Yesterday was a special day at Yankee Stadium. It was the 62nd Old-Timer’s Day and more importantly, it was the last one at this stadium. It’s always a special event and always a joy to watch guys from back in the day don the pinstripes one more time to bring back the memories of some of the greatest moments in Yankee history.
With all due respect to everyone else, there is no organization that can assemble the quailty of players and memories like the Yankees can. Old-Timer’s Day lets you remember and relive the greatest moments, it never lets you forget them.
A nice addition this year was the 1996 Yankees. Thirteen members of that championship team were on hand for this year’s festivies. At least one player from each of the last 16 world championship teams was represented. Here’s a list of players.
Yogi Berra (HOF)
Wade Boggs (HOF)
Dr. Bobby Brown
Whitey Ford (HOF)
Rich “Goose” Gossage (HOF)
Ken Griffey, Sr.
Arlene Howard (widow of Elston)
Helen Hunter (widow of Jim)
Reggie Jackson (HOF)
Gene “Mickey” Klutts
Jill Martin (widow of Billy)
Diana Munson (widow of Thurman)
Cora Rizzuto (widow of Phil)
Bill “Moose” Skowron
Dave Winfield (HOF)
Gone but not forgotten: Bobby Murcer
An unbelievable group of players and accomplishments. As always the loudest ovations went to O’Neill, Martinez, Wells, Strawberry and Berra. One man who got a loud ovation and rightfully so deserved it was Willie Randolph. After disgracfully being dismissed as Mets manager earlier this summer, Randolph made his first public New York appearance. It was a nice show of support from the Yankee Stadium crowd. Met fans may feel differently about Willie but as the saying goes, “Once a Yankee, Always a Yankee.” This is not a knock on other fans but Yankee fans show their respect to players who put their all into being a Yankee and wore the pinstripes with pride. Derek Jeter always says he plays for the greatest fans in the world. Boy, is he right.
“That was awesome,” said Tino Martinez, “Willie deserves it. That’s why these are the best fans in the world. You want to applaud them for doing that.”
I can’t help but be at awe at the players that the Yankees bring to the Stadium every year. It’s simply amazing. The tradition of the Yankee organization is one that gives you goosebumps. I remember where I was for the last 4 World Series wins. It’s great to see the players that remind me of those good times.
It was another special moment in the House That Ruth Built. There seems to always be a magical moment going on, that’s what Yankee Stadium is all about and that is what is being celebrated this year. A good show by the Yankee organization yesterday. It makes you feel proud to be a Yankee fan and while other people will say what they want about the Yanks, NO ONE can do what the Yankees did yesterday and NO ONE has the history that the Yanks do.
I really hope the Yankees can honor Bernie Williams before the end of the season. There’re 20 home games left, let’s hope we get to see No. 51 one more time. That would be another memorable moment in a season full of them.