(Photo: New York Yankees)
More than any franchise in professional sports, the New York Yankees honors its heroes of the past and its greatest events of its lengthy and illustrious history. And now the Yankees are honoring their 1990s players. On Saturday afternoon, Jorge Posada was honored by the Bombers.
The popular catcher from the mid-1990’s through 2011 received a copy of his plaque that will be displayed in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. His uniform No. 20 was retired in the same ceremony. Posada’s mother and father, his sister, his wife and son and daughter were present to share the happy day with the former Yankees catcher.
In addition to the members of his immediate family, Posada was joined on the field with members of his Yankees family, general manager Gene Michael, trainer Gene Monahan, teammates Scott Brosius, David Cone, Hideki Matsui, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, manager Joe Torre, and the other three members of the Core Four, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter. Each received the adulations of the large crowd of 47,031. The largest cheers were given to Matsui, Rivera and of course, Jeter.
Posada also received gifts from the Yankees, a replica of his plaque by Joe Girardi and Diana Munson, a replica of his retired No. 20 by Hal and Christina Steinbrenner and a special ring by Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal.
Posada gave a short but emotional speech expressing his gratitude to the many who had given him support throughout his career, “Trying to put into words thoughts and feelings about today is definitely tough.” He said his years with the Yankees were “an honor and dream come true.”
Tomorrow, a plaque of Andy Pettitte will be unveiled before its placement in Monument Park and Pettitte’s No. 46 will be retired by the Yankees. Although both members of the Core Four will probably fall short of inclusion into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, they were of vital importance to the great success achieved by the Yankees during the past two decades.