Joe Girardi

Girardi is the man who was tapped by George Steinbrenner to replace Joe Torre as the manager of the Yankees in 2007.

An Illinois native, Joe Girardi made his Major League debut as a catcher for his home state's Chicago Cubs in 1989. He stuck with the team until 1992 when he moved to the Colorado Rockies, but he made his mark on the New York Yankees, where he played from 1996-1999, a span of years when the Yankees won three World Series wins. Never one of the flashiest or most popular players on the team (he left that to Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, and Paul O'Neill), Girardi was crucial in becoming career-Yankee Jorge Posada's mentor. He ended his career with a brief stint back with the Cubs and a year with the St. Louis Cardinals, but his return to the Yankees wasn't far off. Girardi took the path of many a retired Yankee as a commentator on the YES network, but itching to get back in the game, he began his managerial career with the Florida Marlins. With the lowest payroll in the Major Leagues, Girardi somehow got the Marlins into wild card contention, and despite his winning the Manager of the Year award, he was let go. Florida's loss was New York's gain, as Steinbrenner quickly snatched him up. Yanks fans were less than thrilled when during Girardi's first year the team failed to make it to the postseason for the first time since 1993, but that was quickly forgotten when the Yankees won the World Series the following year in 2009. [Image via Getty]