By LARRY FLEISHER Related Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Eight years in the past, the Yankees thanked Paul O’Neill for his contributions to their dynasty with a plaque in Monument Park.
On Sunday, the Yankees retired their No. 21, the twenty third participant or supervisor within the franchise for that to occur.
The ceremony was drastically totally different than others have been, not solely as a result of he’s not vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 but in addition as a result of the Yankees entered Sunday with 14 losses in 18 video games. Frustrations run excessive to the purpose that there have been notable boos for managing basic accomplice Hal Steinbrenner and basic supervisor Brian Cashman throughout the 33-minute ceremony.
New York’s first jersey retirement ceremony since 2017, when Derek Jeter’s No. 2 was honored, featured the standard video tributes and messages, giveaways and an acceptance speech.
Throughout his roughly eight-minute speech, O’Neill thanked followers quite a few occasions. He opened by saying, “You Yankees followers have clearly been working towards and it nonetheless sounds nice at the moment.”
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O’Neill, a four-time World Sequence champion as a Yankee, was nicknamed “The Warrior” by late proprietor George Steinbrenner. “Followers keep in mind groups that win and we win,” O’Neill stated. “And we received rather a lot.”
O’Neill hit .303 with 185 dwelling runs and 858 RBIs for the Yankees from 1993 to 2001. He was a four-time All-Star with the staff and received the American League batting title in 1994 throughout a strike-shortened season.
He wore No. 21 all through his main league profession, beginning as a rookie with the Reds in 1985.
“That is why I am celebrating this present day, as a result of that is the largest dream I’ve ever had in my life,” O’Neill stated in his speech.
Former coach Gene Monahan was there, together with teammates Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.
Six minutes after the ceremony, O’Neill stood together with his spouse and household to disclose his retirement quantity at Monument Park. He was taken to the sphere in a golf cart as highlights had been performed on the video board, together with his last recreation at dwelling in Sport 5 of the 2001 World Sequence and his dashing catch to finish Sport 5 of the World Sequence from 1996.
Then there have been transient video messages from Jeter, Joe Torre, David Cone and Don Mattingly, together with a message from Roberto Clemente Jr., the son of the Corridor of Famer and former Yankees Spanish-language broadcaster.
“Paul is clearly a central determine in one of many nice moments in baseball and Yankee dynasties,” supervisor Aaron Boone stated earlier than the Yankees confronted Toronto, including, “It is enjoyable to get to know Paul in a man pleasant, even goofy, which is typically a distinction to who he was between these traces.”
Steinbrenner gave O’Neill a framed plaque of his jersey; different presents included a bottle of wine customized together with his No. 21, a framed jersey signed by the present Yankees, and a water cooler, a nod to his tendency to hit water coolers within the dugout.
The signed framed jersey was the closest factor O’Neill needed to any interplay with New York’s present roster as a consequence of his vaccination standing; Unvaccinated workers are prohibited from interacting with any participant within the dugout and clubhouse.
O’Neill has known as video games on the YES Community from his dwelling in Ohio because the pandemic 2020 season. In an interview with NJ Advance Media printed Saturday, O’Neill stated of his vaccination standing, “I would slightly not speak about it.” .
Since O’Neill retired after the 2001 World Sequence, the one New York participant to put on quantity 21 was reliever LaTroy Hawkins within the 2008 season opener, however he modified it shortly after the season started. .
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