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The Yankees are retiring Joe Torre’s number

Dec 11, 2013, 9:50 AM EDT

Joe Torre Yankees

No one has worn number 6 for the Yankees since Joe Torre left the team. And now, no one will wear it again.  Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports that the Yankees are retiring Joe Torre’s number.

The Yankees are not one of those clubs who only retire Hall of Famer numbers — Ron Guidry’s number is retired and no one has worn Bernie Williams’ 51 for years, suggesting that it may one day be retired too — and it’s possible that they’d not retire a Hall of Famer’s number if there was an argument against it. So the news that Torre’s will be retired is not a function of some rule in operation triggered by his election to the Hall of Fame yesterday.

And, given that Torre’s relationship with the Yankees has been somewhat strained over the years since he left, especially after Torre wrote his tell-all book about his Yankees years a few years ago, it’s possible to read this news as both an honor and a reconciliation of sorts.

  1. clydeserra - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    also I think thurmond munson.

    But at some point it stops right? can’t retire all the numbers.

    • southofheaven81 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      Seriously, they’re about 20 years away from numbers in the triple digits.

      • ezthinking - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        18 numbers in a 111 years of existence would mean at the current pace they would run out of double digits available for the 40 man roster in something over 333 years.

        I’m not too worried about it. maybe my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchild would be worried.

    • ezthinking - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      Munson was #15.

  2. nymets4ever - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Too many retired numbers dilutes the meaning of the ritual…the Mets do it the right way by making their standard extremely high. *waits for the trash talk and downvotes to come like rain*

    • hittfamily - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      The only Met number worth retiring is #6, and that’s cause Bill Buckner wore it.

      • nymets4ever - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM

        Either you’re a terrible trash talker, or you’re utterly clueless about the history and important figures of the Mets franchise…lol

      • hittfamily - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM

        Like Ray Ordonez, Benny Agbayani, and Kaz Matsui?

      • asimonetti88 - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        Tom Seaver was pretty good

      • hittfamily - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        Not as good as Bill Pulsipher.

    • mybrunoblog - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      I’ve read there is a serious internal struggle within the Mets Wilpon family. There is infighting about whether or not they should retire Craig Swan or Timo Perez’ number.

      • hittfamily - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        Bernie Madoff already retired most of the Mets numbers.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        All the zeros, anyway.

      • hittfamily - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        Ha! They should just retire a comma in honor of Ol’ Bernie.

    • sdelmonte - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      I think they err too much in that direction. One player and two managers, one of whom did his best work elsewhere. Why not Piazza? Hernandez and Carter? A few more would be nice, instead of just having a hall of fame.

    • southofheaven81 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      If the Mets had a manager that led them to 4 rings in 5 years they would give him a statue big enough to dwarf the rest of the stadium.

    • bigharold - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      “… the Mets do it the right way…”

      I beg to differ.

      Besides in the 50+ years the Mets have had two WS and two more NL championships so it’s not like there is a whole bunch to get worked up about. With the exception of Seaver, who M Donald Grant traded away, which other player is worthy of having his number retired? Ed Kranepool? Chico “Baseball been berry berry good to me” EsqualIa?

      • Kevin S. - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        Piazza, Strawberry, Doc, Wright eventually.

      • bigharold - Dec 11, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        I’ll give you Gooden, and eventually Wright. Strawberry played more for other teams than he played for the Mets and was on the Yankees from 95 to 99 meaning he has three WS rings with the Yankees while only having one with the Mets. Piazza, .. who’s retiring his number?

      • basedrum777 - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:04 PM

        I heard Ray Ordonez is going to be better than Derek Jeter…..

    • basedrum777 - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      Name one yankee who’s number is retired who wouldn’t be in the mets best players ever discussion? GTFO.

  3. mybrunoblog - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    The last of the single digit numbers for the Yankees (not including #2 which obviously will be retired too). A well deserved honor for Torre. On a side note Torre has been back to Yankee stadium a few times now since he left including when Steinbrenner died and old timers day. I think we have Joe back in the Yankee fold where he belongs.

    • basedrum777 - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      If he’s done working for the league then I think he will be brought back in some role.

  4. sdelmonte - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    This will mark the eighteenth retired number in the Bronx. As noted, they are going to start running out of numbers soon. Certainly lower numbers.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      This isn’t a football team. Maybe forty players in a given season have their own numbers, plus a handful of coaches. There are ninety-nine numbers available. The Yanks have a ways to go before they actually run out of numbers.

