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Some numbers the Yankees could collectively retire

The Yankees have retired plenty of numbers over the years, but if they want to add any more, here are some that are not quite associated with one person in particular.

Chicago Cubs v New York Yankees Photo by: Diamond Images/Getty Images

If anything, I am of the opinion that the Yankees have too many uniform numbers retired. Considering the franchise’s history, it’s understandable that they have a lot, but there are maybe a couple too many.

Reggie Jackson authored one of the most iconic performances and runs in Yankees’ history, but he also only played for the team for five years, so there’s a decent argument that #44 shouldn’t be out of circulation. The Yankees somewhat forced their own hand a bit, but Paul O’Neill’s #21 was an iffy retirement as well. There are others you could make the argument against as well.

However, in doing our top 100 post on Mel Stottlemyre (which just went up earlier today!), I got thinking of his #30. It got me thinking about the numbers that haven’t had just one notably great Yankee wear them, but have had multiple great/beloved players don them. While I’m not saying that the Yankees should retire anymore numbers at this time, let’s take a look at some of the numbers that you could make an argument for being collectively put in Monument Park.

#30

As mentioned, Stottlemyre and his #30 are what got me on this topic. He is a beloved figure in Yankee history, having been a bright light for the franchise in the darkness that was the mid-60s and early 70s, and then being the pitching coach for the championships in 1996, and 1998-2000.

A fellow member of that dynasty’s coach staff was Willie Randolph, who also donned #30. Stats-wise, Randolph has an argument for getting the number retired for him alone, as going off Baseball Reference WAR, he’s the 11th-best Yankee ever, ahead of several players who have had their number taken out of circulation.

Besides those two, there’s also Eddie Lopat and David Robertson (hello to a certain other PSA staff member), who both had good careers with the Yankees. There’s some misses like Jay Bruce in the Yankees’ history of #30, but also a lot of good memories of players wearing it.

#11

Who knows? Maybe someday Anthony Volpe will have had a good enough career to get this number retired on it’s own. However, the lowest number (not counting 0 or potentially 00) still given out by the Yankees has had some pretty good wearers before it was given to Volpe.

The most recent notable one was Brett Gardner, who donned it from 2008-2021 and was a valuable member of the Yankees for a long time. Chuck Knoblauch wore it from 1998-2001 during his tenure with the dynasty Yankees. Héctor López had a solid long career with the team.

Besides all of them, there was Hall of Fame pitcher Lefty Gomez. While he also wore #20 and #22 at points, Gomez is most associated with #11, which we wore while helping the Yankees to six World Series titles and making seven All-Star Games.

#24

In an alternate universe, Robinson Canó spends the rest of his career with the Yankees and gets #24 retired on his own. In another different universe, Gary Sánchez doesn’t fall off a cliff and has a nice long Yankees’ tenure and he gets it retired. However, we don’t live in either of those universes, and #24 is still up for grabs.

There is a Monument Park plaque for Tino Martinez, who wore #24, but he wasn’t quite on the number retirement level. Those three are a pretty good start, but then you can also throw in Rickey Henderson — who was awesome stats-wise in his couple years with the Yankees. There’s also Al Downing, who had nine nice years in pinstripes, mostly in the CBS ownership dead period. That’s a pretty decent quintet for that number.

#13

By the numbers, Alex Rodriguez should get this number retired, but things are obviously a bit more complicated than that. Maybe they could soften the blow by adding a couple people into the mix, including perhaps someone who hit one of the most important home runs of the team’s last 30 years.

#19

Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Sojo, Dave Righetti, Bob Turley, and Johnny Murphy is a decent little collection of players. Oh, and Aaron Boone hit his famous 2003 ALCS walk-off in that number, but that part should maybe be given a couple years to breathe.

#68

AKA the “Killer Bs” memorial number. Dellin Betances wore it well in his stint as a relief ace with the Yankees, and then his fellow former top prospect Manny Bañuelos wore it during his brief return to the organization in 2022.

#99

Aaron Judge is clearly going to have to share his future number retirement ceremony with Brian Bruney.