Thursday, January 28, 2016

Yankees Yearly Question about Retired Jersey Numbers

Bill Dickey, The "Man Nobody Knows"

The New York Yankees organization and brand is one of the most recognizable in not only Major League Baseball but maybe around the world. For the longest time everyone wanted to be a Yankee and were honored to don the Yankees pinstripes no matter what number was on their back. Recently it seems like players either don’t want to play for the Yankees for whatever reason, their archaic facial hair policy for one and lack of spending recently for another, which may be a good thing or a bad thing for the organization. It’s a bad thing because the recognizable names and star players is what drives the financial monster that is the New York Yankees but it’s a good thing because the team is running out of numbers to retire.

We post some sort of post like this every single season only because every single season it seems to be getting worse and worse for New York. Logically speaking the Yankees have room for 101 uniform numbers during the season including 0, 00 and 1 through 99 but the true options for Yankees players is dwindling down. We’ve seen the Yankees spring training invited share numbers for two seasons in a row and after New York brings its entire 40 man roster, non-roster invitees and a mix of non-Rule 5 Draft eligible players to Tampa next month it looks like the players will have to share for a third straight season. New York has yet to announce their full list of non-roster invitees but it will likely be somewhere around the 27 they brought to camp last season bringing the tally to 67 players in uniform with the 40 man roster.

When you consider the Yankees need numbers for eight uniformed coaches and a bullpen catcher you find the number climbing to 76 guys before you even consider the massive number of retired numbers the Yankees no longer have in circulation. The Yankees have retired 20 different uniform numbers in their history including two different players, Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey, who wore #8 and Mariano Rivera and Jackie Robinson’s shared #42 inside Monument Park. That’s also before you consider that the Yankees won’t hand out Derek Jeter’s #2, Paul O’Neill’s #21 or the list of other numbers the team refuses to hand out.

Will the Yankees be the first team to head into triple digits after becoming the first team to even retire a number team wide? It sure is looking like it, isn’t it? Until next year when we have even more numbers retired (presumably) and even less to talk about in terms of spring training jerseys. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)