The New York Yankees have now retired a total of 21 numbers. A couple of them were retired twice like numbers 42 and 8 but in total there are 21 numbers that incoming Yankee ball players are not allowed to wear. But when you see all of the numbers retired by New York, you have to sit back and ask, is having your number retired special there anymore?
The question becomes relevant today as Yankee legend, Derek Jeter, had his iconic number 2 labeled as off limits for the rest of eternity in the Yankee organization.
It seems like at this point, the Yankees retired absolutely anyone who throws on a Yankee uniform and helps them win a World Series. For example, Jorge Posada is the most ludicrous one in recent memory. I remember being low key shocked when I heard that Posada would have his number immortalized.
Just look at his statistics on baseballreference.com. Posada only lead the major leagues in a single category twice in his career… And you know what that category was? Double plays grounded in to.
But don’t worry, he must have hit for a high average right? I mean… He never reached .300 for a season at the plate and hit for a career .273. Which don’t get me wrong. Hitting for .273 isn’t anything to scoff at. That’s a solid batting average especially for a catcher of his defensive caliber. But you never make the hall of fame or have your number retired generally unless you are immaculate both offensively and defensively.
Posada was a very talented player throughout his career and is no doubt an icon and a legend as a New York Yankee. But I give a lot of that reasoning too the fact that he was there during the late 90’s, early 2000’s success. He was consistently on a winning team and was apart of five championships… But was he, himself, a pivotal factor to those rings?
I just believe that if you are too have your number retired, you better be a sure fire hall of famer, A, and B, blow your competition away. I think people should step back, look at your career and say, “Man, that guy will make the hall of fame on the first or second ballot without a doubt”. I don’t look at Posada and say that. Sorry, I just don’t.
Now as I point out that I think the Yankees are slightly number retirement happy, I am not saying that Derek Jeter does not deserve it. As I said earlier, Jeter is a baseball legend who will forever be remembered as one of the greats. During his prime, Jeter was absolutely without a doubt the face of baseball.
But with now 21 total numbers retired, you need to wonder what qualifies you as a Yankee player to have your number retired.
If the Red Sox were to hold players to the same standards and have their numbers retired in the same fashion, then I would think that players like Manny Ramirez would have his number hung up below the Budweiser deck, right?
But hey, overall, as much as I hated the Yankees during his prime, I do say congratulations to Derek Jeter on his number retirement. Because if anybody deserves it, it is him. In two years Jeter will be nominated for the hall of fame and without question I am sure that he will become the first unanimous vote… Even though that honor should have been given to Ken Griffey Junior. Two morons didn’t vote Griffey on his first ballot… Are you kidding me?
But congrats Jeter. I respect the hell out of you, but I will never like you.
Written By: Nick Quaglia (@NickQuags)