HomeTrending MLB NewsIs Soto the Next Reggie for the Yankees?

Is Soto the Next Reggie for the Yankees?

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It has been a long time since an outfielder of such swagger came to the New York Yankees and lit the fanbase on fire. There have been others of enormous accomplishments like Dave Winfield, and Giancarlo Stanton, but when the Yankees signed an outfielder from the Baltimore Orioles after the 1976 season the swag bar barometer was set to seemingly unattainable levels until now.

Reggie Jackson was already an American League MVP, World Series MVP, but most importantly a three-time World Series Champion, but with the 1977 Yankees, Jackson cemented himself as a baseball legend.   

The 1976 Yankees were an excellent team going to the World Series in 1976 before being swept by the Reds 4-0. The year before Reggie came in, Thurman Munson, the Hall-of-fame snubbed Catcher, was named the first Team Captain since Lou Gehrig and named the 1976 American League MVP. Munson was a great player but not flashy or as Reggie infamously proclaimed, “Could not be the straw to stir the Yankees drink.”

 Jackson, with consecutive swings of the bat during game 6 of the 1977 World Series, stole the show proving he was the straw to the Yankees drink, powering the Yankees to their first World Series Championship since 1962.

Reggie first drew a four-pitch walk from Burt Hooten of the Dodgers, setting up October Magic. Reggie dug in for his next at-bat from Burt Hooten and rightly deposited the pitch into the lower Right Field stands, Elias Sosa tried to shut him down during his next at-bat but was met with another blast on a first pitch, even with Charlie Hough, a legendary knuckleball pitcher, his first pitch blasted for a home run. Reggie saw three first pitch strikes that night and hit all three pitches out on consecutive swings. Remarkable, for sure, but during his last at-bat of the previous game, he took Hall-of-Famer Don Sutton on his first pitch of the at-bat for a home run. Four World Series home runs on consecutive swings.

There has not been a flashier, talented, dramatic player roaming the outfield grass capable of historic swag for the Yankees since Reggie left after the 1981 World Series. Soto looks like he knows how to fill out a dramatic script, loves the spotlight, and that could be why he would sign on for more seasons with the New York Yankees.

During Sunday’s game Juan Soto, his Spring Training debut, drilled a home run seemingly through the scoreboard. Juan Soto brings his “IT” factor to a team usually playing with quiet efficiency. Combine the Soto swag, fire, and emotion with a feisty Alex Verdugo, the Yankees will not be boring this year, but can they bring home the World Championship with Soto? Reggie made the difference for the 1977 Yankees; Soto is a great player capable of making the difference for the 2024 Yankees, but like Reggie, will he become a baseball legend playing for the Yankees?  

The newly developed Yankees outfield of Soto, and Aaron Judge is capable of a historic year, and will be supplemented by heralded rookie Jasson Dominguez and maybe even Spencer Jones as the season unfolds.

This weekend Yankee fans watched a couple young stars in the making. Spencer Jones launched a 475-foot home run, and 18-year-old shortstop George Lombard took one deep against the Blue Jays. The Yankees have a logjam of middle infielders in the minors and at the parent club, but it is easy to see Lombard making the jump to Double-A Somerset this year with Spencer Jones. Although Jones is more likely, I would love to see Lombard receive some MLB at-bats this year. 

The Yankees produced a Mr. May in Dave Winfield, Mr. October in Reggie Jackson, and Mr. November in Derek Jeter, but Juan Soto has the chance to be Must-See TV with Aaron Judge, and Gerrit Cole. If Soto performs as expected, a Yankee nickname, or even a Soto candy bar will be done.

DYK-The Yankees lost in 6 games to the Dodgers in 1981 World Series? The Game 6 Outfield of Jerry Mumphrey, Dave Winfield, and Reggie Jackson had one hit in 14 at-bats?

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