Three-Digit Yankee Uniform Numbers In Our Lifetime!

It was recently announced that the Yankees would be retiring 3 more uniform numbers for Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte… and it’s just a matter of time before they retire Jeter’s number.

But to be honest, the Yankees aren’t trying hard enough. If they really want to honor their glorious past, they need to retire more numbers!

I have some suggestions for numbers the Yankees could be retiring, if they’d only take this whole thing seriously.

Ron Blomberg was the first-ever Designated Hitter, the first pick in the 1967 draft, lead the team in batting average in 1973 and was the greatest-ever Jewish Yankee…. Let’s retire his #12.
1976 Hostess Ron Blomberg

Rickey Henderson has the top three slots in the single-season Yankee stolen base chart, and all-time he’s second only to His Jeterness.  Retire his #24!
1988 Topps All-Star Glossy Rickey Henderson

Catfish Hunter is a Hall Of Famer who won 20 games in 1975 and finished second in Cy Young voting.  Retire his #29!
1976 Hostess Jim Hunter

Mel Stottlemyre was a career Yankee who was a five-time all-star, won 20 games three times, started three games in the 1964 World Series, is 7th on the all-time win list, 7th in K’s and tied for 2nd in Shutouts.  He was the Yankees pitching coach for a decade and got 5 World Series rings that way. Retire his #30!
1973 Topps Mel Stottlemyre

Allie Reynolds threw two no-hitters, was the 1952 ERA leader, was a 5-time All-Star and won six world Series. Retire his #22!
Pacific Baseball Legends Allie Reynolds

Spud Chandler won 20 games, was the 1943 AL MVP and has the lowest ERA of any Yankee righty… Retire his #21!

1940 Play Ball Spud Chandler from web

1940 Play Ball from the web (I don’t own this one)

Don Larsen threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series and was the World Series MVP. Retire his #18!
Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Don Larsen

Johnny Mize is a Hall Of Famer who hit three homers in the 1952 World Series and won five World Series with the Yankees! Retire his #36!
1970 Fleer World Series 49 Yankees Dodgers

During the period from 1956 to 1962, Bill “Moose” Skowron was named to 5 All-Star teams and earned five World Series rings.  He hit a grand slam in game 7 of the 1956 World Series and a three-run homer in game 7 of the 1958 World Series, and hit 165 homers in 9 seasons as a Yankee.  Retire his #14!
Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Bill Skowron

Vic Raschi lead the AL in strikeouts in in 1951, was with six World Championship teams, a four-time all-star, won 21 games in three straight seasons and had a 120-50 record in his 8 years with the Yankees.  Retire his #17!
Pacific Baseball Legends Vic Raschi

Willie Randolph was the starting 2nd baseman for 13 straight seasons, was on the Topps Rookie All-Star team in 1976, the same year he played in the World Series against the Reds.  He represented the Yankees in five all-star games, and indirectly  made the Mets look bad when he was fired as their manager while flying out to the West Coast before a road trip.  Retire his #30!

1988 Score Willie Randolph

Dave Winfield is a Hall Of Famer who played 9 years in pinstripes (more games than with any other team), was an All-Star each of those 9 years, won five Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers. Retire his #31!
1986 Topps Dave Winfield

Fritz Peterson has the lowest all-time ERA at Yankee Stadium and the lowest WHIP of any Post-WWII Yankee starting pitcher. Retire his #19!
1968 Topps Fritz Peterson

Dave Righetti is clearly the second-greatest closer in Yankee history, the 1981 Rookie of the Year and he no-hit the Red Sox.  Hell, for most Yankee fans just the “No-hit Boston” part is enough.  If you’re not going to retire #19 for Fritz Peterson, retire it for Rags!
1988 Score Dave Righetti

Bob Turley was the 1958 Cy Young Award winner and World Series MVP. He won four World Series! If you’re not going to retire #19 for Peterson or Righetti, retire it for Turley!
Pacific Baseball Legends Bob Turley

How is it that Lefty Gomez’ number is not retired?  He’s more accomplished than many who already have had the honor.  He’s a Hall Of Famer, has the most wins of any Yankee left-handed pitcher, a four-time 20 game winner, pitched in five World Series while going 6-0, twice won the “Pitching Triple Crown” by leading the league in ERA, K’s and wins, has a .652 winning percentage while wearing pinstripes, started five All-Star games, and his Yankee career stats have him as 4th in wins, 4th in shutouts and 5th in strikeouts.  Rip that #11 away from Brett Gardner and retire it!

