While this baseball season doesn't find the New York Yankees rolling like they once did. I can say they are still slugging up to the final out and are in a position to either retake the AL East lead from the Baltimore Orioles or compete for a Wild Card slot.
In the meantime, as Derek Jeter completes his farewell tour, Yankee Stadium has seen four of its favorite sons honored in pinstripped fashion!
Now that Joe Torre's #6 has been retired by the New York Yankees and Derek Jeter's #2 also going to be parked when he hang up his cleats at the end of this season, that officially closes the door on #s 1-10 for any use in Yankee uniform.
Mr. Torre, as Jeter respectfully called him, is the fourth honoree by the Yankees this season. I could be wrong here but I believe that Joe set the tone for the calm manager (even before we saw a stoic Larry Bird coaching Indiana in the NBA). And that calm transferred over to his players who made every pitcher work for every at bat.
The Yankee dynasty during the Torre years will go down as one of the best in Major League Baseball history as it was achieved in an era of excessive free agency and teams simply being unable to defend their titles (at least not since the Toronto Blue Jays).
Paul O'Neill is my favorite New York Yankee of all time. It could be Derek Jeter except my personality is more similar to Paulie's than DJ's. I honestly felt that O'Neill should have been honored much earlier especially when the Boss was still alive. But better late than never and Warrior has his place in Yankee lore.
His send off by the home fans in his last home game of 2001 still gives me goosebumps everytime I watch it.
When I first began watching the New York Yankees in the mid-1970s, Goose Gossage was their closer. And man he was one tough pitcher. This was an era when closers pitched not one inning but several innings. And he was the Man!
When the Yankees traded for Tino Martinez before the 1996 season got underway I was ecstatic. When he played for the Seattle Mariners, I admired him and thought that he batted well and was tough on defense. And he did the same for New York. The 1990s was a special time for me being a baseball fan.