      • sdelmonte - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        OK, not run out. But baseball seems to be one of the sports wear lower numbers are favored. This won’t be the case for the Yankees ever again.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        Meh.

      • clydeserra - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        sure, but whereas I don’t mind seeing 77 on a guy, I think those numbers are better left for spring training.

      • cackalackyank - Dec 11, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        It’ll be cool. Everyone on the field will be a wide out, or a tight-end. “Now batting for the Yankees, playing 2nd base, #85…..

      • chinahand11 - Dec 11, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        I’m wondering if the numbering system will eventually become married to the positions like the NFL; that is to say one group for infielders, one for outfielders, pitchers, etc.

  5. jkcalhoun - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Torre had a Hall-of-Fame run as the Yankees’ manager, but some of us will remember Roy White when we see that retired number on the wall.

    • chinahand11 - Dec 11, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      Roy was a pretty darn good outfielder, but I doubt anyone will retire his number.

  6. Kevin S. - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Retired numbers of non-HOF players: 1 (Martin), 9 (Maris), 15 (Munson), 23 (Mattingly), 32 (Howard), 42 (Rivera), 49 (Guidry).

    Obviously Rivera is likely to reach. Maris, Munson and Howard all have mitigating factors for their retirement despite not being HOF players.

    • someguyinva - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      Didn’t Graig Nettles wear #9 also?

      • Kevin S. - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        Yes, but it wasn’t retired for him.

    • basedrum777 - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      The fact that Mattingly and Martin aren’t getting more consideration is a dig at the HOF if you ask people who know baseball.

  7. johnnysoda - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Congratulations to Joe, especially since it’s been so long since the Yankees formally retired a number (although the fact Ichiro was not given #51 marked the unofficial retirement of that number in my view).

    • phantomspaceman - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      Don’t forget about LaTroy Hawkins getting boo’d out of Paul O’Neill’s #21.

    • rbj1 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      You mean since the last home game this past season when they retired #42 for Mo (yes retired across baseball, but it was re-retired in pinstripes instead of Dodger blue)?

      A no-brainer for a HoFer. And lest anyone think that Torre had an advantage by managing the late 1990s Yankees, Casey Stengel had one .500 season when managing a team other than the NY Yankees.

  8. dcarroll73 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Since it is a foregone conclusion that number 2 will be retired, I believe that this completes numbers 1-10. How about number 11 – Hector Lopez? He was a major leaguer pretty early for a Latino and was, I believe, the first to manage at the AAA level. He was also an important part of the great Yankee teams of the late ’50s – early ’60s.

  9. ezthinking - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Sad to see the Tigers give #1 to Iglesias and #3 to Kinsler. Whitaker and Trammel should both have their numbers retired.

  10. rathipon - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    OK, I get that this is justifiable. But between retiring Torre’s number, a plaque for Nelson Mandela, and the great Mariano Rivera retirement overkill tour last year, it really seems to me that the current front office is watering down the brand. It’s like they are trying twice a year to reproduce the iconic “luckiest man on the face of the earth” moment. Maybe I’m just getting cynical with age, but as a Yankee fan I’m starting to resent the manufactured pomp and circumstance. No need to ‘make’ history with a team like the Yankees. Just let it happen! No doubt Joe Torre day will coincide with a new Yankeeography on YES channel, and maybe a spot in the “Yankees Classics” content rotation. And don’t forget Mr. Steiner selling authentic grass that grew on that very spot on that fateful day. Sigh.

  11. deathmonkey41 - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    They won’t give out numbers that they’re pretty sure they’ll retire in the future. A lesson they learned after not being able to retire Wayne Tolleson’s #2 because some kid named Jeter took it.

  12. cackalackyank - Dec 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Of the numbers retired two are retired for two players. #8 is retired twice, for Yogi Berra and for Bill Dickey. #42 for Jackie Robinson and MO. Soon, when watching a Yankee game the lowest number on the field will be #11, currently worn by Gardner.

    • dcarroll73 - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:50 AM

      I love Gardy, but that’s Hector’s number. Do the right thing!

  13. banggbiskit - Dec 12, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    The whole retiring numbers thing is stupid. Seriously.

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