The Giants' season may not be going anywhere, but Odell Beckham Jr. and his impressive rookie campaign give fans reason to be excited for the future. The wideout is averaging more than 100 receiving yards per game through his first 11 games, a feat no rookie receiver has accomplished in the Super Bowl era.
Beckham's numbers (79 catches, 1,120 yards, 11 TDs) are gaudy enough to put him in company with some of New York sports' greatest rookie campaigns ever. Here's a look at those peers and their equally stellar introductions.
Joe DiMaggio (1936)
At 21, Joltin' Joe already was among the finest in baseball. DiMaggio posted a .323 batting average to go along with 29 home runs, 125 RBIs and a league-best 15 triples, and surely would have won Rookie of the Year if the award had been created before 1947 (when Jackie Robinson won it for the Brooklyn Dodgers). Eventually known as a centerfielder, the future Hall of Famer split time at all three outfield positions in his first season. He, Lou Gehrig and Bill Dickey together led the Yankees to a 4-2 World Series victory over the Big Apple rival Giants.
Willis Reed (1964-65)
A second-round pick (eighth overall) out of Grambling, the 22-year-old Reed quickly solidified the front line of the Knicks in his first season. The center posted averages of 19.5 points and 14.7 rebounds while earning the Knicks' first Rookie of the Year award. While the team wasn't competitive in his first few seasons, Reed later cemented his legacy when he helped the Knicks to their only two NBA titles in 1970 and 1973. His Hall of Fame resume is highlighted by a team-inspiring appearance in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals, when a deep thigh injury seemed sure to keep him sidelined.
Mike Bossy (1977-78)
Just 20 years old when the Islanders added the right winger to the roster fresh from the 1977 draft, Bossy made an impact on the ice like no rookie before him. Bossy set a rookie record by scoring 53 goals -- eclipsed only by Teemu Selanne's 76 in 1992-93 -- to go along with 38 assists en route to winning the Calder Trophy. While the Isles were just a 6-year-old franchise in his rookie campaign, Bossy teamed with the young nucleus of Bryan Trottier and Denis Potvin to lead the team to four consecutive Stanley Cup victories between 1980 and 1983 during a Hall of Fame career.
Lawrence Taylor (1981)
Taylor's arrival with the Giants heralded a new era of New York football, one in which the franchise was no longer an afterthought. The highly touted linebacker out of North Carolina was a force as a 22 year old, notching an unofficial sack total of 9.5 as a rookie and earning both AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and AP Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Giants made the playoffs for the first time since the 1963 NFL Championship Game, and LT was the centerpiece of a two-time Super Bowl champion defense during his 13-year career that earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Dwight Gooden (1984)
At the tender age of 19, Doc dominated hitters 10 years his elder with a blistering fastball and devastating curveball. He led the majors with 276 strikeouts in 218 innings while going 17-9 with a 2.60 ERA for the Mets, earning NL Rookie of the Year honors and finishing second in the vote for the NL Cy Young Award. By age 21, he helped lift the Amazin's to their second World Series championship in 1986. Although his career was later sidetracked by substance abuse issues, Gooden's first big-league season is a gold standard for rookie pitchers to be measured against.