In celebration of Yankees Retire Derek Jeter’s Number 2, we take a look at the other great Yankees who wore the number 2 with pride.
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Yankees Who Wore Number 2
The New York Yankees have had some great players wear the number 2 over the years. Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, and Bernie Williams are just a few of the greats who have donned the number 2 for the Yankees. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best Yankees to wear number 2.
Billy Martin was a 5’ 10”, right-handed infielder and manager who played for the Yankees from 1950-1957, 1960 and 1969-1975. He also managed the team on five separate occasions. A fiery competitor, Martin was known as a talented player and an excellent strategist. He wore number 1 during his first stint with the Yankees, but switched to number 2 when he returned in 1969. He is one of only four Yankees to have his number retired by the team.
Willie Randolph was the first African American to be a regular second baseman in the majors, and he did it for the Yankees. He was part of the team that won the 1977 and 1978 World Series. After his playing career, he became a coach, and then a manager. He was the manager of the Mets from 2005 to 2008.
Bobby Richardson (born May 27, 1935), nicknamed “the baserunningest man in baseball” during his career, is a former professional baseball second baseman. He played his entire career for the New York Yankees (1955–1966). A five-time All-Star, he appears in MLB’s Top 100 list of second basemen. In 2009, he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Why Number 2?
The Yankees have retired many numbers over the years, but one that is still available is number 2. Why have they not retired it? There are a few reasons. One is that no Yankee has really worn it with distinction. retired.
The number two is often associated with the role of a backup or someone who is the second-best.
In baseball, a utility infielder is commonly given the number 2. They don’t play every day, but they fill in wherever they’re needed. Second basemen usually wear number 4, but if the team’s best player is a shortstop (like the Yankees Derek Jeter), he’ll wear number 2. Number 2 is also associated with switch hitters – hitters who can bat from either side of the plate.
Former Yankee second basemen who wore number 2 include: Bobby Richardson (1955-1966), Willie Randolph (1976-1988), and Chuck Knoblauch (1998-2001). Sonny Gray, a pitcher for the Yankees from 2017-2018, also wore number 2.
Current Yankee players who wear number 2 include: Starlin Castro, Gleyber Torres, and Luke Voit.
Wearing number two can also be seen as a way of honoring someone who was great, but didn’t quite make it to the top.
Babe Ruth famously wore number three for the Yankees, and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time. But there’s another Yankees player who also wore number three, and who some say was even better than Ruth: Lou Gehrig.
Gehrig played for the Yankees from 1923 to 1939, and was nicknamed “The Iron Horse” for his durability (he played 2,130 consecutive games). He was a six-time All-Star, won the American League MVP award twice, and helped the Yankees win six World Series titles. Gehrig’s number (two) was retired by the Yankees in 1939, shortly after he announced his retirement from baseball due to his terminal illness (now known as ALS).
So why did Ruth get to keep number three while Gehrig had to switch to number four? The answer has to do with another Yankee legend: Mickey Mantle.
Mantle wore number seven for most of his career, but when he was first called up to the majors in 1951, number seven was already taken by fellow outfielder Yogi Berra. Mantle didn’t want to wear number six (Gehrig’s old number) out of respect for Gehrig, so he chose number seven instead. When Mantle retired in 1968, Berra switched back to number eight (which he had worn earlier in his career), and Mantle’s number seven was retired. This meant that when Gehrig’s widow asked if her husband’s number could be returned to circulation in 1987, the only available numbers were three and four. She chose four because it was Gehrig’s lucky number, and because it matched the uniform numbers of Ruth and Mantle (three and seven).
In some cases, number two is simply the number a player was assigned when they first joined the Yankees.
In some cases, number two is simply the number a player was assigned when they first joined the Yankees. When Twins second baseman Chuck Knoblauch came to New York in 1998, he kept his old number, which had been retired by the Yankees in honor of Rogers Hornsby. (It’s Not Who You Think It Is) The same was true for Johnny Damon, who wore number 18 with the Royals and Red Sox before donning number two with the Yankees in 2006.
