New York Yankees Retired Numbers
#1 — Billy Martin (Aug. 10, 1986)
Martin spent six-and-a-half seasons as a second baseman for the Yankees, helping the team win four World Series titles before being sent to Kansas City in 1957. But he's best known in pinstripes as the irascible, confrontational manager of the Yankees in the late 1970s, including the World Series-winning "Bronx Is Burning" 1977 squad. Martin frequently clashed with star player Reggie Jackson and owner George Steinbrenner, and ultimately resigned following the 1978 season, only to be brought back in 1979 and fired at season's end. Martin would have three more stints as New York's manager (1983, '85, '88) and was reportedly set to return as manager in 1990, but was killed in a car crash on Christmas Day 1989. In his managerial career, Martin won 556 games with the Yankees.
#3 — Babe Ruth (June 13, 1948)
One of the greatest hitters who ever lived, Ruth joined the Yankees in 1920 and won four World Series titles in 15 years with the Bronx Bombers. Alongside fellow Yankees icon Lou Gehrig, Ruth ultimately appeared in seven World Series, was named MVP in 1923, and led the majors in home runs nine times while in New York. His 60 homers in 1927 were a major league record that stood until Roger Maris hit 61 in 1961. All told, Ruth hit 659 of his 714 career homers in pinstripes and hit .349/.484/.711 over that decade-and-a-half with the Yankees. Those 714 homers are third-most all-time in baseball, and his career .690 slugging percentage is still the highest mark in MLB history.
#4 — Lou Gehrig (July 4, 1939)
The Iron Horse had the honor of being the first Yankee to have his number retired following his retirement in 1939 at the age of 36. Over his 17-year career ? spent entirely in New York ? Gehrig set a major league record for consecutive games played with 2,130, a number that would stand until Cal Ripken broke the mark in 1995. The New York-born first baseman won six World Series titles with the Yankees, was twice named AL MVP (1927 and 1936), won the Triple Crown in 1934, three times led the league in home runs, was a seven-time All-Star, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame the same year he retired. His career .340 average is 16th best all-time, and his 179 career OPS+ is the fourth-highest mark in MLB history. Gehrig died in 1941 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
#5 — Joe DiMaggio (April 18, 1952)
One of the greatest players in baseball history, DiMaggio led the Yankees to four straight championships beginning in his rookie season of 1936 and spent 13 seasons with New York. In that time, he won nine titles, was named MVP three times and earned All-Star honors 13 times. Joltin' Joe is best remembered for his 56-game hitting streak in 1941, a record that still stands to this day. A career .325 hitter and two-time batting champion, DiMaggio finished his career with nearly five times as many walks as strikeouts and was considered one of the best defensive centerfielders of his time. DiMaggio retired in 1951 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955.
#6 — Joe Torre (Aug. 23, 2014)
Torre, who managed the team from 1996 until 2007, won four World Series titles with the Yankees, including the last three-peat in major league history from 1998-2000. In his time with New York, Torre went 1,173-767 (a winning percentage of .605), leading the Yankees to 10 AL East titles, two wild-cards, six pennants and those four world championships. He also won the Manger of the Year award twice (in '96 and '98).
#7 — Mickey Mantle (June 8, 1969)
There were few hitters as feared as Mickey Mantle in his prime. The Oklahoma native made his debut for the Yankees in 1951 at the age of 19 and spent 18 seasons in pinstripes, winning seven championships and going to the World Series 12 times. Mantle also won MVP honors three times, including back-to-back awards in 1956 and '57. His 1956 season is one of the greatest in MLB history: His .353 average, 52 homers, 130 RBI, 132 runs, .705 slugging percentage and 210 OPS+ all led the majors. Mantle was also renowned as one of the best defensive outfielders in the history of the game, winning a Gold Glove in 1962. He is second all-time in Yankees franchise history in games played at 2,401, behind only Derek Jeter. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1974.
#8 — Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra (July 22, 1972)
No player won more titles than Yogi Berra, who collected 10 World Series rings with the Yankees in his 18 years, including five straight from 1949 to 1953. He's one of only four players all-time to win the MVP award three times and made the All-Star team 18 times. Berra also managed the Yankees, once in 1964, taking them to the World Series, and then again in 1984. No. 8 was also the uniform number for another Hall of Fame Yankees catcher: Bill Dickey, who played for the Bombers from 1928 to 1943. Dickey's Yankees won eight world championships and he was an 11-time All-Star; after joining the Navy in 1943, Dickey returned to the Yankees in 1946 as a player-manager, but retired and became a coach, eventually teaching Berra the essentials of catching.
#9 — Roger Maris (July 22, 1984)
Maris made his mark on baseball history by becoming the sport's single-season leader in home runs with 61, breaking Babe Ruth's 34-year-old record and establishing one that would stand until 1998, when it was broken by Mark McGwire. Maris joined the Yankees in 1960 after stints in Cleveland and Kansas City and promptly won the MVP in his first season in New York thanks to an American-League best 112 RBI. He won the MVP again in '61 for his record-setting season. Maris won two titles and was a three-time All-Star with the Yankees, spending seven years in the Bronx until he was traded to St. Louis in 1966. He retired in 1968.
#10 — Phil Rizzuto (Aug. 4, 1985)
The Yankees' longtime shortstop, 'Scooter' spent 13 seasons in New York and won the MVP award in 1950, when he hit .324/.418/.439 and led the Yankees to their second straight title. As a Yankee, Rizzuto won seven world championships and played in the Fall Classic 10 times, winning World Series MVP honors in 1951, in which he hit .320. Rizzuto was known as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans' Committee in 1994. After finishing up his playing career, Rizzuto spent 40 years as the Yankees' broadcaster.
