In case you haven't heard, the Yankees are retiring Derek Jeter's number 2 tomorrow night. It will be the 23rd number to be retired by the Yankees—and the 38th person to be recognized in Monument Park. Of those 23, Jeter will be 11th player to wear a single digit. The Yankees retirement of number 2 means that no current or future Yankee can wear a jersey numbered 1-10.
Test yourself. How many of the Yankees retired numbers 1-10 can you name?
|Number||Player||Year # Was Retired||WAR|
My three takeaways from this list:
- Babe Ruth is a cartoon character. I've now decided to write a post on his greatness next week.
- The Yankees had quite the streak of outfielders: Ruth (1920-34) to Gehrig (1923-39) to DiMaggio (1936-51) to Mantle (1951-68). Can you imagine Gehrig and DiMaggio's numbers if not for the disease and military service that cut their careers short?
- Jeter was pretty great. I think he gets a bad rap because his defense was so bad late in his career. But, his WAR is 5th on the Yankees all-time list. Also on his Yankees resume: 1st in hits (3,465), 1st in doubles (544), 1st in steals (358), and 3rd in total bases (4,921).
The Yankees obviously have an amazing history of great players. But, it did take some luck to lock down numbers 1-10 (and a little stretching; Maris did not deserve the honor). If other teams had to retire 1-10, how good or bad would the list be? I'll take a look tomorrow.
To fully honor Jeter, here are my three favorite moments of his career. And no, I don't care that the Orioles pitcher grooved him one.