amNewYork Metro at 20: Ranking the top 20 New York sports stars of the last 20 years

Derek Jeter Yankees amNewYork top 20 New York athletes
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Championships might have been hard to come by over the last 20 years in New York, but iconic athletes were always present.

As amNewYork continues its 20th-anniversary celebration, we ranked the top 20 athletes that called New York home over the last 20 years. 

Such a task was not easy. There have been plenty of stars to represent teams in the Big Apple over the last two decades that were worthy of making this list, but we created certain guidelines to help whittle things down — so consider that before you start sharpening your pitchforks and lighting your torches.

To be considered for this list, an athlete would have had to play at least five years in New York between 2004-2024, though exceptions could be made for current players still at the start of their careers here. Other factors include longevity, individual accolades, contributions to winning or championship teams, and star power; was/is this player a must-watch every night? Is he worth the price of admission?

amNewYork’s Top 20 New York athletes of the last 20 years

20) Jalen Brunson, PG, New York Knicks

Jalen Brunson Knicks
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
  • Years: 2022-Present
  • Stats: 145 games, 26.5 ppg, 4.7 apg, 3.2 rpg 
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 1x All-Star
  • Miscellaneous: 26.5 ppg ranks second in Knicks franchise history, Finished top-5 in MVP voting, Most Improved Player, and Coach’s Player of the Year in 2024
  • Why is he not higher?: If amNewYork’s 20th anniversary was in 5 years, he would be. Especially at this rate.

19) Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants

  • Years: 2014-2018
  • Stats: 390 receptions, 5,475 yards, 44 TDs
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 2014 Rookie of the Year, 3x Pro Bowler
  • Miscellaneous: Broke Randy Moss’ NFL record of most receiving yards in first two NFL seasons (2,744), One-handed catch vs. Cowboys during Monday Night Football game in 2014 ranked 16th-greatest play in NFL history
  • Why is he not higher?: Injury issues hampered his production toward the end of his Giants career and a messy relationship led to a trade that ended his New York career prematurely. Still, he is one of the most electrifying receivers in team history.

18) Igor Shesterkin, G, New York Rangers

Igor Shesterkin Rangers NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Igor Shesterkin (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)AP Photos
  • Years: 2019-present
  • Stats: 135-59-17, .921 SV%, 2.43 GAA
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 2022 Vezina Trophy Winner, 1x All-Star
  • Miscellaneous: Holds Rangers franchise postseason record with 79 saves in one game vs. Penguins in 2022
  • Why is he not higher?: There have been inconsistencies in Shesterkin’s still-young career with the Rangers. But he soon will be in the top-three pantheon alongside Henrik Lundqvist and Mike Richter, if he is not already there.

17) Julius Randle, PF, New York Knicks

Julius Randle Knicks
Julius Randle (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
  • Years: 2019-Present
  • Stats: 330 games, 22.6 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 4.7 apg
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 3x All-Star, 2021 NBA Most Improved Player, 2023 All-NBA 3rd Team
  • Miscellaneous: Viewed as key acquisition that turned Knicks franchise around
  • Why is he not higher?: Randle has been a major part in the Knicks’ recent success — their best stretch in a decade. Injuries hampered him in the playoffs last year and forced him to miss the entirety of this year’s postseason.

16) Artemi Panarin, LW, New York Rangers

Artemi Panarin Rangers
(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
  • Years: 2019-present
  • Stats: 350 games, 149 goals, 312 assists, 461 points
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 1x All-Star
  • Miscellaneous: Rangers’ all-time leader in points per game and assists per game, Fastest Ranger ever to 400 points (310 games)
  • Why No. 16?: His postseason production has been spotty. He recorded 16 points in 20 games in the 2022 playoffs but was held to just two points in seven games last year in a Round 1 loss to the Devils. He has nine points in nine games this postseason, but he has to take the Rangers to the next level if he wants to be considered higher on this list.

