4/20/2008 10:05:00 PM

What's In A Jersey Number? A Lot

Posted by Mark McCray |

After hearing all the hubbub made over LaTroy Hawkins taking Paul O'Neil's number 21, Mark Hermann of Newsday couldn't resist the temptation to find out exactly what story is behind each Yankee jersey number.

This is an awesome list, but I could only fit 10 here so click this link to read all of them!!!

1. Bobby Richardson. I know, I know, the Yankees retired it for Billy Martin. But this is my list and I'm picking a hero who was an eight-time all-star, five-time Gold Glove winner, MVP of the World Series and a great example of how to conduct oneself on the field and in the ministry that he entered later.

2. Derek Jeter. Someday the trivia question will be: Who was the next-to-last Yankee to wear No. 2? Answer, Mike Gallego.

3. Babe Ruth. A commentary on his relationship with the club: Eight other guys subsequently wore the number before it was retired.

4. Lou Gehrig. The only Yankee ever to wear this number.

5. Joe DiMaggio. Bet you didn't know the Yankees declined to hold the number for the Yankee Clipper when he left for World War II. Nick Etten wore it from 1943-45.

6. Joe Torre. It was hard to vote against Tony Lazzeri, but the former manager is the one who will get it retired someday. Trivia: This was the first number of which Yankee great?

7. Mickey Mantle. Moved up from "6" during the 1951 season.

8. Yogi Berra. But don't forget Bill Dickey.

9. Roger Maris. For my money, he still holds the "natural" regular-season home run record. Lucky for him, DiMaggio switched to "5" after 1936.

10. Phil Rizzuto. Holy cow, even Chris Chambliss' pennant-winning homer couldn't eclipse Scooter.


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