Paul O’Neill and The Retirement of #21

When you look back at the Yankees’ dynasty run of the late 90s, everyone always brings up the “Core Four” as they like to term the group of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte & Mariano Rivera, and rightfully so…two of them are first-ballot Hall of Famers! But to think that those teams relied fully on the amazing play of those four players would be foolish. There are countless other players whose team-first mentality and post season heroics helped build that dynasty as well, such as Bernie Williams, Scott Brosius & especially the man who I’m here to sing the praises of today: Paul O’Neill.

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The Retirement of an All-Time Great Yankee #RE2PECT

“The name Derek Jeter is made for stardom. He’s got an infectious smile, and he’s so handsome and well-behaved. He’s just a fine young man who does everything right. He’s like Jack Armstrong and Frank Merriwell, guys I grew up rooting for. Some guys come along who just measure up.”

George M. Steinbrenner, III

Where do I even begin?

To try to start a career retrospective on Derek Jeter is next to impossible considering everything he has meant to and done for the Yankees over the last two decades. I’ve really been putting this off since I really don’t know I can truly do the man any justice here in print form. But I don’t want to just not do it, because that, I believe would be a bigger disservice to the man whose career unfolded right in front of my eyes. So with that said, here goes nothing…

I’ve been a baseball fan for as long as I can remember, going back to when I was a kid and my family would go to a Yankees game here and there back in the mid 80s and early 90s. Liking the Yankees was just something I was born into. My Dad’s family lived in the Bronx and my Grandmother was a big fan of the boys in pinstripes and I always got to hear stories about how great the Yankees were back when guys with names like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Maris, Berra, Munson, Jackson and a slew of others played for the team, but by the mid 80s…all those names were long gone and what was left was a mediocre team filled with names like Randolph, Henderson, Winfield, Kelly, Sax, Barfield, Righetti & my favorite at that time…Mattingly.

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