Did you know that the Yankees have only had 24 players wear the number 24? See the list of those who have been lucky enough to don the pinstripes and achieve greatness.
Checkout this video:
Lou Gehrig, born in 1903, was a professional American baseball player who played for the New York Yankees from 1923 until 1939. Gehrig was a left-handed hitter and played first base. He was nicknamed “The Iron Horse” for his durability.
Lou Gehrig was born on Gladstone Avenue in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan on June 19, 1903. He was the second of four children of German immigrants, Christina (Focht) and Heinrich Gehrig. Christina had emigrated with her family at age ten from Klingenthal, Saxony; Heinrich had emigrated as a young man from Lahr in the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany. Both Gehrig’s parents were working-class people who struggled to make ends meet during the early years of Gehrig’s life. Despite the family’s poverty, however, Gehrig’s parents instilled in their children a strong work ethic and a respect for education.
As a young boy, Gehrig was an outstanding athlete, excelling in both baseball and football. He attended Commerce High School, where he played on the school’s championship baseball team. After graduation, he briefly considered attending Columbia University on a football scholarship but decided instead to pursue a career in professional baseball.
In 1923, Gehrig signed a contract with the New York Yankees and was assigned to play for their minor league affiliate, the Hartford Senators. He spent two seasons with Hartford before being called up to the Yankees in September 1925. He made his major league debut the following April and quickly established himself as one of the team’s best players. Over the next 17 seasons, Gehrig would play 2,130 consecutive games—a record that stood until it was broken by Cal Ripken Jr. in 1995—and would help lead the Yankees to six World Series titles. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939 and his number (4), became just the second player to be retired by the Yankees (after Babe Ruth). In 1941, at the age of 37, Gehrig succumbed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an incurable degenerative disease that would come to bear his name.
Why he wore number 24
Gehrig first wore number 4 when he made his major league debut on June 15, 1925. He continued to wear number 4 until after the 1928 season when the Yankees assigned Babe Ruth to wear it in 1929. In an attempt to find a unique number for Gehrig, Huggins settled on 24 – which was actually Gehrig’s original request. According to reporter Arthur Daley, Gehrig said that he wanted “a double-digit number and one that added up to 7 because that’s my lucky number.”
Daley also wrote that Gehrig “wasn’t partial to any player who had worn it before me. He was more interested in the superstitious value of the numbers than in their sentimental worth.”
So there you have it – Lou Gehrig wanted to be unique, and he wanted a lucky number. He got both when he switched to wearing number 24 for the 1929 season.
Don Mattingly wore number 24 for the New York Yankees from 1984 to 1995. He was a six-time All-Star and won the 1985 American League batting title. Mattingly also won nine Gold Glove Awards, three Silver Slugger Awards, and the 1984 AL Rookie of the Year Award. He is currently the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Don Mattingly played for the New York Yankees from 1982-1995. He is considered one of the best first baseman in Yankees history, and his #23 was retired by the team in 1997. A 6-time All-Star, Mattingly won the American League MVP award in 1985 and is the only player in MLB history to win both the batting title and Gold Glove at first base in the same season (1985). In recent years, he has served as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Why he wore number 24
Don Mattingly became a household name during his 14 seasons with the New York Yankees, where he wore the number 24. He was known for his sweet swing and solid defense, and he won the American League MVP award in 1985.
Mattingly was born on April 20, 1961, in Evansville, Indiana. His father, Bill, was a pipefitter, and his mother, Madeline, was a nurse. Mattingly has two older brothers, Jerry and Randy.
The family moved to Reidsville, North Carolina, when Mattingly was six years old. He started playing baseball at an early age and fell in love with the game.
Mattingly played high school baseball at Reidsville High School. He was a star player on the team and was named to the All-State team his senior year.
After high school, Mattingly attended community college for one year before being drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1979 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his Major League debut with the Yankees in 1982.
Mattingly became a regular starter for the Yankees in 1984. He had a breakout season in 1985, batting .324 with 35 home runs and 145 RBIs. He won the American League MVP award that year.
Mattingly continued to be one of the best players in baseball over the next decade. He helped lead the Yankees to World Series championships in 1996 and 1998.
He announced his retirement from baseball in 1997 after suffering from back problems.
Bernie Williams was a center fielder who spent his entire 16-year career with the New York Yankees. Williams was a four-time World Series champion, a five-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Williams was also a two-time American League (AL) batting champion. He retired in 2006 with a .297 career batting average, 287 home runs, and 1,257 RBIs.
Bernie Williams was born on September 13, 1968, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He began playing guitar at an early age and went on to study classical guitar at the Escuela Libre de Musica in San Juan.
Bernie Williams made his major league debut with the New York Yankees in 1991. He quickly established himself as one of the team’s best players, winning four Gold Glove Awards and making five All-Star teams. In 1996, he helped lead the Yankees to their first World Series championship in 18 years.
