Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Retired Numbers of the Yankees and Mets

Regular reader of this Journal Frank D’Agostino suggested that I write something about retired numbers of baseball players. Let me first discuss the New York Yankees who in my opinion have devalued the meaning of the retired number. Let me analyze each. No comment means that it was deserved:

1 – Billy Martin was fired 5 times. Miller Huggins and Joe McCarthy should be similarly recognized.
3 – Babe Ruth
4 – Lou Gehrig
5- Joe Dimaggio
7 – Mickey Mantle
8 – Yogi Berra
8 – Bill Dickey
9. – Roger Maris – beside one fantastic season had a mediocre career
10 – Phil Rizzuto
15 – Thurman Munson – some sympathy involved due to his untimely passing. He likely would have mad the Hall of Fame had he had a full career
16 – Whitey Ford
23 – Don Mattingly – excellent career but did not make the Hall of Fame. The Yankees were not big winners during his playing days
32 – Elston Howard –sadly he died at 48, but his credentials did not justify his number being retired.
37 – Casey Stengel
44 – Reggie Jackson – He only played 5 years for the Yankees
49 – Ron Guidry – excellent career, but in my opinion without election to the Hall does not deserve a retired number.

The following numbers should be retired in the future

2 – Derek Jeter
6 – Joe Torre

The Yankess will retire A Rod’s #13 although it will be tainted by steroid use and other off field activities.

I suggest the Yankees immediate honor Bob Sheppard with a plaque in Monument Park. Likewise, Mel Allen and Frank Messer should be recognized. I would also put a microphone by Phil Rizzuto’s #10.

The Mets have retired only 3 numbers:

14 – Gil Hodges
37 – Casey Stengel
41 – Tom Seaver

Next to those numbers the Mets have honored William Shea.

I would definitely retire #31 for Mike Piazza and #45 for John Franco when and if they are elected to the Hall of Fame. Sadly Gil Hodges has not been elected. I would also honor broadcasters Bob Murphy, Lindsay Nelson and Ralph Kiner.

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