Among those donning pinstripes will be legends such as Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, Whitey Ford, Don Larsen, Moose Skowron, Dave Winfield, and Paul O'Neill. The widows of Thurman Munson, Elston Howard, Catfish Hunter, Phil Rizzuto and Billy Martin will also be there to represent their husbands. Don Zimmer, now a member of the Rays coaching staff (for home games only), will be back in Pinstripes for the first time since his angry departure in 2003. Always a fan favorite, Zim promises to get one of the louder ovations from the crowd.
Far smaller hands will be given to the likes of Aaron Small, Homer Bush, Andy Carey, Jeff Torborg, Brian Doyle and other relatively obscure former Yanks. You can't fault those guys for accepting the invite, even though their presence might drag out the ceremony a bit. The Yankees have taken a "more the merrier" type of approach to Old Timers' Day and I think overall, that's probably a good thing. The events start at 11:45 and the first pitch of the game is slated for 2:05.
On the mound today will be two pitchers who are anything but old-timers. At age 25, Edwin Jackson has had a breakout season thus far. He's got a 2.52 ERA and has given up only 94 hits in 121 2/3 IP. Even with 35 walks, his WHIP is still a dominant 1.060. In his only start against the Yanks this year, Jackson threw six innings of shutout ball in what started off as a pitcher's duel against Phil Hughes, but the Yanks blew the game open in the seventh and won 11-0. Part of the reason for their success back in April was working Jackson's pitch count to 117 and getting him out of the game early so they could do their damage against Tigers' bullpen (now without Joel Zumaya). One would imagine they will be taking a similar approach this afternoon.
Joba Chamberlain will be the Yankees' hurler this afternoon, at least for the first 4 or 5 innings anyway (kidding... hopefully). We are all heavily invested in Joba's ability to become a dominant starter his last two outings, totalling 8 innings, haven't been especially encouraging. He was charged with 7 runs over those two games, but 6 unearned runs came to the plate when he was on the mound as well. The Yankees were lucky to win the first of those starts 10-8 but lost then next 10-6. The team is 12-6 when Joba starts, but that is more of a testament to the offense and the bullpen than it is to his contributions as a starter. He needs to get it going if he wants to be back for some Old-Timers' Days down the line.
Still like that old time rock and roll,
That kind of music,
just soothes the soul,
I reminisce about the days of old.