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The Yankees retired Paul O’Neill’s nickname, No 28

On September 22, 2009, Paul O’Neill was thanked by the Yankees after they retired #21 in Monument Park. On September 23, 2017, the Yankees retired No. 21 with 14 losses in 18 games and O’malley was v

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(AP) NEW YORK — Paul O’Neill received a plaque in Monument Park from the Yankees eight years ago in appreciation of his contributions to their success.

The Yankees retired his number 21 on Sunday, making him the 23rd player or manager in the team’s history to have that honor.

The ceremony was significantly different from previous ones not only because he is not immunized against COVID-19 but also because the Yankees had lost 14 of their previous 18 games entering Sunday. Boos for managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman were audible during the 33-minute ceremony, indicating that frustration levels are high.

Since Derek Jeter’s No. 2 was honored in 2017, New York’s inaugural jersey retirement ceremony has included the customary video tributes and greetings, presents, and an acceptance speech.

O’Neill expressed gratitude to the audience several times throughout his nearly eight-minute address. “You Yankee supporters have obviously been practicing and it sounds terrific still today,” he said in his opening statement.

O’Neill won the World Series four times as a Yankee, earning him the moniker “The Warrior” from the late owner George Steinbrenner. O’Neill stated, “The supporters remember the teams that win, and we won. “And we had a great deal of success.”

O’Neill played for the Yankees from 1993 to 2001, batting.303 with 185 home runs and 858 RBIs. He played for the squad as a four-time All-Star and won the AL batting title in 1994 despite the season being cut short by a strike.

Starting as a rookie with the Reds in 1985, he played in the major leagues while donning No. 21.

O’Neill stated in his address, “I’m celebrating this day because this is the biggest goal I’ve ever had in my life.

Along with teammates Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera, former trainer Gene Monahan was present.

O’Neill unveiled his retirement number in Monument Park six minutes into the ceremony while standing next to his wife and family. Highlights from his final home game in Game 5 of the 2001 World Series and his running grab to end Game 5 of the 1996 World Series were shown on the videoboard as he was rolled onto the field in a golf cart.

Then came short video tributes from Roberto Clemente Jr., the Hall of Famer’s son and a former Yankee Spanish-language commentator, along with those from Derek Jeter, Joe Torre, David Cone, and Don Mattingly.

Before the Yankees faced Toronto, manager Aaron Boone stated, “Obviously, Paul is a pivotal figure in one of the many great moments in Yankee baseball and dynasties,” adding, “It’s good to know Paul in a personable, even goofy guy that sometimes is a juxtaposition with who he was in between those lines.”

As a reference to his propensity to slam water coolers in the dugout, Steinbrenner handed O’Neill a framed plaque of his jersey. Other presents were a special wine bottle with his No. 21, a framed jersey autographed by current Yankees, and a water cooler.

O’Neill’s autographed framed jersey was the only interaction he had with the current New York roster due to his vaccination status; non-vaccinated staff are not permitted in the clubhouse or dugout.

Since the 2019 2020 season, O’Neill has worked as a game announcer for the YES Network from his Ohio home. O’Neill stated, “I’d prefer not discuss that,” when asked about his immunization status in an interview with NJ Advance Media that was published on Saturday.

The only New York player to wear No. 21 since O’Neill retired following the 2001 World Series was reliever LaTroy Hawkins at the start of the 2008 season, but he quickly switched back.

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