Before the Yankees play their home opener against the Angels on Tuesday, the pinstripes will look back and celebrate championship No. 27. Players from the 2009 season will receive their championship rings, and four will be handed their fifth.
Andy Pettitte, who will start for the Yankees, is one of the five-time champs, along with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada. All four players will each have a whole hand of bling and are the first players to win five titles with one team since Yogi Berra (10), Mickey Mantle (seven) and Whitey Ford (six) in 1962, according to The Associated Press.
As players and spectators file into the stadium, they will see what little is left of the nearly leveled old Yankee Stadium. The celebration will honor past feats and broken records that were seen in what is now rubble.
"The guys were like, 'Well, the stadium's gone,'" Pettitte told the AP. "It's gone, and it's not going back up. It was sad when you see that ballpark still sitting over there last year when we took the field here, but you just remember all the great memories we had there, and you hoped to start building some memories, and we have already done that."
Berra, a legendary tenant of the old park, holds the most championship jewelry of any player in MLB history. He and Ford will give out the rings at the pregame ceremony.
Although five championships is an outstanding accomplishment, Alex Rodriguez may have the biggest smile as he receives the first ring of his career, which began in 1994 with the Mariners.
"I think he'll have that feeling that he's walking on air," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm really going to enjoy that smile on his face."
Hideki Matsui, the 2009 World Series MVP, now wears an Angels uniform, but he will join his former teammates prior to becoming the competion.
"I think people will go crazy," CC Sabathia told The New York Times. "He was a big part of our team, the reason why we won last year."
Whether a player is handed his first ring or fifth, it is an honor — even if it isn’t a fashion statement.
"I won't be wearing mine," first-time World Series champion Sabathia told the Times."Most of them are huge — you don’t want to be walking around with those things. To be honest, I haven't seen anybody wearing one for years."
But they're nice to have.
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