Yankees also retiring numbers for Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada
Williams, Posada and Willie Randolph also will get plaques in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium in 2015. Derek Jeter's No. 2 isn't officially retired yet, but probably is dependent on his schedule in retirement.
Yankee Stadium's Monument Park might need to expand its acreage, because the New York Yankees will be busy adding shrines to a slew of the franchise's top all-time players this summer.
The Yankees announced Monday that Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada will join Andy Pettitte by having their respective uniform numbers retired this season. The individual ceremonies will include an unveiling of plaques in the famed open-air museum that's just beyond the center-field fence. Williams (No. 51), Posada (20) and Pettitte (46) were key members of several World Series champions from 1996-2000, and Pettitte returned in 2009 for another World Series title.
Pettitte probably will get a lot of Hall of Fame support, given that his success in the postseason mirrored his regular-season results. Posada went through his career underrated, and ranks well when compared to other catchers in history. Probably not Hall of Fame, but great for the Yankees — and that's what counts here.
The club also announced that Willie Randolph, a key member of championship Yankee squads in 1977 and '78, and later a longtime coach, also will get a plaque. (He wore No. 30, by the way.)
Williams will be honored May 24, Randolph during Old-Timers' Day on June 20, Posada on Aug. 22 and Pettitte on Aug. 23.
Word on a number-retirement ceremony and monument/plaque for Derek Jeter is expected to come soon, pending Jeter's globe-trotting schedule in retirement.
All told, 21 Yankees figure to have their numbers retired by the end of the 2015 season, not including Jackie Robinson, whose No. 42 has been retired league-wide since 1997. Mariano Rivera also wore No. 42. Side note: All of the numbers from 1 through 10, including Jeter unofficially, have been set aside by the Yankees. Most recently, in 2014, manager Joe Torre's No. 6 was retired.
Monument Park also features six actual monuments — one was added in memory of events of Sept. 11, 2001. Jeter and Rivera, someday, might get monuments too.
It might seem like a lot of numbers to retire, but it's not obviously excessive. The great Yankees teams of the 1990s and 2000s weren't necessarily defined by larger-than-life figures like Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio or Babe Ruth, but instead by phenomenal depth of talent. Someday, general managers Bob Watson and Brian Cashman should get their respective suits and/or polo shirts retired by the club, too.
The Yankees are the most larger-than-life franchise in American sports. There's no such thing as "too many retired numbers" until they get to 75 of them or so.
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