It's getting to be the middle of June, and the Yankees' awesome annual tradition of Old Timers' Day is almost upon us. The festivities will take place on Sunday, June 22nd around 11:30am, and YES Network just released the list of players who will be there:
There are only a few first-time Old Timers this year, but two of them are very recent players who were crucial additions to the 2009 World Series champions: Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon. Yes, believe it or not, the '09 team won it all just about five years ago now, and several of its older members have retired or left the game. The Yankees honored Matsui's career with a ceremony last year, and he has already been doing the Yankees proud in retirement, going deep in the 2014 Hall of Fame Classic:
Damon hasn't formally retired, but after struggling in 2012 with the Indians, he received no calls for the 2013 or 2014 seasons. I believe this will be his first time back at Yankee Stadium since his 18-year playing career came to a close, and even though he made a few weird comments at times after leaving the Yankees, it will be good to see him back in pinstripes. The third first-time Old Timer is former starter John "The Count" Montefusco, who spent the last three and a half years of his fine career with the Yankees from midseason '83 through '86. The Yankees will also welcome Maggie Coleman, the widow of former second baseman and broadcaster Jerry Coleman, in wake of her husband's passing during the off-season. During the pre-game cermonies, the Yankees will give Hall of Fame closer Goose Gossage a plaque in Monument Park, as previously reported.
The rest of the Old Timers shouldn't surprise anyone, though it appears Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera are all sitting this one out. I'm sure they will be around for later ceremonies this year involving Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill, Joe Torre, and Derek Jeter, so they are more than entitled to a breather. That being said, I demand an explanation as to why Aaron Small is skipping this year.
Which former Yankees (other than the aforementioned group) would you have most liked to see at Old Timers' Day who isn't attending this year?