The New York Yankees began the practice of retiring number with Lou Gehrig in 1939. To date they have retired 19 numbers but it probably won’t be too long before that number is 21. They have retired more number than any other sports team. For example the Pittsburgh Steelers have only retired one number for Ernie Stautner who wasn’t even on any of their championship teams. My question is which number gets retired first, number 42 (Mariano Rivera) or number 2 (Derrick Jeter)? Comment if you have an opinion. This is Jeter during spring training this year which will be his last season.
There are a lot of wonderful things about the Grapefruit League. Watching baseball in February in shorts and a t-shirt while the rest of the country is freezing is certainly high on the list. Watching major leaguers play in a small venue is like watching your favorite band perform in a small club instead of a stadium.
You also get to see your favorite players relaxed and stress free as they seem to be playing just for the love of the game. But also you see players that you may never see again. Who is Thornton? I don’t know. He didn’t make the team, isn’t on the Pirates roster. But we watched him pitch two innings in Bradenton and he certainly looked good doing it. Hope he makes it to the show some day, just because.
No player has done more to help raise the Pittsburgh Pirates from the cellar than #22 Andrew McCutchen. Roberto Clemente wore number 21 and that number has been retired. I remember when Clemente was young and he lived next door to my parents in the Chatham West Garden Apartments in Pittsburgh. Clemente had this beautiful swing, even watching him hit foul balls was fun. Well, maybe not so much for the pitchers. McCutchen is the same. He looks beautiful hitting foul balls or in this case a home run as he did here against the Yankees in February.
You know when Spring arrives because everybody is ready for baseball. I can’t wait to see a couple of more games this year. Last year we saw the Yankees and White Sox at home. This year hopefully, the Mets and Pirates at their homes. I took this one at Yankee Stadium last year. Mark Texeria looses his bat and it is caught by Spike Lee in the stands. Only in New York could this happen. You can buy a print of this one and see other pictures by clicking here.
Albert Pujols has been called The Machine. He is one of the most powerful hitters in baseball today and maybe all time. Unfortunately, we got to see him prove it at a recent Yankee game. Here he is seeing something he is very familiar with, the intentional walk, You can buy a print of this at my commercial site by clicking here.
There is no doubt that the number two will be retired after Derek Jeter hangs it up. He will join, Ruth, DiMaggio,Mantle and Gehrig as one of the greatest Yankees ever. I have been fortunate to see some greats play: Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Roberto Clemente and now Derek Jeter. You can buy a print of this image on my commercial site by clicking here
I remember as a kid watching Roberto Clemente in Pittsburgh. He would exhaust pitchers. It seemed sometimes he would hit twenty foul balls in a row with that perfect graceful swing. Sure a foul ball is a strike but if you hit a lot of them, the pitcher gets tired and eventually gives up something to hit. Maybe you won’t get the hit, maybe it will be the next hitter in the order but if you keep hitting fouls one things is for sure and that is eventually the pitcher will become exhausted. The Yankees are very good at doing this. You can buy a print of this image on my commercial site by clicking here.