No one has worn number 6 for the Yankees since Joe Torre left the team. And now, no one will wear it again. Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports that the Yankees are retiring Joe Torre’s number.
The Yankees are not one of those clubs who only retire Hall of Famer numbers — Ron Guidry’s number is retired and no one has worn Bernie Williams’ 51 for years, suggesting that it may one day be retired too — and it’s possible that they’d not retire a Hall of Famer’s number if there was an argument against it. So the news that Torre’s will be retired is not a function of some rule in operation triggered by his election to the Hall of Fame yesterday.
And, given that Torre’s relationship with the Yankees has been somewhat strained over the years since he left, especially after Torre wrote his tell-all book about his Yankees years a few years ago, it’s possible to read this news as both an honor and a reconciliation of sorts.