22 Yankees retired numbers and Yankees legends who wore them

Yankees retired numbers
John Allen
Saturday January 7, 2023

Table of Contents

The Yankees have the longest and most interesting history in the MLB. Their 21 retired numbers honor 22 of their best players and managers are, fittingly, the most in all of Major League Baseball. Lou Gehrig‘s No. 4 was the first number in the history of the Major League to be taken out of use on January 6, 1940. Eighty-two years later, Paul O’Neill’s No. 21 was the last number to be used by the Bombers.

On April 15, 1997, every MLB team, including the Yankees, retired the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.

The Yankees retired numbers, which are on display in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium, are a “who’s who” of sports history. They belonged to the best athletes ever. There are Hall of Famers and fan favorites from different eras, and all of them helped make the Yankees’ name a symbol of success.

No. 1: Billy Martin Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 10, 1986
Position: Second base/Manager

Billy Martin is admired for instilling the dream to win in his players. As a player in the 1950s, he was a big part of four World Series. In 1977, he won another ring as the manager of the Yankees. Martin was the club’s manager five times.

No. 2: Derek Jeter Yankee Retired Number

Date: May 14, 2017
Position: Shortstop, Captain

Derek Jeter was the face of baseball for a whole generation of fans. The Captain played for the Yankees for a franchise-record 20 seasons, from 1995 to 2014. He retired with a .593 winning percentage (1,628-1,117-2) and five World Series rings. Jeter was an All-Star 14 times and played in 16 postseasons. Mr. November left the game with 3,465 hits, which is the sixth most in baseball history.

No. 3: Babe Ruth Yankee Retired Number

Date: June 13, 1948
Position: Outfielder

Many people think Babe Ruth was the most interesting person in baseball history. When he was traded to the Yankees in 1920, he hit 54 home runs, which was more than any other team in the American League. Ruth hit 714 home runs over the course of his career. The great Bambino won 12 home run titles, including one in 1927 when he hit 60. The Sultan of Swat was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the first time in 1936. He hit 15 home runs in the World Series and led the Yankees to seven appearances and four wins.

No. 4: Lou Gehrig Yankee Retired Number

Date: January 6, 1940
Position: First baseman

The 1934 Triple Crown holder, Lou Gehrig was the first baseman with a powerful bat who played in 2,130 straight games from 1925 to 1939. Gehrig’s career was cut short by a terminal illness, but he still hit .340 with 493 home runs, and became AL MVP twice. On July 4, 1939, when he gave his famous “Luckiest Man” speech. That same year, he was also voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

No. 5: Joe DiMaggio Yankee Retired Number

Date: April 18, 1952
Position: Centre fielder

Many experts think that “The Yankee Clipper” was the best player ever in every way. The Californian was a great hitter both in terms of average and power. He was also a beautiful, graceful center fielder with a strong and accurate arm. Joe DiMaggio had a lifetime batting average of .325 and won the AL MVP Award three times. He played from 1936 to 1951 and helped the Yankees win nine World Series titles, even though he was in the military from 1943 to 1945. Many people think that his hitting streak of 56 games in 1941 is the best baseball achievement ever. In 1955, DiMaggio was chosen for the Hall of Fame.

No. 6: Joe Torre Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 23, 2014
Position: Manager

During his time as manager from 1996 to 2007, Joe Torre led the Yankees to six World Series appearances and four championships. He was a calming presence in the clubhouse and had a stoic face in the dugout. The 2014 Hall of Famer led the team to the playoffs in all 12 seasons he was in charge of. In the regular season, the team went 1,173-767-2 (.605), and in the playoffs, they went 76-47 (.618), with a 21-11 record in the World Series.

