It’s officially a career.
Andrew Eugene Pettitte has decided to walk away from the game he loves and the team he loves for good.
An illustrious career is in the books, a career which spanned 18 seasons and saw him amass 19 post season wins–the most of all time.
A very relaxed Pettitte took to the podium on Friday, his Yankee cap on and a smile on his face. He cited being both ‘physically and mentally exhausted’ as the main reason for reaching this decision. He then elaborated:
“I’m announcing my retirement prior to the conclusion of our season because I want all of our fans to know now while I’m still wearing this uniform how grateful I am for their support throughout my career. I want to have the opportunity to tip my cap during these remaining days and thank them for making my time here with the Yankees so special.”
At the age of 41 Pettitte is still as even and worthy a pitcher has he’s always been. His announcement comes at a time when the Yankees find themselves on the cusp of a great shift from one era to another.
Both Pettitte and Mariano Rivera will be saying their goodbyes to the pinstripes, leaving just Derek Jeter as the last remnant of those glory days of the Yankee past.
The only question for Pettitte now is whether or not he is a hall of famer. If recent history has shown us anything on hall of fame voting, his hGH use alone disqualifies him. But on sheer numbers, was he ever the most dominant? No. Was he ever a shut out ace? No. Was he ever flashy in his stats? No. So what was he? Pettitte will be remembered best for his poise and his big game ability–even when times got tough, no one had the composure and ability to calm a storm quite like him.
His post season numbers are a testament to his ‘icy veins’ approach to big games. Whenever the Yankees needed him on short rest to take the mound he was there and he delivered.
Great Yankee, yes. Hall of famer, no. His career should be honored by all baseball fans, we’ll be hard pressed to find another Andy Pettitte.
Ironically Andy Pettitte’s last start will at home will come on ‘Mariano Rivera Day’ on Sunday.