For decades, now fans of baseball have been heavily divided on the NY Yankees. Love them or hate them, there is no in-between, and for many, this feeling is something that has been passed down through the generations. People tend to love or hate a team because that’s how they were raised, and that feeling tends to be the strongest when the Yankees are involved. No matter how you feel though, you cannot deny the legendary success the organization has had over the years.
As a result, the Yankees have led the way in retiring jersey numbers.
Starting the 2023 preseason, the Yankees have retired 22 numbers from circulation, and number 8 has been retired twice (Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey). Three more numbers are shelved- 19 for Masahiro Tanaka, 52 for CC Sabathia, and 69 for reasons that you can likely guess. This impressive collection of retired numbers is even more amazing when you consider that the Cardinals have the second most retired, and they have only hung 14 numbers.
Now, with a massive coaching staff, the Yankees want to forgo giving jersey numbers to manager Aaron Boone or any of his secondary coaches. Given the propensity for managers to wear a hoodie or jacket over the jersey, it’s not like the numbers are usually visible. More to the point, fans aren’t buying the jersey of their favorite manager or batting coach.
While some of the leadership might like the throwback to their playing days by wearing a number, it is not a necessity for the game to continue. Freeing up these numbers will not only help the Yankees now, but it will help other teams down the line. At least once they have enough success to have problems like the Yankees.