain car driven by a certain player, keep your eyes open. Many are in museums today, but actual ownership seems to change hands every few years. If you do get your hands on one make sure you’re careful, either not driving it all or taking a defensive driving course to keep it as safe as possible.