#15 — Thurman Munson (Sept. 20, 1980)
Munson was the captain of the Yankees, the first to earn that honor since Lou Gehrig, and helped the team win three consecutive pennants (1976-78) and two world championships (1977 and 1978). Munson was the fourth overall pick in the 1968 draft, and in his 11-year career, Munson won the Rookie of the Year award in 1970, the AL MVP in 1976, the Gold Glove three straight times (1973-75) and was named to the All-Star team seven times. His career and life were tragically cut short at the age of 32 when he died in a plane crash during the 1979 season. He is the only Yankee ever to win Rookie of the Year and MVP honors.
#16 — Whitey Ford (Aug. 3, 1974)
One of the top pitchers in Yankees history, Ford nabbed six World Series rings from 1950 to 1962. In 1961, Ford went 25-4 with a 3.21 ERA to win the Cy Young; he added World Series MVP honors in that year's Fall Classic against Cincinnati, which the Yankees won, four games to one. Ford threw 14 shutout innings in the series, winning both his starts; his 32 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings in World Series play are a postseason record. Ford spent all 16 of his major league seasons with the Yankees, winning 236 games, second-most all-time in franchise history behind Andy Pettitte. He was named to the All-Star team 10 times, led the majors in innings in 1961 with 283, and led the majors in ERA twice (2.47 in 1956 and 2.01 in 1958).
#23 — Don Mattingly (Aug. 31, 1997)
"Donnie Baseball" was the star of the 1980s squads and one of the best first basemen of his time. Mattingly won the 1985 AL MVP with a major-league best 48 doubles and 145 RBI and finished second in the MVP voting the following season to Roger Clemens despite a league-best .967 OPS and 161 OPS+. A nine-time Gold Glove winner at first, Mattingly spent all 14 of his years in the majors in pinstripes, making the All-Star team six times and winning the batting title in 1984 with a .343 average. Despite his efforts, his Yankees never won a pennant during his career, and he's the only Yankee with a retired number never to have appeared in a World Series. He retired in 1995 and is now the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
#32 — Elston Howard (July 22, 1984)
The first African-American player in franchise history, Howard debuted with the Yankees in 1955 after three years in the Negro Leagues and a couple of seasons in the minors. As a catcher, Howard was an integral part of four World Series-winning teams as a player, with two more rings coming in 1977 and '78, when he was a coach with the Yankees. He won the AL MVP award in 1963 thanks to his stellar defense behind the plate, the first African-American player to be named most valuable player in that league, and he made the All-Star team nine consecutive times as a Yankee. Howard retired in 1968 and passed away at the age of 51 in 1980.
#37 — Casey Stengel (Aug. 8, 1970)
One of the greatest managers of all-time, Stengel won a then-franchise record 1,149 games with the Yankees, including 10 pennants and seven world championships. "The Old Professor" spent 54 years in baseball, 25 as a manager, and 12 of those with New York. Stengel led the Yankees to five straight titles from 1949 to 1953, the only manager in baseball history to accomplish that feat, and was one of the first managers to bring platooning to prominence. His 1,905 wins as a manager overall are 11th-most in major league history. Stengel retired at the age of 75 after a four-season stint with the Mets and was elected to the Hall of Fame as a manager by the Veterans' Committee in 1966.
#42 — Mariano Rivera (Sept. 22, 2013)
Rivera, the greatest closer in baseball history, dominated and intimidated hitters with his cut fastball and "Enter Sandman" entrance music since breaking in with the Yankees in 1995. In 19 years, all with the Yankees, Rivera racked up an MLB-record 652 saves and appeared in 13 All-Star games. Before his 2012 season was cut short by a torn ACL, he had recorded 30 or more saves in nine straight seasons. Rivera also regularly shined in the postseason, when he saved 42 games, had a 0.70 ERA in 141 innings pitched and helped New York win five World Series titles. Rivera was the last major league player to wear the number 42 full-time, following its league-wide retirement in honor of Jackie Robinson in April 1997.
#44 — Reggie Jackson (Aug. 14, 1993)
"Mr. October" is sixth on the all-time home run list with 563 career homers and won the AL MVP in 1973 as a member of the Oakland Athletics. He spent only five seasons with the Yankees, from 1977 to 1981, but in that time was a lightning rod, as he had come to New York on a then-massive five-year, 2.96 million deal. Despite his public feuds with manager Billy Martin and owner George Steinbrenner, Jackson helped the Yankees win the World Series in 1977 and 1978, and was named the World Series MVP in '77. In that series against the Dodgers, Jackson blasted five homers, including three in the clinching Game 6, all on the first pitch. He made the All-Star team all five seasons he was in the Bronx. Jackson retired in 1987 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993.
#49 — Ron Guidry (Aug. 23, 2003)
Guidry was a key component of the Yankees' titles in 1977 and 1978. The latter was the best season of his career, as he went 25-3 and led the league in ERA (1.74), shutouts (nine) and strikeouts (248) in 273 2/3 innings. That effort won Guidry the Cy Young and landed him second in the MVP voting, finishing runner-up to Jim Rice. Nicknamed "Louisiana Lightnin'," Guidry spent all 14 of his major league seasons with the Yankees, winning 170 games and earning All-Star honors four times. He also served as the Yankees' pitching coach during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
#51 — Bernie Williams (May 24, 2015)
Williams, who played his entire 16-year career in pinstripes, was arguably the best player on New York's teams that won five American League pennants and four World Series championships from 1996-2001. He hit .302/.392/487 with 18 homers in 1995 while helping the Yankees back to the postseason, the first year of an eight-year stretch across which he hit .321/.406/.531 while averaging 24 homers. During that span, Williams won the 1998 AL batting title, made five straight All-Star teams (1997-2001) and won four Gold Gloves.