Derek Jeter and Babe Ruth are tied as the greatest players in New York Yankees history, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.
The survey of 1,528 New York City adults showed Jeter and Ruth each with 23 percent of the votes. Joe DiMaggio was third with 9 percent, followed by Lou Gehrig with 8 percent and Mickey Mantle with 6 percent.
Women picked Jeter, who became the first Yankee with 3,000 career hits on July 9, by a 30 percent to 16 percent margin, while men favored Ruth 29 percent to 18 percent. Jeter was the favorite of those age 18 to 34, while Ruth, who played from 1914 to 1935 and held the single-season home run record for 42 years, was top for the 35-to-64-year-olds. DiMaggio was favored by those over 65 with 24 percent, compared with 19 percent for Jeter and Ruth.
Half of the people surveyed said they would have returned the ball that Jeter hit for a home run to reach 3,000 hits, while 42 percent would have kept it. Christian Lopez, a Yankees fan, caught the ball in the left-field seats and returned it to the shortstop rather than cashing in on the memorabilia, estimated to bring as much as $250,000 by Doug Allen, president of Chicago-based Legendary Auctions.
The poll, conducted July 19-25 by the Hamden, Connecticut-based school, had a margin of error of plus-minus 2.5 percentage points.