Paul O'Neill is a member of Monument Park.
Yet, the following members of Monument Park do not have their numbers retired:
· Lefty Gomez – Hall-of-Fame pitcher. He mostly wore #11 during his career.
· Allie Reynolds. He wore #22 as a Yankee.
· Red Ruffing – Hall-of-Fame pitcher. He mostly wore #15.
· Tino Martinez. A contemporary of O’Neill’s and a member of the same championship teams. Seven players have worn Tino’s #24 since he left.
· Goose Gossage – a Hall-of-Fame pitcher. Ten players have worn Gossage’s #54 since he left the team.
· Willie Randolph
· Mel Stottlemyre – like Randolph, we also wore #30.
Note - After Willie Randolph left the Yankees, 12 different players have worn #30. That being said, #30 remained inactive for 18 years from when Randolph left the team in 1988 until 2006. (Of course, Willie himself was wearing the number many of those years as a coach). Seven players alone have worn #30 just this year.
POST YANKEES CAREER:
Paul O’Neill is a very popular Yankee, even today. He is a member of the announcing team on the YES Network. He does great work. Maybe this is the reason his number has been held out of circulation…
Bobby Murcer, though, was also a very popular and well-respected announcer after his playing days.
And, from the players on the list, Roy White, Willie Randolph, and Graig Nettles all served the big league team as coaches.
And, speaking of coaches, Frank Crosetti served as a coach on the Yankees for 37 years. (Yes, you read that correctly.) People like to talk about Yogi Berra’s ten World Series rings. Crosetti was a player or coach on 17 World Series winners and 23 teams that made it to the World Series – all as a Yankee!
BUT MANY OF THOSE NUMBERS ARE NOW RETIRED!
Over time, many of the numbers the great early Yankees above wore have since been retired for other players. Combs’ #1 was retired for Billy Martin. Bobby Murcer’s #2 eventually went to Derek Jeter. Roy White’s #6 was worn by Joe Torre.
With the numbers out of circulation, the Yankees could add some of these players' names to the retired number list. They did a similar thing when they retired uniform #8 for Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey.
Still, among the players above, all who played more games than O’Neill, or who are also recognized in Monument Park, the following numbers are still in circulation:
12, 13, 17, 22, 24, 30, 54
Those numbers seem to get issued all of the time. Why is #21 any different?