October Issue of Yankees Magazine – ON SALE NOW

November 1, 2013 – The October Issue of Yankees Magazine is on sale now on newsstands throughout the Tri-State area.

Of course, you can purchase a subscription to the print version of Yankees Magazine by visiting http://www.yankees.com/publications or by calling (800) GO-YANKS. The digital version of the magazine is available through http://www.yankees.com/publications.

In my opinion, the October Issue (like the September Issue) is one of our all-time best. This edition includes a photo essay on Mariano Rivera’s emotional celebration at Yankee Stadium, as well managing editor Nathan Maciborski’s comprehensive story on Yankees great Jerry Coleman. For that feature, Maciborski spent two days with the former United States Marine and Yanks second baseman in San Diego, and it is a must read.

I am especially proud of the three features I put together for this issue, including the cover story on Andy Pettitte’s final game. For the story on Pettitte, I flew to Houston with the team in late September, and I chronicled as much of the lefty’s final days in pinstripes as I could.

After Pettitte tossed a gem in his final start at Yankee Stadium, he admitted that he didn’t have much left in the preverbal tank. But with one start left in his 18-year career, and with the opportunity to pitch that game in his hometown of Houston in front of about 40 family members, Pettitte literally gave it everything he had.

I had a brief conversation with Pettitte when he got to Minute Maid Park on the afternoon of his last game. When Pettitte arrived in the visiting clubhouse, he was greeted by Joe Girardi, who caught him for several years in late-’90’s, and Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, whom Pettitte has been close friends with since they were teammates in the minor leagues in the early-’90s.

“Mo and Derek have made a huge impact in my life,” a teary-eyed Pettitte said. “They mean a lot to me. I’ve been blessed to have them around me for so many years. Until you’re ready to say goodbye, you don’t realize how much time you spend around your teammates, coaches and trainers.”

A few hours later, Pettitte made his final walk from the bullpen to the dugout. As he made his way, the pitcher peered toward the luxury box that his wife, children and parents were in.

“I found myself getting emotional again,” Pettitte said. “And I said to myself, ‘This is not good.’”

But from the very first pitch of the game, Pettitte kept his emotions in check. He threw a complete game, allowing only one run in the win.

It was an epic performance for a 41-year-old pitcher whose battle against Father Time was more grueling than his battle against a young Houston Astros lineup.

The day after the game, I sat down with Pettitte in the clubhouse for nearly an hour. He spoke with me about everything from the emotions he had as he drove to the ballpark to make his final performance, to the physical pain he felt in his shoulder in the late innings.

Pettitte also admitted that during the game, he flashed back to many of the memorable moments of his career.

“While I was sitting in the tunnel in between innings, I thought about the big games I’ve won and some of the postseason games I lost,” Pettitte said. “All of that was running through my head, and I really enjoyed it.”

In addition to the Pettitte story, I met up Aaron Boone last winter in Arizona (see blog entry below). During our lunch meeting, Boone described his greatest day in pinstripes.

Ten years ago, Boone hit a game-winning grand slam in the 11th inning of the 2003 American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox. Boone’s first-person recollection of that seesaw game will bring you back to that thrilling night at the old Yankee Stadium.

Finally, a few hours after the 2013 Old-Timers’ Day game, one of the most memorable evenings of my life began.

As day turned to night on June 23, I sat down with the only three men who have tossed perfect games for the Yankees (see photo below). For the first hour of the dinner, I interviewed Don Larsen, David Wells and David Cone about their respective masterpieces at Yankee Stadium.

In the candid interview, which took place at Smith and Wollensky steakhouse in New York City, each of the pitchers spoke about the emotions they felt as they took the mound for the ninth inning.

“The crowd was on their feet, and I was really excited to get out there,” Wells said.

“I had a nervous feeling in my stomach for the first time,” Larsen added. “And, I didn’t’ like it.”

Cone listened intently and then chimed in.

“I never felt an adrenaline rush like that,” he said. “Moments like that made it hard to retire because nothing can match that high.”

After the interview and a steak dinner, Yankees chief photographer Ariele Goldman Hecht took a series of beautiful portraits in a bar room located next to the private room we ate dinner in. Below is one of those those portraits, along with a photo that my wife, Tiana, and I posed for with the perfect game pitchers.

Enjoy the last issue of 2013.

–Alfred Santasiere III

COVER

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