No. 7: Mickey Mantle Yankee Retired Number

Date: June 8, 1969
Position: Center fielder

“The Mick” was the most feared batter on some of baseball’s best teams. Between 1951 and 1964, Mickey Mantle led the Yankees to 12 World Series and seven championships over the course of 14 seasons. Mantle had one of the best offensive seasons ever in 1956. He won the Triple Crown by hitting .353, hitting 52 home runs, and driving in 130 runs. He won the AL Most Valuable Player Award three times and was put into the Hall of Fame in 1974.

No. 8: Yogi Berra Yankee Retired Number

Date: July 22, 1972
Position: Catcher / Manager

Yogi Berra was a big reason why the Yankees were the best team from the end of World War II until the early 1960s. Fans of all ages loved him. Berra won the AL Most Valuable Player Award three times and won an all-time record 10 World Series rings. From 1948 to 1962, he was chosen to play in the All-Star Game every year and was on 14 teams that won the pennant. He was the manager of the Yankees when they won the pennant in 1964. In 1972, he was chosen for the Hall of Fame.

No. 8: Bill Dickey Retired Yankee Number

Date: July 22, 1972
Position: Catcher / Manager

Dickey is thought to be one of the best catchers of all time. He worked hard and was reliable, catching more than 100 games in an AL record 13 straight seasons (1929-41). Dickey was also a great hitter. In his first 11 full seasons, he hit over.300 and hit 202 home runs over the course of his career. He was in charge of the Yankees’ pitching staff on eight World Series teams that won a total of seven titles. In 1954, he was chosen for the Hall of Fame.

No.9: Roger Maris Yankee Retired Number

Date: July 21, 1984
Position: Right fielder

Maris beat Ruth’s record of 60 home runs in a single season on the last day of the 1961 season. This was one of the most exciting attempts to break a baseball record. Roger Maris hit 61 home runs that year, which was a record for the Major League until 1998. Maris is known as one of the best right fielders in Yankees history for his defense. He won the AL MVP Award twice, in 1960 and 1961.

No. 10: Phil Rizzuto Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 4, 1985
Position: Shortstop

“The Scooter” played for the Yankees for 13 years. During that time, Phil Rizzuto went to nine World Series and won seven of them. He was small but tough, and he was good at bunting and getting on base. His career average was .273. Rizzuto won the AL MVP Award for 1950. He also worked as a Yank’s announcer for 40 years, from 1957 to 1996. His catchphrase was “Holy cow!” In 1994, Rizzuto was chosen for the Hall of Fame.

No. 15: Thurman Munson Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 3, 1979
Position: Catcher

Thomas Munson was the undisputed leader of the Yankees teams that won two World Series titles and three AL pennants in a row from 1976 to 1978. Munson was a great defensive catcher. From 1973 to 1975, he won three straight Gold Glove Awards, and in 1976, he won the AL MVP Award. From 1975 to 1977, Munson drove in at least 100 runs and hit better than.300 each year. Munson died in a plane crash when he was 32 years old on August 2, 1979.

No. 16: Whitey Ford Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 3, 1974
Position: Pitcher

In the 1950s and early 1960s, “The Chairman of the Board” was the best player on the Yankees’ best teams. Whitey Ford‘s career record was 236-106, and he was a two-time Americal League leader for maximum wins, earned run average, and shutouts. He went on to win the Cy Young Award in 1961 and still holds several records, such as 10 wins, 33 consecutive innings without a run, and 94 strikeouts. In 1974, he was chosen for the Hall of Fame.

No. 20: Jorge Posada Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 22, 2015
Position: Catcher

Posada was one of the best-hitting catchers of his time. He played for the Yankees for 17 years, from 1995 to 2011. In 1,829 games, he hit .273 with 379 doubles, 275 home runs, 1,065 RBIs, a .374 OBP, and an .848 OPS. Posada was on four teams that won the World Series. He was an All-Star five times and won the Silver Slugger five times.

No. 21: Paul O’Neill Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 21, 2022
Position: Right Fielder

O’Neill was loved for his warrior persona. In his nine seasons with the Yankees, he held a batting average of .303 and hit 858 RBIs. The Warrior won five World Series rings, four while in the Bronx. The five-time All-Star hit was the AL leader in batting in 1994.

