Yankees to Retire Williams’ and Posada’s Numbers

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison, Wikipedia

From Ruth to Jeter, the Yankees have had an unprecedented number of all-time greats don the famous pinstripes, which have of course culminated in 27 World Series Championships.  With so many great former players, naturally the Yanks have retired more uniform numbers than any other MLB franchise. Currently 16 numbers are retired for 17 players, Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey both wore retired 8.

Every single-digit number has been retired aside from Jeter’s iconic 2, which will be retired in the near future to bring the total to 17 unavailable numbers.  Furthermore, lefty Andy Pettitte will have his number 46 immortalized at a ceremony later this year, beloved by Yankee fans despite his acknowledgement of prior HGH use.

Not content to have one retirement ceremony in a given year, recent Yankee greats Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams will have their numbers immortalized in Monument Park later this year.

There will be separate ceremonies to celebrate the accomplishments of arguably the two most underrated cornerstones of the Bronx Bombers’ late 1990s/early 2000s dynasty.  The two were similar in a few respects, most notably that they both spent their entire careers in Yankee pinstripes.  Both also played 16 seasons with the team, Bernie from 1991-2006 and Posada from 1996-2011.

What makes both players notable are the unique roles they played in one of the greatest runs in Yankee history. Bernie was arguably the team’s best hitter during their World Series Championship season in 1996.  His switch-hitting ability, consistent batting average, good speed and great range in the outfield helped him win the hearts of  Yankee fans.

Williams continued to be one of the team’s best hitters during their three consecutive World Series titles from 1998-2000, and was rewarded with what was at the time a huge $87.5 million contract prior to the 1999 season.  He was especially clutch in the postseason, hitting several late inning and walk-off home runs, a few of which proved to be a turning point in the series.  Williams also is in the top six all-time among Yankees in hits, walks, doubles and RBIs.

Posada was a rookie in 1996 and did not play much due to the presence of current Yankee manager Joe Girardi behind the plate.  Girardi would remain the primary catcher for the next two seasons until Posada finally got the majority of playing time in 1999.  He never looked back, remaining the Yankee’s anchor behind the plate for the next decade.

Always known more for his bat than his glove, Posada won an impressive five Silver Slugger awards, which are given to the best hitter at any given position.  He also went to four straight All-Star Games from 2000-2003 and finished his career in style, batting .429 in his last playoff series in 2011.

Without a doubt, Williams and Posada will always be regarded as great Yankees for their contributions to three Worlds Series titles, and their numbers will have their place in Yankees history.