Jorge Posada had his No. 20 retired by the Yankees in a ceremony prior to this afternoon’s game against the Indians. He’s the 19th player to have his number retired by the Yankees, the most of any team. Needless to say, they have gotten pretty good at these type of events.
A long list of familiar faces were on hand for the occasion, including Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, David Cone, Paul O’Neill, Hideki Matsui, Scott Brosius, and Joe Torre. Yogi Berra, who wasn’t present, had a message displayed on the scoreboard. Yankees manager Joe Girardi escorted Diana Munson on the field to give Posada a framed replica of his plaque which will be displayed in Monument Park. It was a touching moment.
Per Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News, here’s part of Posada’s speech:
“I can’t believe I’m standing here right now,” Posada told the crowd before the scheduled game between the Yankees and Indians. “Trying to put into words the feelings and emotions of this day is tough. I was born passionate about baseball and the New York Yankees.
“Being here seems surreal.”
Posada spoke about his son’s health issues during his speech and made sure to give best wishes to the Indians’ Mike Aviles, whose daughter is battling leukemia.
Posada also threw out of the ceremonial first pitch to his son. You can check it out below:
Posada, a five-time All-Star, won five World Series rings during his time with the Yankees. He was a lifetime .273 hitter over 17 major league seasons, amassing 275 home runs and 1,065 RBI.
The Indians announced today that the twin 4-year-old daughters of infielder Mike Aviles will throw ceremonial first pitches tonight at Progressive Field before the Yankees-Indians game.
This is notable in that one of the twins, Adriana Aviles — the other is her sister Maiya — was diagnosed with leukemia in May and is being treated at Cleveland Clinic. We’ve noted several instances of how this has impacted Mike Aviles this year and how the Indians, their management and players have been doing a fantastic job in supporting and accommodating them this year.
In late May, Aviles’ teammates shaved their heads in support them. In early June, Tribe owner Paul Dolan did the same thing, letting Aviles shave his head. Last month, when a lot of teams were showing interest in Aviles at the trade deadline, Dolan made it clear that they would not trade Aviles, even if it made sense for the team, because he didn’t want to disrupt the family as Adriana undergoes treatment in Cleveland.
It’ll be a nice scene tonight.
Baseball is just a game. It’s great when people realize that. Often times it’s the players and teams and officials inside the game who realize that well before fans do.
Aviles has taken a couple of different stints on the medical leave list to be with Adriana this season, to attend medical visits and procedures and the like. As we’ve so often read, being traded when everything else is going great is already trying enough for ballplayers and their families. It’d be hard to imagine dealing with it while your child was battling cancer.
Kudos to the Indians for thinking of the people who work for them first before they think of the work.