1941 Play Ball Lefty Gomez from web

1941 Play Ball from the web (I don’t own this one)

We can go on from here… Paul O’Neill (#21) was a four-time All-Star, a fan favorite and won four World Series!  David Cone (#36) threw a perfect game had two seasons where he had more than 200 K’s! Lou Piniella (#14) was a key member of the 1970’s Yankees, a fan favorite and managed the Yankees twice! Joe Pepitone (#25) was a three-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove and once hit two homers in the same inning!

If the Yankees follow my advice, they can retire an additional 14 numbers, bringing the total (with Jeter) to 34.  It would leave just 4 available numbers below 33.

Come on, Yankees! Go big or go home!

Three-digit uniform numbers in our lifetime!

Mets Monday: O-Pee-Chee paid a nice tribute to Gary Carter in 1992; what will the Mets do in 2012?

This 5-card subset in 1992 OPC is a very nice tribute to a future HOFer, with one card devoted to each stop in Carter’s career.  My kneejerk reaction to seeing this again was “This is such a nice subset, this type of thing should be done more often”…  Then thoughts of 196-card tributes to Alex Rodriguez or Chipper Jones filled me with dread, and I backed off on my wishes.

As for what the Mets will do this season… I’m sure there’ll be a patch;  it might be as simple as a black patch with “KID” in white letters, it could be something more elaborate.

I’m sure there will be some sort of appropriate tribute at the home opener.

What a lot of Mets fans are asking are “Will the Mets retire #8?”

My feelings are mixed on this;  If you asked me 10 years ago if the Mets should retire 8, I would’ve said “No” because I didn’t regard it as unthinkable that anyone would ever wear 8 again.  To me, being a HOFer isn’t enough to get your number retired, you have to have meant so much to the team that the mere thought of someone else wearing that number elicits an “Aw HELL no!”  Since nobody burned down Shea Stadium when Dave Gallagher, Steve Swisher, Carlos Baerga, Cookie Rojas, Desi Relaford and Matt Galante wore the number after Carter, then there obviously wasn’t an “Aw HELL no!” involved.

The number’s been out of circulation for 9 seasons.  Last year I would’ve said they should either retire it or put it back into production.  Fish or cut bait.

But now?  Now, the Mets have painted themselves into a corner.  If they retire 8 now, many fans (myself included) would say “If you were going to retire it, why couldn’t you do it when Carter was still ALIVE, you schmucks?”

If they give the number out to a current player, they’re heartless bastards.

I see this playing out in one of two ways:

1)  They’ll wait a few years until some plausible reason comes up, and then retire 8 for both Gary Carter and Yogi Berra.   One could argue that Berra meant as much to the franchise as Carter did, and he wore the number more than twice as long as a player, coach and manager.

2)  They’ll keep it out of circulation until a worthy player comes along and requests #8, and they’ll say “We don’t like giving this number out, but since it’s <insert All-Star player’s name here>, we’ll make an exception”.  Then the Mets front office will thank their lucky stars that the number’s back in circulation and when that player leaves they’ll leave it as an active number.

…But it’s the Mets, so who knows what they’ll do?

An important message to you, the faithful reader of The Shlabotnik Report

I’m proud to say that this is the first time in this blog’s history where I featured cards where I wasn’t sure where the cards were but was able to find them.  I’m proud because it means that I’ve gotten the Shlabotnik collection organized enough that I can find things again.

My intent from the start was to document the process of focusing my collection, and sharing all the cool stuff I rediscovered along the way.  While I knew that I needed some motivating factor (i.e. this blog) to get me past that depression that swept over me every time I looked at the mess of a room, I didn’t fully appreciate how much of a mess it was.  Now that I can find stuff again, I can be better about sharing the fun stuff I’ve accumulated.

Thanks for sharing the journey so far, I hope to repay you for your dedication.