The Yankees will retire Derek Jeter’s No. 2 jersey and honor him with a plaque in Monument Park on May 14, Mother’s Day, making official what had been expected long before he retired after the 2014 season.
The retirement of Jeter’s jersey brings the Yankees’ total of retired uniform numbers to 21, the most in baseball, and means that every Yankees number from 1 to 10 will have been retired. Nobody has worn 0 for the Yankees, and Brett Gardner, who wears 11, has the lowest current number.
In numerical order, Billy Martin wore No. 1; Babe Ruth No. 3; Lou Gehrig No. 4; Joe DiMaggio No. 5; Joe Torre No. 6; Mickey Mantle No. 7; Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey, both catchers, No. 8; Roger Maris No. 9; and Phil Rizzuto No. 10.
The Yankees have been on a number-retiring binge of late, even if they have not been much of a championship club in this century. In 2015, the year after Jeter’s retirement, the Yankees retired the numbers of three of his teammates: center fielder Bernie Williams (51), catcher Jorge Posada (20) and pitcher Andy Pettitte (46).
Last year, the Yankees honored Mariano Rivera with a plaque in Monument Park. His No. 42 was retired at the end of 2013. Rivera was the final player in baseball to wear the number after it had been retired by Major League Baseball in honor of Jackie Robinson.
Jeter, the team’s longtime captain, was such a central figure for the Yankees — helping them win five World Series titles — that General Manager Brian Cashman said that if it were up to him, the Yankees would retire the captaincy after Jeter stopped playing. Indeed, the Yankees have not had a captain the past two seasons.
If the retirement of Jeter’s jersey was a foregone conclusion, a more interesting case looms: what the Yankees will do with Jeter’s former teammate and frenemy, the seemingly retired Alex Rodriguez, who, with No. 13 on his back, spent a decade both in, and sometimes very out of, the good graces of the Yankees.
Rodriguez’s season-long drug suspension in 2014 would seem to be a convincing argument for his number not being retired. Then again, the Yankees did stage a ceremony for him in August when he played his final game with the team, and he is set to work as a special adviser to the club in 2017. A retired No. 13? Stranger things have probably happened.
An earlier version of this article misstated the number of World Series titles that Derek Jeter helped the Yankees win. It was five, not four.