15) Osi Umenyiora, DE, New York Giants

  • Years: 2004-2012
  • Stats: 391 tackles, 75.0 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, 70 tackles for loss
  • Championships: 2 (Super Bowl XLII, Super Bowl XLVI)
  • Accolades: 2005 All-Pro, 2x Pro Bowler, 2005 PFWA Most Improved Player
  • Miscellaneous: Ranks 4th in Giants history with 75 sacks, Had 6.0 sacks in one 2007 game vs. Eagles, Inducted into Giants Ring of Honor

14) Carlos Beltran, CF, New York Mets

  • Years: 2005-2011
  • Stats: 839 games, .280 BA, .869 OPS, 878 hits, 149 HR, 559 RBI
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 5x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove, 2x Silver Slugger
  • Miscellaneous: 3rd in offensive WAR, Mets franchise history, 127 runs scored in 2006 is Mets single-season record, 41 HR in 2006 was team record until Pete Alonso’s 53 in 2019, Played in 2006 NLCS

13) Nick Mangold, C, New York Jets

  • Years: 2006-2016
  • Stats: 164 games played
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 7-time Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro
  • Miscellaneous: Inducted into Jets Ring of Honor, Played in 2 AFC Championship Games in 2009, 2010

12) Justin Tuck, DE, New York Giants

  • Years: 2005-2013
  • Stats: 451 tackles, 60.5 sacks, 18 forced fumbles, 88 tackles for loss
  • Championships: 2 (Super Bowl XLII, Super Bowl XLVI)
  • Accolades: 2008 All-Pro, 2x Pro Bowler
  • Miscellaneous: Ranks 6th in Giants history with 60.5 sacks, Inducted into Giants Ring of Honor

11) Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees

  • Years: 2004-2016
  • Stats: 1,509 games, .293 BA, .900 OPS, 351 HR, 1,096 RBI, 1,580 hits
  • Championships: 1 (2009)
  • Accolades: 2x AL MVP (2005, 2007), 7x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger
  • Miscellaneous: Recorded 500th and 600th career home runs, 3,000th hit with Yankees
  • Why No. 11?: The numbers alone would indicate that Rodriguez should be at the very top of our list, but his link with steroids has kept him out of the Hall of Fame and out of the Yankees’ pantheon, as well.

10) Pete Alonso, 1B, New York Mets

Pete Alonso Mets walk-off Rays
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
  • Years: 2019-Present
  • Stats: 724 games, .250 BA, .864 OPS, 670 hits, 201 HR, 520 RBI
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 2019 NL Rookie of the Year, 3x All-Star, 2x Home Run Derby champion
  • Miscellaneous: Holds Mets and NL rookie single-season HR record with 53 in 2019, no player in MLB has hit more HR or recorded more RBI than Alonso since his debut, one of five players in MLB history with three or more 40-home-run seasons in his first five years (Ryan Howard, Ralph Kiner, Eddie Mathews, Albert Pujols), Ranks 4th on Mets all-time HR list

9) Aaron Judge, RF, New York Yankees

Yankees Aaron Judge
Aaron JudgeAP Photo/Frank Franklin II
  • Years: 2016-present
  • Stats: 874 games, 880 hits, .976 OPS, 266 HR, 597 RBI
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 2022 AL MVP, 2017 Rookie of the Year, 5x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger
  • Miscellaneous: Set franchise and American League single-season home run record with 62 in 2022 and AL rookie HR record with 52 in 2017

8) David Wright, 3B, New York Mets

  • Years: 2004-2018
  • Stats: 1,585 games, .296 BA, .867 OPS, 1,777 hits, 242 HR, 970 RBI
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 7x All-Star, 2x Gold Glove, 2x Silver Slugger
  • Miscellaneous: Mets franchise leader in position-player WAR, Offensive WAR, at-bats, hits, runs scored, total bases, doubles, RBI, walks, runs created, and extra-base hits, Played in 2006 NLCS and 2015 World Series
  • Why No. 8?: Injuries robbed the Mets and Major League Baseball of a full career for Wright, who was on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory before back and neck issues derailed the final six years of his career.

7) Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets

Wikimedia Commons
  • Years: 2007-2012, 2015-2016
  • Stats: 25 interceptions, 3 INT return TDs, 112 passes defended, 388 tackles
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: Pro Football Hall of Fame, 7x Pro Bowler, 4x All-Pro
  • Miscellaneous: Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-2010s Team, Played in 2 AFC Championship Games with Jets in 2009, 2010, Inducted into Jets Ring of Honor

6) Carmelo Anthony, SF, New York Knicks

  • Years: 2011-2017
  • Stats: 412 games, 24.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.2 apg
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 7x All-Star, 2013 NBA scoring champion, 2013 All-NBA 2nd team
  • Miscellaneous: Member of NBA 75th anniversary team, One of seven players to record 10,000+ points with the Knicks, 24.7 ppg ranks fourth in franchise history

5) Jacob deGrom, SP, New York Mets

Jacob deGrom Mets Braves
Jacob deGrom (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)
  • Years: 2014-2022
  • Stats: 209 starts, 82-57, 2.52 ERA, 1,607 Ks in 1,326.0 IP, 0.998 WHIP
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: 2x NL Cy Young Award winner (2018, 2019)
  • Miscellaneous: One of 11 pitchers in MLB history to win back-to-back Cy Young Awards, Mets franchise leader in ERA, WHIP, K/9, K/BB ratio, Member of 2015 NL Champions
  • Why No. 5?: Before injuries sidelined the deGrom, he was unquestionably the most dominant pitcher in the game and the sort of must-watch, appointment-viewing pitcher this town has seen since Doc Gooden in 1985. Every game he toed the rubber between 2018-2021, there was a legitimate belief that he would throw a no-hitter. That’s how good he was.

4) Mariano Rivera, Closer, New York Yankees

  • Years: 2004-2013
  • Stats: 369 saves, 1.92 ERA, 591 Ks
  • Championships: 1 (2009)
  • Accolades (post-2004): Member of Baseball Hall of Fame, 8x All-Star
  • Miscellaneous: Recorded more than half of his MLB-record 652 saves across final decade of career, All-time leader in ERA+ and Games Finished
  • Why No. 4?: Rivera’s last 10 seasons with the Yankees were just as dominant as his first nine, cementing his place the greatest closer in MLB history.

3) Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers

  • Years: 2005-2020
  • Stats: 459-310-96, .918 SV%, 2.43 GAA
  • Championships: 0
  • Accolades: Member of Hockey Hall of Fame, 2012 Vezina Trophy Winner, 2x All-Star
  • Miscellaneous: No. 30 retired by Rangers, Franchise leader in goalie games played, won, and shutouts, Anchored Rangers to Eastern Conference championship in 2014, Appeared in two other Conference Finals (2012-2015)
  • Why No. 3?: Lundqvist was the steady backstop who often willed the Rangers to the playoffs. He was the most important player of a team that made the playoffs 11 times in his first 12 seasons in the NHL.

2) Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Years: 2004-2019
  • Stats: 4,895 completions, 57,023 yards, 366 TDs
  • Championships: 2 (Super Bowl XLII, Super Bowl XLVI)
  • Accolades: 2x Super Bowl MVP, 4x Pro Bowler, 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Year
  • Miscellaneous: 210 consecutive games started, 10th-most passing yards in NFL history, No. 10 retired by Giants
  • Why No. 2?: Manning proved he was the big man for the big occasion when he got to the big stage. Getting there, however, wasn’t always easy. His career numbers in regular-season play have created a hot debate whether or not he should be a Hall of Famer. 

1) Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees

  • Years: 2004-2014
  • Stats: 1,535 games, 1,919 hits, .303/.368/.423, 133 HR, 696 RBI
  • Championships: 1 (2009)
  • Accolades (post-2004): Member of Baseball Hall of Fame, 9x All-Star, 5x Gold Glove, 5x Silver Slugger
  • Miscellaneous: Reached 3,000-hit milestone in 2011, bolstered MLB records in postseason games played, runs scored, hits, total bases, singles, and doubles, Reached ALCS in 2004, 2010, and 2012 along with winning 2009 World Series
  • Why No. 1?: There has not been a name more synonymous with New York sports over the last 20 years than Jeter’s. Not only did the Yankees’ captain handle the burden of his role with seldom-seen grace and composure, but he also won nearly everything one could possibly win as one of the best offensive shortstops in MLB history.

Honorable Mentions

  • Jose Reyes, SS, New York Mets
  • Chris Kreider, LW, New York Rangers
  • John Tavares, C, New York Islanders

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