Memo: To those in a panic that the Yankees gave out No. 21.
From: Your faithful correspondent in Tampa.
George Selkirk, Bob Metheny, Eddie Bockman, Hal Peck, Roy Weatherly, Allen Clark, Frank Colman and Cliff Mapes wore No. 3 after Babe Ruth.
In many cases, a number was worn by other players before it was retired. If the Yankees decide the want to retire 21 for Paul O’Neill, they can do it whenever they want.
Also keep in mind that the Yankees have to start picking their spots with retiring numbers. O’Neill was .303/.377/.492 as a Yankee, which is damn good. But is it worth retiring his number?
They already have 16 numbers retired. Eventually they will retire No. 2 (Derek Jeter) and 42 (for Mariano Rivera and Jackie Robinson) and maybe No. 6 for Joe Torre. Jorge Posada has to be considered and Alex Rodriguez if he ends up playing 14 seasons in pinstripes.
At the rate they’re going, the Yankees will have a shortstop wearing No. 77.