The New York Yankees, one of Major League Baseball's most storied franchises, will celebrate their winning tradition throughout the 2014 MLB season by honoring four of the greatest Yankees to ever don pinstripes.
According to an official MLB.com press release, the Yanks will retire legendary manager Joe Torre's No. 6 and immortalize Torre, pitcher Goose Gossage, first baseman Tino Martinez and outfielder Paul O'Neill with plaques in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium.
Per Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com, Gossage and Martinez will be honored during Old-Timers' weekend while O'Neill and Torre will have individual ceremonies in August:
Torre, who is set to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame in July, is considered by many to be the greatest Yankees manager of all time and one of the greatest managers in baseball history to boot. He led New York to four World Series titles and maintained a sparkling .605 winning percentage during his 12 seasons in the Bronx.
In January, the Hall of Fame released part of a statement from Torre, who spoke about his selection and shared his thoughts on the Yankees organization, via Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News:
When I became the manager of the New York Yankees, it was an opportunity to realize my lifelong dream of winning the World Series. We were fortunate enough to succeed in our first season in 1996, and in the years that followed, we wrote some great new chapters in Yankee history.
I am honored that I will wear the Yankee logo on my cap in Cooperstown to represent what our teams achieved together.
As pointed out by WFAN, shortstop Derek Jeter's No. 2 will be the only single-digit number in use for the Yankees once Torre's No. 6 is retired:
It won't be long after Jeter retires at the conclusion of the 2014 season that No. 2 will be retired, as well.
There is no question that Torre is deserving of this immense honor due to the incredible heights that he was able to take the Yankees franchise to during his tenure, as also stated by ESPN's Adnan Virk:
Gossage, Martinez and O'Neill were all huge contributors over the years, too.
If not for Mariano Rivera, Gossage would be considered the greatest Yankees reliever of all time by virtue of his nine All-Star appearances and 151 saves along with a World Series title.
Martinez and O'Neill were key to the Yankees' success in the late 1990s under Torre as they were both part of four world championship teams.
Monument Park is arguably the most must-see attraction in baseball due to the sheer amount of legends that are honored there. The fact that four more will take their rightful place in 2014 is an exciting thought.
The Yankees are often the subject of criticism among fans of other teams due to their big-market ways and penchant for spending tons in free agency. There is no denying the fact that the Yankees boast a model organization in terms of preserving their history, though.
Yankees fans have been lucky enough to cheer on some incredible players and managers over the years, and Torre, Gossage, Martinez and O'Neill will get the curtain calls they so richly deserve.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com
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