No. 23: Don Mattingly Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 31, 1997
Position: First Baseman

“Donnie Baseball” was the best first baseman in the mid-1980s. Don Mattingly was known for his talent, professionalism, and humility. At age 29, back problems took away much of his power. Still, he was the most beloved Yankee of his time and a defensive star. In his 14 years in pinstripes, he won nine Gold Gloves (1982-95). The “Hit Man” won the AL batting title in 1984 (with a .343 average) and the AL MVP Award in 1985.

No. 32: Elston Howard Yankee Retired Number

Date: July 21, 1984
Position: Catcher / Left fielder

Howard was the first African-American player in Yankees history. In his first 10 years with the team, he helped nine AL pennant-winning teams. Howard was chosen for the All-Star Game for nine straight years. He won the AL MVP Award in 1963 and the Gold Glove Award twice (1957-65). As a player from 1955 to 1967 and as a coach for the Yankees from 1969 to 1979, he was a leader in the clubhouse.

No. 37: Casey Stengel Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 8, 1970
Position: Manager

“The Old Professor” was one of the best managers in the game over the course of his 54-year career. He led the Yankees to 10 pennants and seven championships in 12 years, from 1949 to 1960. This is one of the best things a manager has ever done. Stengel was a true baseball ambassador who helped millions of Americans enjoy the game. In 1966, he was chosen for the Hall of Fame.

No. 42: Mariano Rivera Yankee Retired Number

Date: April 15, 1997, by MLB; September 22, 2013
Position: Closer

Mariano Rivera is the all-time leader with 652 saves, and he had a great career ERA of 2.21 over his 19-year career. “The Sandman’s” dominance in the postseason was legendary. He set Major League records with 42 saves, a 0.70 ERA (for at least 30 innings), and 96 postseason appearances. He played in two other Fall Classics and won five World Series titles.

No. 44: Reggie Jackson Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 14, 1993
Position: Right fielder

“Mr. October” hit 563 home runs in his career, 144 of them while he was a Yankee from 1977 to 1981. Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, all on the first pitch. This helped the Yankees win their first title since 1962. During his five years with the Yankees, he was an All-Star every year. His best year with the team was 1980 when he finished second in the AL MVP Award voting. In 1993, Jackson was chosen for the Hall of Fame.

No. 46: Andy Pettitte Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 23, 2015
Position: Pitcher

Andy Pettitte was reliable and consistent. He pitched for the team for 15 years, going 219-127 with an ERA of 3.94 and setting a club record with 2,020 strikeouts. Pettitte is the only pitcher the Yankees have ever picked who has won 200 games. He has been an AL All-Star three times. As a Yankee, Pettitte won five World Series titles and went 18-10 in 40 postseason starts, with an ERA of 3.76. In the 2009 playoffs, he was the starting pitcher for all three games that won the series.

No. 49: Ron Guidry Yankee Retired Number

Date: August 23, 2003
Position: Pitcher

“Louisiana Lightning” was an All-Star four times and won 20 or more games three times. His 1978 season was one of the best ever. That year, he went 25-3 and had an ERA of 1.74, which won him the AL Cy Young Award. Ron Guidry also set the Yankees record of 18 strikeouts in one game.

No. 51: Bernie Williams Yankee Retired Number

Date: May 24, 2015
Position: Center fielder

Williams spent his whole 16-year career with the Yankees, from 1991 to 2006. In 2,076 games, he hit .297 and had 449 doubles, 278 home runs, and 1,257 RBIs. Williams has been an AL All-Star five times, won four Gold Gloves, and won the Silver Slugger Award once. In 1998, he won the AL batting title with a.339 average. He has won the World Series four times and is the Yankees’ all-time leader in home runs (22) and RBIs (80). He was also the most valuable player in the 1996 ALCS.

Who do you think is the best of these? Leave your comment below.

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