If any other team in baseball had three players like these that played integral parts in a string of World Championships, I would have little issue with that club retiring their numbers. Or say if the Seattle Mariners wanted to retire Edgar Martinez's number because he was very good and they've never won a World Series, I'm fine with that. But I have a major issue when a club like the Yankees, with 27 titles, a storied franchise with the likes of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle, start retiring numbers like they're giving out candy. What they're doing is diminishing the once tremendous and very rare honor of having a number in pinstripes retired.
But the retiring of all these numbers is also going to do something even more serious at a point. The Yankees are going to run out of numbers. Don't scoff at that. I repeat, they will eventually run out of numbers. It may not be in my lifetime, but if they start retiring numbers of every very good player in future World Series runs, or even go backwards and start retiring very good championship players from a previous era, they are going to have a real issue on their hands. What I may actually see in my lifetime is a starting shortstop wearing a strange looking number like #60. Hey, once Jeter gets his number retired--AS IT SHOULD, because he was truly iconic--ALL the single digits will be gone.
Another issue is that by retiring numbers of just very good and not iconic players, it opens up a can of worms. If Joe Girardi wins another World Series, are they going to retire his number? How about Mike Mussina if he makes the HOF?
Or let's go back...how about the long list of Hall of Famers like Tony Lazzeri, Earle Combs, Lefty Gomez, or Red Ruffing to name a few? Don't they deserve to have their numbers retired if guys that didn't make the HOF did?
How about the Yankees just give the very good players a nice day? Or a plaque to put into Monument Park? But seriously, they are destroying one of the truly great honors in sports--to be a Yankee immortal with his number retired. And for what reason? To sell a few extra tickets? To have Steiner Sports make available "limited edition" bobble heads?
Isn't anything sacred anymore?