Old-Timers’ Day – 2013
June 26, 2013 – My favorite day of the regular season is Old-Timers’ Day.
There’s no greater celebration of a team’s heritage than Old-Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium. And, for me, the opportunity to spend time with former greats who I’ve written stories about and gotten to know has made the experience even more special each season.
This year’s festivities took place on Sunday, June 23. On a hot afternoon in the Bronx, I interviewed Yogi Berra, Don Larsen, David Cone, David Wells, Bernie Williams, Bucky Dent, Joe Pepitone and Rickey Henderson for a special section on Mariano Rivera, which will be published in the 2014 New York Yankees Official Yearbook.
While I was busy talking to those players, the rest of our editorial team was conducting interviews with other members of the Yankees family about Rivera and for our next alumni section, which will be published in the October Issue of Yankees Magazine.
Among the great quotes I gathered on Rivera, one stood out. Williams, who was teammates with the legendary closer for 12 seasons, put Rivera’s career in perspective better than anyone I’ve talked to this season.
“Being the best closer in baseball for all of these years, Mariano has been able to shut down two generations of Major League baseball players,” Williams said. “He’s been that good for nearly 20 years. That in and of itself is remarkable. The fact that he’s been able to be so consistent with basically one pitch is equally as impressive. He’s the greatest closer in the history of the game.”
Our editors weren’t the only people working hard on Old-Timers’ Day. Yankees photographers Ariele Goldman Hecht, James Petrozzello, Matt Ziegler and Lou Rocco captured an impressive array of images, many of which will be published in our annual Old-Timers’ Day photo essay. In my opinion, this year’s collection of photos, which will be published in the July Issue of Yankees Magazine, is the best one we’ve ever put together.
Below are a few of my favorite photos from the feature. Starting at the top, the images are of Paul O’Neill, Rivera, Goose Gossage, Henderson and Andy Pettitte (in the first photo); Ron Guidry (in the second photos) and David Cone and Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez (in the third photo).
–Alfred Santasiere III