Nestor Cortes Loses ‘Best Athlete’ Title to Hidden Ping Pong Star in Yankees Clubhouse

Published 02/23/2024, 9:35 PM EST

Follow Us

The crack of a bat? Nah. The satisfying thunk of a ping-pong ball is music to the New York Yankees’ ears right now. Forget the diamond—Spring Training has transformed into a table tennis showdown, and the energy is electric! Trash talk flies as thick as fastballs, and the laughter is contagious. Nestor Cortes Jr., the king of the mound, believes he also possesses the athletic edge off the field, but a surprise contender emerged, eager to steal his crown.

Could this ping-pong battle be the key to unlocking the Yankees’ ultimate potential? Is this where the team chemistry really ignites? Buckle up, because this is more than just a silly game; it’s about to get seriously fun.

“Baseball players by day, ping pong players by night,” the team declared on their Twitter page, showing glimpses of how the New York Yankees clubhouse has transformed into a ping-pong battleground. It all started with Nestor Cortes Jr., fresh off his golf tournament win, squawking about his athletic prowess.


Article continues below this ad

Yankees Beat reporter Gary Phillips points out how manager Aaron Boone jokingly fueled the fire: “He (Nestor) says he’s a good SP & he says, ‘If I win this, am I the best athlete on the team?’ ‘Yes, you will be anointed if you win today.’ So we’ll see.” Talk about setting the stage for a showdown!

Clay Holmes Shines in NY but Yankees Guard Their Wallets for Juan Soto’s Future, Despite Mastering Bullpen Craft

Aaron Judge, the team’s towering star, even stepped in as referee, dropping the ball with a grin for a heated match between Spencer Jones and Anthony Rizzo. But the real surprise came from an unexpected source: Luis Torrens.

New York Yankees’ Ping Pong Gauntlet: From Smack Talk to Surprise Champions

After a “hard-fought tourney,” it was Torrens who emerged as champion, edging out Anthony Rizzo in a nail-biter. The photos say it all: Torrens basking in the victory with his teammates hyped around him, patting him on the back, and cheering.


Article continues below this ad

This wasn’t just about winning; it was about pure, unadulterated fun. Gleyber Torres and superstar acquisition Juan Soto were present with their teammates, their laughter echoing through the room. Newcomer Anthony Volpe watched the action closely, while veteran Marcus Stroman may have playfully trash-talked from the sidelines.


Get instantly notified of the hottest MLB stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

The whole scene, conclusively captured in the New York Yankees’ vibrant “Vibes 📈” post, is a testament to the infectious camaraderie of the team. So, did the Bombers find their best athlete? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s clear: while Torrens may hold the ping-pong crown, the team spirit coursing through that clubhouse is a force to be reckoned with.


Article continues below this ad

Austin Wells’ Potential New Role Could Open the Door for Ben Rice, Yankees’ Next Big Name Behind the Plate

As the New York Yankees gear up for another championship run, this unexpected ping-pong battle has brought them closer. It’s a reminder that even the biggest stars need to let loose and have some fun sometimes and that the bonds forged off the field can be just as powerful as any home run they hit together.


Written by:

Shrabana Sengupta


One take at a time

"Those who gaze outward dream, but those who turn inward awaken." A pro-writer for MLB EssentiallySports, I’ve been a fan of the New York Yankees since my school days. In my adolescent years, I was introduced to the iconic franchise through one of my beloved Friends characters, Joey.
Show More>

Edited by:

Tushhita Barua