Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
“When I saw him early in his career, back in the early ‘90s, I could tell he was going to be good. But at that stage of his career it was hard for me to be sure how good he would become. When he broke in with the Major League club, he was already on a quality team, but with that influx of young talent—Jeter, Posada, Mariano and Andy—those teams became great.
“As the years came and went, my wife, Bonnie and I had the opportunity to get to know him, and he became one of our favorites. Even though he lives in Texas, he has Louisiana in his blood, and I always kid him about that.
“I always told him that when his time was done in this game, his name would be right up there with the greatest left-handed pitchers to put on a Yankees uniform. I feel like he was the greatest left-handed pitcher I ever saw pitch at Yankee Stadium. I never had the chance to see Whitey [Ford] pitch, so the first person I think of is Andy.
“To me, the way he carried himself was head and shoulders above the great majority of other players. You knew he was going to represent the team with a certain type of class. If he made a mistake, he owned up to it. That’s the mark of a true pro. Athletes admire other athletes who have that quality. "
"I wish Andy and his family nothing but the best as they move forward in their life.”
Ron Guidry (Yankees pitcher from 1975-88 and Pettitte’s pitching coach with the Yankees from 2006-07. Guidry is fifth on the Yankees all-time wins list with 170 victories).