When Derek Jeter retires at the end of this season, it is just a formality that the Yankees will retire Jeter's uniform number. When Jeter joins the Yankee greats in Monument Park, so will his famed number two.
With number two gone all of the single digit numbers will be retired, except for one. The only single digit remaining in Yankee history will be number six. Last worn by Joe Torre, it has been taken out of circulation and has not been re-issued since Torre left the Yanks in 2007. With Torre being inducted into the Hall Of Fame later this summer, it's just a matter of time until his number six is also retired. Torre had this to say yesterday about Jeter, on Chris Russo's, "Mad Dog Radio" on Sirius XM Radio:
"He's a special young man. I felt very privileged to have come along at the right time. You want your daughter to marry him. He's just a standup guy that's got a great deal of character, which unfortunately there's not a whole lot of those people around any more".
Torre went on to describe his relationship with Jeter as if they were like father and son. Torre also added, that he was a little surprised that he retired on a social media site like Facebook, but that he felt that Derek had an obligation to make his retirement announcement before the season began. Torre also added " He's a part of Yankees history".
When Jeter's number two jersey is retired and Torre's number six follows, there will be no more single digit Yankee jersey numbers available. Torre's six was available when he arrived in the Yankee clubhouse in 1996 kind of by a fluke in Yankees history. Number six has been worn by many Yankees throughout the years, including Roy White from 1965-1979.
Number six was originally issued to Mickey Mantle in his rookie year of 1951. The Yankees felt that Mantle would follow in the long line of Yankee greats. Mantle played with Joe DiMaggio (who wore number five) in that '51 season. Feeling the pressure of succeeding DiMaggio and not producing like he did in the minors, Mantle was sent down to the minors. When he made it back to the Bronx 40 games later, number six had been issued, so Mantle took number seven and the rest is Yankees history.
The Yankees have said that they are planning to do something special for Torre when he goes into the Hall this summer. Hal Steinbrenner has also stated publicly, that if they do retire Torre's number that he may not be the only one. The leading candidates to be retired alongside Torre are Jorge Posada's number 20, Paul O'Neill's number 21 and Bernie Williams' number 51. All three have also been taken out of circulation. So when Derek Jeter retires, his number two will be in great company.
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