Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – The New York Yankees retired the uniform number of former manager Joe Torre, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, prior to Saturday’s game against the Chicago White Sox.
Including Torre’s No. 6, the Yankees have 17 retired uniform numbers for 18 players and managers. New York also honored Torre with a plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium.
“To have your number retired for any team is certainly special. But when you talk about the history and tradition of the New York Yankees, known worldwide, it’s a feeling I can’t describe,” Torre said. “There wouldn’t have been a Cooperstown without Yankee Stadium.”
Torre spent 12 seasons as Yankees manager from 1996-2007, guiding the team to six World Series appearances and four World Series titles (1996, ’98-2000). He compiled a regular season record of 1,173-767-2, leading the club to the playoffs in each year at the helm
His win total trails only Joe McCarthy’s team record 1,460 over 16 seasons from 1931-46.
“George [Steinbrenner] gave me the greatest opportunity I’ve ever had in my professional life,” Torre said. “I played for 16 or 17 years, but it can never match the 12 years here in Yankee pinstripes. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity of entrusting me with this team.”
A number of baseball greats were on hand at the pregame ceremony, including Jim Leyland, Tony LaRussa, Gene Monahan, Lee Mazilli, Jose Cardenal. Current and former Yankees were there as well, including Ron Guidry, Willie Randolph, Reggie Jackson, David Cone, Hideki Matsui, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Yogi Berra.
The 74-year-old Torre, who currently serves as MLB’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, also thanked the fans.
“The one thing that you never forget and you never lose the feeling for are you people,” Torre said.
Other Yankee retired numbers are: No. 1 – Billy Martin; No. 3 – Babe Ruth; No. 4 – Lou Gehrig; No. 5 – Joe DiMaggio; No. 7 – Mickey Mantle; No. 8 – Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra; No. 9 – Roger Maris; No. 10 – Phil Rizzuto; No. 15 – Thurman Munson; No. 16 – Whitey Ford; No. 23 – Don Mattingly; No. 32 – Elston Howard; No. 37 – Casey Stengel; No. 42 – Mariano Rivera; No. 44 – Reggie Jackson; No. 49 – Ron Guidry.
Torre made a reference to Derek Jeter, saying “there’s only one single digit left” to be retired in pinstripes.