“When you don’t have a very good team, sometimes you need promotions to fill the seats,” said Yankees president Randy Levine. “And there’s nothing our fans love more than nostalgia and talking about how great we were in the late 1990s. So we celebrated that long ago time during every home game this year.”
All season long the Yankees trotted out former greats who played in the 1990s, such as Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, and even let them play in some games.
“Obviously, the old guys like Derek have no business still playing in the major leagues,” said Levine. “But our fans still appreciated seeing him out there. They’ll watch a Derek Jeter strikeout or cheer him struggling to get to a routine ground ball over seeing someone younger and cheaper and with some upside any day of the week.”
In addition to the trio of ’90s homegrown stars, the Yankees featured other former baseball greats in Ichiro Suzuki and Alex Rodriguez. Still more old-timers well beyond their primes were also honored, including CC Sabathia, Lyle Overbay, Alfonso Soriano, Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner.
“I know lots of teams from the majors to the minors have throwback nights,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. “But no one has ever done it on the scale we did this year. Every game, if you just closed your eyes and listened to the names of the players, you could instantly be transported back in time to 1998. I hope our fans appreciated the virtual time machine that what we provided them. It definitely didn’t come cheap.”
Cashman says the team will likely hold Remember the ’90s Nights in 2014, too.
“Jeter and A-Rod will be back,” he said. “And my phone contacts are full of old players looking to sign with any team that will take them. I’m excited.”
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(photo via Ronald Blum/AP)