In front of his friends and family, and only 20 minutes away from his home of Deer Park, Texas, Andy Pettitte made his final career start on Saturday night.
The 41-year-old capped off his remarkable 18-year career by twirling a complete game five-hitter, leading the Yankees past the Astros 2-1. The victory comes against the only other club he played for, and the feat also marks his first complete game in seven years. Pettitte only announced his retirement a week ago, wanting to keep the attention on Mariano Rivera, but he received the fanfare he deserved in his home on Saturday.
The Yankees southpaw revealed a huge grin after recording the final out of his gem. Pettitte received hugs from all of his teammates and a standing ovation from Minute Maid Park as he was showered with cheers. The Astros also came back out onto the field to honor No. 46 while Rivera trotted to the mound and tipped his cap for the final time.
The veteran wraps up his year with an 11-11 record, ensuring that he never recorded a losing season in his 18-year career. Pettitte’s performance said it all, but after the game, he was also able to encompass his final start in perfect fashion.
“I love to play the game,” Pettitte told reporters following his outing. “I love to pitch. It’s a shame you get old.”
Watch Pettitte’s final out in the video below.