Discussion: Should Andy Pettitte’s No. 46 Be Retired?

Via Ken Davidoff of Newsday:

Cashman says no one will receive #46 in spring training. Retirement up to ownership.

When Andy Pettitte left the Yankees for the Houston Astros a few years back they gave away his no. 46 and I had no problem with it. But he came back and was big for the Yankees again and won the clinching game in every round in 2009 as he won his fifth championship in Pinstripes. Now part of me would have a big problem with somebody donning no. 46 next year or even five or 10 years down the road.

Consider this, Pettitte is at the top or damn near close to the top of a ton of Yankees pitching records.

He’s second in games started (396), fourth in innings pitched (2535.2), second in strikeouts (1823), and third in wins (203). Pettitte also has the most playoff wins (19), starts (42), strikeouts (173) and innings pitched (263) of any Yankee all-time (There were no ALDS or ALCS in Whitey Ford’s days).

He also played with the Bombers for 13 seasons. He won five rings and was a big part, not only in winning all five of those rings, but turning the entire organization around. Remember, when Pettitte came up in 1995 the Yankees were not what they are today.

The fact is that on a team so rich and deep in history, Pettitte’s place among their best pitchers is firm.

Now there is trouble with retiring Pettitte’s number. People will say that he used HGH. Or that he was never really considered the “Ace” of the rotation throughout his career. Or even that there are way too many retired numbers. So this isn’t exactly a slam dunk case.

In my opinion his number should definitely go up in monument park, but it isn’t up to me. So I’d like to hear the case for or against from all of you.

Please comment and let me know what you think. Should Pettitte’s no. 46 be retired to monument park along with the rest of the Yankee greats.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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14 Responses to Discussion: Should Andy Pettitte’s No. 46 Be Retired?

  1. I think somebody that contributed to so many World Championships and pitched so well in so many playoff games should be retired based on that alone.

    However, he has contributed so much during the regular season as well that contributes to him being among the best in most major pitching categories among all time Yankees pitchers. And just counting lefties, he’s easily one of their best ever.

    Though Pettitte may not be a hall of famer, what he has contributed to the Yankees is far more valuable than just statistics on paper and deserves a place in monument park.

  2. Susan says:

    They're going to have to start wearing unis with triple digit numbers if they keep retiring so many.

    • I have no problem with this. But realistically, they are a long way from this. Got to run through the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s first.

      • Tim says:

        Celtics have 22 #’s retire, yanks have 15. Celts manage just fine. Agreed that baseball teams have 25 on a roster where b-ball team dress 11 or so

  3. C.A.P.P says:


    Also, As many seem to be in such a rush to keep him out of the HOF….I think he is more deserving than any Smoltz, Glavine or Shilling. Everyone mentions his run support, what about NYY pressure???, AL (east) (17-9, 2.39 era during injury free season in NL), steroid enhanced batting he faced??

    Had he left in 99 and pitched 11 years in Philly he would be a heading for HOF. One day journalists so eager to bar him from cooperstown will appreciate he excelled where so many: Johnson, pavano, vasquez, brown miserably failed.

    P.S somehow "definately not pitching this year" sounds like they better reserve 46 just in case….

  4. Jipic says:

    Andy Pettitte is absolutely one of the all-time great Yankees. Having Andy out there on the mound meant more than just a chance to win … it meant a chance to watch a class athlete put on a real show of how it is meant to be done. What Andy did for the Yankees stands right up there with the best of them. I suspect that someday, we will see all four of the “Core Four’s” numbers retired, and I am fine with that. These four players are the Yankees organization from the mid-nineties to today … without them there is less success, less Red Sox rivalry, and ongoing turmoil as the Yankees try to win every year. The proof of there importance as Yankees to this organization is in the fact of how many years the organization held on to them, and how successful the team was while keeping these four together. Number 46, along with #2, #42 and #20 should all be on the wall in Monument Park some day.

  5. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    Definitely not a Hall of Famer, IMO, HGH or not. Number should definitely be retired.

  6. michael says:

    Yes it should be retired #46…. NO QUESTION!!! without him they don’t win W.S. games on many fronts!!!

  7. Tim says:

    One thing that is common will all the #'s in monument park is that they were all part of championship ball clubs

  8. Tim says:

    One thing that is common will all the #’s in monument park is that they were all part of championship ball clubs (except #23) that being said #46, #2, #42, #20, #51 and maybe #21 should be out there. 5 of those #’s were brought up through the system and #21 spent 8 years with the club winning 4 championships. With all do respect to game 6 of 77 World Series and the 61 season. If #44 (spent 5 years with the club) and #9 (7yrs with the club 2 WS wins 3 losses) is retired #46 (and the numbers I listed) shoudl be a no brainer.

  9. matttheyankeefan says:

    Its a no brainer, Yes retire Andy's number along with Mo's and Jeter's. Posada is a great player but maybe not that great to have his number retired. I feel to have a number retired they must contribute something very special to the team, Andy did this without question. But they might want to wait a few seasons b4 doing it, he may come back next season. Just a fan's thoughts on it. Lets go Yankees!!

  10. ron wall says:

    200 Win lefties, with Andy's W/S credentials are basically a non-existent breed, other than Whitey. Absolutely retire #46.

  11. Shmu says:

    No problemo retiring Andy's #46, provided Bernie's #51 is also

    retired. I realize that there were issues with Bernabe's "retirement" (I'm not even sure he has officially retired)and maybe some bad blood between him and the front office, but Bernie was the heart and soul of so many Yankee teams. That thunderous ovation he received at the last game in Old YS says it all – he is loved by the fans and deserves formal and permanent recognition. DON'T FORGET BERNIE !!

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