The New York Yankees are a baseball team with a long and storied history. One of the most successful teams in baseball, they have won 27 World Series titles. Recently, the team has been wearing the number 21 on their uniforms to honor the memory of a fallen player.
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The Number’s Significance in Yankees History
The Yankees began wearing number 21 in honor of former catcher and captain Yogi Berra, who died in 2015. The number also belonged to Bernie Williams, one of the most popular Yankees of all time. The Yankees have a long and storied history, and the number 21 has played a significant role in that history.
There is no doubt that Babe Ruth is one of the most significant figures in Yankees history. He was not only an incredible player, but he also helped to popularize the game of baseball and brought a lot of attention to the Yankees franchise. Because of his contributions, the Yankees decided to retire his number, 21, in 1948. It is one of only six numbers that have been retired by the team.
Yankees fans might have noticed that the team has been wearing special patches on their uniforms this season to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Roger Maris breaking Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record. Maris’ record-setting 61st home run came on October 1, 1961, against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
The number 21 was retired by the Yankees in 1984 in honor of Maris, who passed away from cancer at the age of 51 in 1985. The Yankees had also retired Ruth’s number 3 in 1948 and Mickey Mantle’s number 7 in 1969. In 1997, the Yankees unretired Maris’ number 21 and gave it to Paul O’Neill, who had worn it with Cincinnati and was a fan favorite during his nine seasons in New York.
O’Neill helped lead the Yankees to four World Series titles during his time with the team and was a five-time All-Star. He is now a broadcaster for the Yankees and has his own bridge named after him at Yankee Stadium. Number 21 has not been worn by any other Yankee since O’Neill’s retirement following the 2001 season.
The Number’s Significance to the Current Team
The New York Yankees have been seen sporting the number 21 on their uniforms recently. While this may seem like a small change, it actually carries a lot of meaning for the team. The number 21 was worn by Yankees legend Lou Gehrig, who is considered to be one of the greatest players of all time. The Yankees are honoring Gehrig by wearing his number, and they hope to continue his legacy of greatness.
The New York Yankees are currently wearing number 21 in honor of former Yankee greats Paul O’Neill and Bernie Williams. Both O’Neill and Williams were key members of the Yankees teams that won four World Series titles in five years from 1996 to 2000. In addition, O’Neill and Williams were both named to the All-Star team four times each during their careers. Number 21 was retired by the Yankees in 2015 in honor of O’Neill and Williams.
On September 18, 1998, Major League Baseball player Sammy Sosa hit his 62nd home run of the season, breaking the single-season home run record. To commemorate the historic achievement, the Chicago Cubs gave Sosa a golden sombrero. The sombrero is a traditional Mexican hat that is often worn to festivals and celebrations.
The following year, Major League Baseball player Mark McGwire broke Sosa’s record by hitting 65 home runs. To commemorate McGwire’s achievement, the St. Louis Cardinals gave him a gold Louisville Slugger bat.
In 2001, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants broke McGwire’s record by hitting 73 home runs. The Giants gave Bonds a golden sombrero and a gold Louisville Slugger bat.
In 2018, Yankee’s slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit 59 home runs, joining an elite group of just four players to have hit more than 58 homers in a single season. Stanton was presented with a golden sombrero and a gold Louisville Slugger bat by his teammates to commemorate his achievement.
Why the Yankees Chose to Wear Number 21 Now
The New York Yankees have always been a team to be reckoned with. They’re one of the most successful franchises in baseball history. But why are they wearing number 21 now? Let’s take a closer look.
A Tribute to a Legend
The New York Yankees are no strangers to success. With 27 World Series titles under their belt, they are the most decorated team in Major League Baseball history. But in recent years, they have faced some challenges. One of those challenges came in 2020 when they had to say goodbye to one of their legends: pitcherCC Sabathia.
To honor Sabathia, the Yankees chose to wear number 21 on their uniforms for the 2021 season. This is a fitting tribute to a player who gave so much to the team and the game of baseball.
Sabathia was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1998 and made his Major League debut in 2001. He quickly established himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball, winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2007. In 2009, he was traded to the Yankees and helped lead them to their 27th World Series title.
During his time with the Yankees, Sabathia became known for his competitive spirit and his willingness to do whatever it takes to help his team win. He was loved by Yankees fans and respected by his teammates.
After announcing his retirement from baseball in 2020, Sabathia was emotional when asked about what it meant to him to be a Yankee. “I’m just grateful,” he said. “Grateful for the opportunity, grateful for the relationships…It’s just been an unbelievable ride.”
Now, the Yankees are honoring Sabathia by wearing his number on their uniforms. It is a fitting tribute to a player who gave so much to the team and the game of baseball.
A Show of Solidarity
The Yankees have been donning the numbers 21 and 54 on their hats and uniforms in recent days to show solidarity with Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole and outfielder George Springer.
Cole, who was traded to the Astros from the Yankees last offseason, wears number 21. Springer, who was drafted by the Astros in 2011, wears number 54.
The Yankees have been showing their support for Cole and Springer as they both dealt with injuries this season. Cole missed a month with a hamstring injury and Springer missed two months with a quadriceps injury.
The Yankees are not the only team to show their support for Cole and Springer this season. The Astros wore number 21 patches on their uniforms earlier this season to support Cole while he was injured.