Yogi, Whitey and Reggie...the epitome of excellence
Yesterday's Old Timer's Day did not disappoint.
Start with legends like Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford.
Add fan favorites like Mickey Rivers, Joe Pepitone, Lee Mazzilli, David Wells and Tino Martinez.
Top it off with first-timers Joe Torre, Bernie Williams and the return of Lou Pinella.
Mixed together, you get an emotional, exciting day at the ballpark,
Even the Bleacher Creatures get involved, doing their trademark "roll call" for the Old Timers as they take the field.
Old Timer's Day at Yankee Stadium is truly an extraordinary event that fans of the Yankees and baseball history should try and attend at least once in their lives.
What other former Yankees have not been seen in the Bronx lately?
After the jump, six players who the fans would like to cheer for one more time.
The Mighty Pags has struck out...
From 1984 through 1989, Mike Pagliarulo was entrenched at third base for the New York Yankees.
A former first round draft pick out of the University of Miami, "Pags" was a powerful hitter who played questionable defense and was known for his "hit-or-miss" at bats—either he hit the ball into the bleachers, or he missed the ball and struck out. There was not much in-between.
In his six seasons wearing pinstripes, Pagliarulo hit .229 with 105 HR and 335 RBI. His best season was arguably in 1987, when he hit .234 with 32 HR and 87 RBI.
In 2008, Pags remarked that he had no issues with the team, though rumors have surfaced on occasion to the contrary which may explain his extended absence from the game.
The Yankees Win! Theeeee Yankees Win!
Only a Yankee for two seasons, 1995 and 1996, John Wetteland is the focal point in what has become an iconic photograph—the Yankees celebrating the final out of the 1996 World Series and the team's first World Series championship since 1978.
Wetteland was a steadying influence as the Yankees closer, racking up 74 saves during his short time in pinstripes, including his AL leading 43 in 1996, when he teamed with Mariano Rivera to form a formidable back-end of the bullpen for the Yankees.
With a 2.88 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over his Yankees career to go along with the saves, Wetteland will forever be associated with the first championship of this last Yankees dynasty.
Before Manny was being Manny, Rickey was being Rickey.
The most dynamic leadoff hitter and prolific base stealer the game has ever seen, Rickey Henderson spent nearly five seasons patrolling left field in Yankee Stadium.
From 1985 through 1989, the enigmatic Henderson was a four-time All-Star and the Yankees career stolen base leader up until May 28 of this year when current Yankees captain Derek Jeter surpassed him.
Over his Yankee career, Rickey hit .288 with 78 HR, 255 RBI and 326 SB.
His best season as a Yankee came in 1985, when he finished third to teammate Don Mattingly in the AL MVP Voting: .314, 24 HR, 72 RBI, 146 R and 80 SB with only 10 CS. That season, Henderson became the inaugural member of the 80/20 club—80 stolen bases and 20 home runs.
The feat has only been accomplished twice more, both in 1986, again by Henderson and the Cincinnati Reds' Eric Davis.
Rickey's last appearance in pinstripes was in 2008 for the final Old Timer's Day at the old Yankee Stadium. Try and ignore the booing lunatic.
Some say he was the KEY to turning things around in New York.
Some will say that the Yankees' signing of Jimmy Key as a free agent in the winter of 1992 was one of the building blocks that would lead to their success later that decade.
Known as a control pitcher more than for having overpowering stuff, Key would play in two All-Star games as a Yankee and set career highs in wins (18) and strikeouts (173) during his time in the Bronx.
After going 35-10 over his first two seasons in the Bronx, Key would undergo Tommy John surgery in 1995 and struggle upon his return in 1996. Over his four-year Yankees career, Key would go 48-23 with a 3.68 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.
"El Duque" prepares to stifle the Boston Red Sox in the 1999 ALCS
While nobody is quite sure exactly how old Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez was when he joined the New York Yankees in 1998, he is living proof that the adage "age is just a number" rings true.
An average pitcher at best during the regular season, Hernandez transformed into a different monster once the postseason came around, lowering his ERA by over a run a game.
Regular season numbers with Yankees: 61-40, 3.96 ERA, 1.24 WHIP
Postseason numbers with Yankees: 9-3, 2.65 ERA, 1.25 WHIP.
Most notably was his 1999 postseason, where he went 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.
El Duque might be "old" for his stated age, but there is little doubt he would feel like a kid again back at Yankee Stadium.
A familiar pose for Leyritz in the postseason.
A Yankee for seven full seasons and parts of two more, Jim Leyritz was a "super utility" player, logging time at both corner spots in the infield and outfield, though he is most well known for his work as a backup catcher.
He did not put up gaudy statistics—his time with the Yankees on paper is rather pedestrian: .263, 58 HR and 252 RBI.
While Derek Jeter is known as "Captain Clutch," Jim Leyritz would certainly be in the running to play Robin to Jeter's Batman.
Leyritz is remembered for three dynamic playoff home runs as a Yankee, most notably his three-run, game-tying blast off of Atlanta Braves closer Mark Wohlers in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the 1996 World Series, a game the Yankees had been trailing 6-3 when Leyritz came to bat.
The rest, as they say, is history.
One day, the men on either side of Joe Torre will make their triumphant returns...home.
With literally hundreds of living alumni, there are seemingly endless choices of who the fans would get a kick out of seeing back at Yankee Stadium.
Don Mattingly, Willie Randolph, Buck Showalter and Dave Righetti are obvious choices with deep ties to the organization, but their current roles as coaches and managers for other Major League clubs precludes them from participating.
The Yankees don't limit the festivities to players exclusively—yesterday saw the widows of former Yankee greats Billy Martin, Thurman Munson, Bobby Murcer, Catfish Hunter and Elston Howard be introduced and take a bow as well.
One thing Hank and Hal Steinbrenner have carried on from their father's legacy is the motto of "once a Yankee, always a Yankee"—for the most part.
Obviously George burned some bridges beyond repair (Dave Winfield), but the team continues to bring back former players, both big and small, to visit with former teammates and coaches, and once again remember why playing for the Yankees is such a special thing.