With all of the Yankees' legends from the late '90s and 2000s now retired, this upcoming decade will probably feature quite a number of Monument Park ceremonies to honor those greats. The festivities began last season when Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez, and Joe Torre were all honored and Torre's #6 was retired. (If you want, you could date it back to Mariano Rivera Day in 2013 when the retiring closer extraordinaire's #42 was honored, even though it was already retired league-wide for Jackie Robinson.) Now, it looks like Andy Pettitte will get his day in the sun, according to some particularly close sources:
Heard it here first. @Yankees are making August 23rd Andy Pettitte day. Retiring #46 and honoring him with a plaque in Monument Park!!— Josh Pettitte (@JPettitte21) February 15, 2015
Can't get much closer than that! Just for kicks, Bryan Hoch confirmed it as well. Pettitte has a borderline Hall of Fame case, but there's no denying that he was one of the top pitchers in franchise history, possibly behind only Whitey Ford.
One of the great under-the-radar draft pick success stories, Pettitte was selected all the way down in the 22nd round of the 1990 Draft our of Deer Park High School in Texas. The tall lefty spent 20 of the next 23 years somehow involved in the Yankees' organization, save for a three-year sojourn to the Astros from 2004-06. A five-time champion, three-time All-Star, five-time Cy Young Award vote-getter, the 2001 ALCS MVP, and the Yankees' top homegrown pitcher in the history of the draft, Pettitte went 219-127 in 438 starts with a 3.94 ERA, a 3.77 FIP, 2020 strikeouts (most in franchise history), and 51.6 career rWAR. He was, of course, crucial to all of the Yankees' recent championship teams from 1996, 1998-2000, and 2009. Pettitte's definitely deserving of being honored in Monument Park.
Congrats to Andy!