Williams was an important part of the Yankees’ dynasty that won four World Series titles in five years between 1996 and 2000. He hit .344 with two home runs and eight RBIs in the 2000 World Series, which was decided in game five when Williams hit a walk-off home run to give the Yankees a 3-2 victory over the Mets.
Williams retired from baseball after the 2006 season with a .297 career batting average, 287 home runs, and 1,257 RBIs. He was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame in 2015.
Why he wore number 24
In an article written by Williams in 2008 for Yankee Magazine, he revealed that he chose the number 24 because it was always his lucky number when he was growing up in Puerto Rico. He had worn the number 4 when he first started playing organized baseball, but when he got to the Yankees’ organization, that number was taken by Don Mattingly. So, Williams took his next-favorite number and made it his own.
While Williams was never the biggest or strongest player on the field, he quickly became one of the most popular and respected players in baseball. Not only was he a gifted hitter and fielder, but he was also known for his quiet leadership and class. Williams played center field for the Yankees for 16 seasons (1991-2006), winning four World Series titles and earning six All-Star selections along the way.
Jorge Posada played for the New York Yankees for 17 seasons, from 1995-2011. He was a fan favorite and was known for his clutch hitting. He wore number 24 and was a 4-time All-Star.
Jorge Posada played for the New York Yankees for 17 seasons, from 1995-2011. A five-time All-Star and four-time World Series champion, Posada was one of the most beloved Yankees of his generation. He was also the last Yankee to wear the number 24, which was retired in honor of Yogi Berra in 2015.
Why he wore number 24
Jorge Posada wore number 24 for the Yankees from 2000-2011. He was a member of the Yankees’ “Core Four”, which included Posada, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera. The “Core Four” was instrumental in helping the Yankees win five World Series Championships during their careers.
Posada was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico on August 17, 1971. He was originally drafted by the Yankees as a catcher in the 24th round of the 1990 amateur draft. He made his Major League debut with the Yankees in 1995.
Posada was known for his strong defense and ability to hit for power and average. He was a five-time All-Star and won four Silver Slugger Awards during his career. He retired after the 2011 season with a .273 batting average, 275 home runs, and 1,065 RBIs.
Mariano Rivera, born in Panama in 1969, is a former professional baseball player who spent his entire 19-year career playing for the New York Yankees. A right-handed relief pitcher, he is considered to be one of the greatest pitchers of all time. He helped the Yankees win five World Series championships and is the MLB all-time leader in saves.
Mariano Rivera (born November 29, 1969), nicknamed “Mo” and “Sandman”, is a Panamanian-American former professional baseball pitcher who played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees. A 13-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he is MLB’s career leader in saves (652) and games finished (952). His 1.70 earned run average (ERA) is the lowest in MLB history for a pitcher with at least 1,000 innings pitched. Rivera was signed by the Yankees organization in Panama in 1990, and he debuted in the major leagues in 1995.
Rivera spent most of his career as a relief pitcher and served as the Yankees’ closer for 17 seasons. In doing so, he compiled 18 saves of 20 or more consecutive saves from 2001 to 2004, became the first reliever to lead the league n ERA for four consecutive seasons, helped win five American League East division titles and 27 total postseason series for the Yankees. The last six of those included five World Series victories from 1998 to 2009.
Why he wore number 24
Mariano Rivera was born in Panama on November 29, 1969, the fifth of six children. His father, Mariano Sr., worked as a shrimp boats captain and his mother, Delia, was a homemaker. Despite the family’s humble beginnings, all of Rivera’s siblings were able to attend college. He has two brothers, Alvaro and Giraldo; and three sisters, Delia, Ildaura, and Daisy. Giraldo Rivera is a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Detroit Tigers organization from 1989 to 1992.
Mariano Rivera grew up playing soccer and wanted to be a professional player when he grew up. However, his father pushed him to play baseball instead because he thought it would be a better career for him. Rivera started playing baseball when he was 8 years old and became passionate about the sport quickly.
When Rivera was 12 years old, his father died of a heart attack. This tragedy brought the family even closer together and motivated Rivera to work hard to make his father proud. He continued to play baseball and eventually caught the attention of major league scouts.
The New York Yankees signed Rivera as an amateur free agent in 1990. He began his professional career that same year with the Gulf Coast Yankees (now known as the Tampa Tarpons). He played for several minor league teams before finally being called up to the Yankees’ major league roster in 1995.
Rivera made his major league debut on May 23, 1995 against the Anaheim Angels. He came into the game in the 8th inning with the score tied at 3-3 and proceeded to pitch two perfect innings to earn his first major league victory.
Rivera quickly established himself as one of the best relief pitchers in baseball history. He helped lead the Yankees to World Series titles in 1996, 1998-2000, and 2009. He was named the World Series MVP in 1999 and earned All-Star Game MVP honors in 2013. He retired after pitching in 1,291 games (regular season and postseason combined), all with the Yankees. He finished his career with an ERA of 2.21 and 652 saves (regular season only), both of which are records for a relief pitcher.