Other players have chosen to wear number two as a tribute to someone who wore it before them. Derek Jeter has said that he chose to wear number two in honor of Yankeees shortstop Phil Rizzuto, who wore it from 1941 to 1956 and is widely considered one of the best shortstops in baseball history. (Why Does Derek Jeter Wear Number 2?)
Bobby Richardson, another Yankee great who played second base from 1955 to 1966, also had his number retired by the team. In 2008, then-Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano decided to wear Richardson’s number as a tribute to him. “I like everything about him as a player and as a person,” Cano said of Richardson. (Cano Pays Tribute to Bobby Richardson By Wearing His Retired Number)
Curtis Granderson also chose to wear number two as a tribute, this time to hall-of-famer Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Granderson wore number 28 with the Detroit Tigers before coming to New York, but chose to switch to number two when he joined the Yankees in 2010. “I think about [Robinson] every time I put on this jersey,” Granderson said. “I think about what he went through and all that he sacrificed for myself and so many others to be able play this game.” (Curtis Granderson Wears Number 2 To Honor Jackie Robinson)
While some players have chosen to wear number two as a tribute or out of tradition, others have simply liked the way it looked on their jerseys. Bernie Williams, who played outfield for the Yankees from 1991 to 2006, has said that he chose his uniform number because he thought it looked good with his last name. (Bernie Williams Didn’t Pick His Yankee Number 2 Because Of Derek Jeter)
So while there are many reasons why players have chosen to wear number two for the Yankees over the years, one thing is for sure: it’s a tradition that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Notable Yankees Who Wore Number 2
The number 2 has been worn by some great Yankees over the years. Babe Ruth, one of the greatest players of all time, wore number 2. Yogi Berra, another Hall of Famer, also wore number 2. More recently, Robinson Cano wore number 2. Some other great Yankees who wore number 2 include Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Derek Jeter.
Billy Martin was a fiery player and manager who is best remembered for his time with the Yankees.
Billy Martin was a fiery player and manager who is best remembered for his time with the Yankees. A five-time World Series champion as a player, he also managed the team to titles in 1977 and 1978. A popular figure with fans, he was known for his scrappy play and tough demeanor.
Martin began his career with the Yankees in 1950 and played for the team until 1957. He then played for a number of other teams before returning to the Yankees in 1969 as a coach. He became the team’s manager in 1975 and led them to their first World Series title in 15 years. He was fired after the 1979 season but returned to manage the team again from 1983 to 1985.
Martin’s turbulent personal life was well publicized and he battled alcoholism for much of his adult life. He died in 1989 at the age of 61 after falling down a flight of stairs at a hotel.
Willie Randolph was a key member of the Yankees’ dynasty in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
A second baseman, Willie Randolph was a key member of the Yankees’ dynasty in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was a six-time All-Star and won three Gold Glove Awards. In 1978, he became the first Yankees’ second baseman to ever be elected to start an All-Star Game.
Bobby Richardson was a part of the Yankees’ most recent dynasty and was known for his clutch hits in the World Series.
Richardson was born in Sumter, South Carolina, and signed with the Yankees in 1955. He played his entire career with the Yankees from 1955 to 1966. Richardson was a five-time All-Star and won the World Series MVP in 1960. He was part of the Yankees’ most recent dynasty and was known for his clutch hits in the World Series.
It is safe to say that no other Yankee has come close to the career that Jeter had while wearing the number 2. Not only was he one of the most popular Yankees of all time, but he was also one of the best players to ever don the pinstripes. He was a key part of five World Series winning teams and was a first ballot Hall of Famer.
The Yankees have had many great players wear the number two, and it is a number that is steeped in tradition and history.
The New York Yankees have had many great players wear the number two over the years. The number two is steeped in tradition and history. Some of the greatest Yankees of all time have worn the number two, including Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Derek Jeter. Many other great Yankees have also worn the number two, including Bernie Williams, Robinson Cano, and Jorge Posada. The number two is a special number to the Yankees, and it is a part of the team’s history and tradition.