Friday, June 27, 2014

Living Members of Monument Park

April 18, 1923 to June 8, 1969: None. Miller Huggins died on September 25, 1929, and was honored with a Monument on May 30, 1932. Jacob Ruppert died on January 13, 1939, and was honored with a Plaque on April 19, 1940. Lou Gehrig died on June 2, 1941, and was honored with a Monument the following July 6. Babe Ruth died on August 16, 1948, and was honored with a Monument on April 19, 1949. Ed Barrow died on December 15, 1953, and was honored with a Plaque on April 15, 1954.

June 8, 1969 to April 29, 1976, 2: Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. They were honored with Plaques, the first living people honored, save for Pope Paul VI, who had delivered a Mass at Yankee Stadium in 1965, and the Knights of Columbus had donated a plaque commemorating the occasion. They would also do so for Pope John Paul II in 1979, and Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. Pope Francis has said he wants to visit America next year, and presumably a Mass at Yankee Stadium would be on the itinerary, thus leading to another Plaque.

April 29, 1976 to January 13, 1978, 3: DiMaggio, Mantle and Joe McCarthy. McCarthy was honored with a Plaque. Casey Stengel died on September 29, 1975, and was honored with a Plaque on July 30, 1976.

January 13, 1978 to July 21, 1984, 2: DiMaggio and Mantle. McCarthy died. Thurman Munson died on August 2, 1979, and was honored with a Plaque on September 20, 1980.

July 21, 1984 to August 4, 1985, 3: DiMaggio, Mantle and Roger Maris. Elston Howard died on December 14, 1980, and was honored with a Plaque on the same day as Maris.

August 4 to December 14, 1985, 4: DiMaggio, Mantle, Maris and Phil Rizzuto.

December 14, 1985 to August 10, 1986, 3: DiMaggio, Mantle and Rizzuto. Maris died.

August 10, 1986 to August 1, 1987, 4: DiMaggio, Mantle, Rizzuto and Billy Martin.

August 1, 1987 to August 21, 1988: 6: DiMaggio, Mantle, Rizzuto, Martin, Lefty Gomez and Whitey Ford.

August 21, 1988 to February 17, 1989, 8: DiMaggio, Gomez, Rizzuto, Ford, Martin, Mantle, Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra.

February 17 to August 27, 1989, 7: DiMaggio, Dickey, Rizzuto, Berra, Ford, Martin and Mantle. Gomez died.

August 27 to December 25, 1989, 8: DiMaggio, Dickey, Rizzuto, Berra, Ford, Martin, Mantle and Allie Reynolds.

December 25, 1989 to November 12, 1993, 7: DiMaggio, Dickey, Rizzuto, Berra, Reynolds, Ford and Mantle. Martin died.

November 12, 1993 to December 26, 1994, 6: DiMaggio, Rizzuto, Berra, Reynolds, Ford and Mantle. Dickey died.

December 26, 1994 to August 13, 1995, 5: DiMaggio, Rizzuto, Berra, Ford and Mantle. Reynolds died.

August 13, 1995 to August 31, 1997, 4: DiMaggio, Rizzuto, Berra and Ford. Mantle died, and his Plaque was replaced by a Monument on August 25, 1996.

August 31, 1997 to March 8, 1999, 5: DiMaggio, Rizzuto, Berra, Ford and Don Mattingly. Mel Allen died on June 16, 1996, and was honored on July 25, 1998.

March 8, 1999 to May 7, 2000, 4: Rizzuto, Berra, Ford and Mattingly. DiMaggio died, and his Plaque was replaced by a Monument on April 25, 1999.

May 7, 2000 to July 6, 2002, 5: Rizzuto, Berra, Ford, Mattingly and Bob Sheppard.

July 6, 2002 to August 23, 2003, 6: Rizzuto, Berra, Ford, Mattingly, Sheppard and Reggie Jackson.

August 23, 2003 to August 13, 2007, 7: Rizzuto, Berra, Ford, Jackson, Mattingly, Sheppard and Ron Guidry. Red Ruffing died on February 17, 1986, and was honored on July 10, 2004.

August 13, 2007 to July 11, 2010, 6: Berra, Ford, Guidry, Jackson, Mattingly and Sheppard. Rizzuto died.

July 11, 2010 to September 22, 2013, 5: Berra, Ford, Guidry, Jackson and Mattingly. Sheppard died. George Steinbrenner died on July 13, 2010, and was honored the following September 20.

September 22, 2013 to June 21, 2014, 6: Berra, Ford, Guidry, Jackson, Mattingly and Mariano Rivera. True, he hasn't gotten his Plaque yet (What are they waiting for?), but his retired number is out there, so I'm counting him.

June 21 to 22, 2014, 7: Berra, Ford, Guidry, Jackson, Mattingly, Rivera and Tino Martinez.

June 22, 2014 to the present, 8: Berra, Ford, Guidry, Jackson, Mattingly, Rivera, Martinez and Goose Gossage. This matches the all-time peak from August 21, 1988 to February 17, 1989, and again from August 27, to December 25, 1989.

Presuming no one else dies before then -- and with Yogi Berra being 89 years old, frail and hospitalized twice in recent years, it could certainly happen -- a new all-time high of 9 living Monument Parkers will be reached on July 27 of this year, when Joe Torre is honored. It will reach 10 on August 9, when it's Paul O'Neill. Presumably, Derek Jeter's Number 2 will be retired before the last home game of this season, on September 25, making the total 11 even though he won't receive his Plaque before his career statistics and achievements are finalized. And it would reach 12 sometime in 2015, when Bernie Williams is honored (the exact date presumably waiting for the 2015 MLB schedule to be released).


Honorees from the First Dynasty, 1920 to 1935: Jacob Ruppert, Miller Huggins, Babe Ruth, Ed Barrow, Lou Gehrig. In the Baseball Hall of Fame, at least partly as Yankees, but not yet honored in Monument Park: Waite Hoyt, Herb Pennock, Tony Lazzeri. Bob Shawkey was also a rather important player in the development of the first Yankee Dynasty, but is not honored.

Honorees from the Second Dynasty, 1936 to 1948: Bill Dickey, Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez, Joe McCarthy, Joe DiMaggio, Mel Allen, Phil Rizzuto. In the Hall of Fame but not Monument Park: Joe Gordon. Tommy Henrich could also be honored.

Honorees from the Third Dynasty, 1949 to 1968: Yogi Berra, Allie Reynolds, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, Bob Sheppard, Elston Howard, Roger Maris. In the Hall of Fame but not Monument Park: Johnny Mize, Enos Slaughter. Jerry Coleman was elected to the Hall as a broadcaster, although he also played for the Yankees in this era. Billy Martin was honored mainly for what he did as a manager, so I'll list him with the next Dynasty, though he played in this one.

Honorees from the Fourth Dynasty, 1969 to 1992: Thurman Munson, George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, Ron Guidry, Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage, Don Mattingly. In the Hall of Fame but not Monument Park: Catfish Hunter. Bobby Murcer and Graig Nettles should also be honored. I could also understand if they honored Sparky Lyle, Lou Piniella and Willie Randolph.

Honorees from the Fifth Dynasty, 1993 to current: Bernie Williams, Paul O'Neill, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Joe Torre, Tino Martinez. As yet, not Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui or anyone else.

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