On Sunday night, the New York Yankees honored Derek Jeter as they retired his number 2 in Monument Park in a pre-game ceremony witnessed by many around the world. With Jeter’s number, it will likely be the last number the Yankees retire for quite a while. Some have wondered who might be the next player to have the honor of their number being retired by the Yankees. That player: Alex Rodriguez.
Don’t laugh, it could actually happen.
Take away the scandals and the drama that surrounded A-Rod and his numbers are some of the all-time best in the sport. 696 career home runs and 3,115 hits; he’s just one of a few players to have over 500 (much less, 600) home runs and 3,000 hits. Both of those accomplishments he achieved while with the Yankees. He’s also one of just two players to get his 3,000th hit while with the Yankees.
He’s also on pretty good terms with the Yankees as well. Given how everything went down over the last four years, A-Rod and the Yankees are on good terms with each other. A-Rod was allowed to go out with one final game in the Bronx before his retirement and was honored by the Yankees that night as well.
The Yankees are also still paying him to be a part of the team as a guest instructor. Given everything that has happened, the Yankees never voided his deal. They certainly could have, and the rumor was that they thought about doing it.
Before the 2015 season, the Yankees didn’t know what to expect with a returning Alex Rodriguez following a season-long suspension. He rewarded their faith in him with a 33 home run season and helped the Yankees get to the playoffs. He also hit his 3,000th hit and surpassed Willie Mays on the all-time home run list. Both accomplishments were games that drew in the fans at Yankee Stadium because they wanted to witness history.
So with that said, why would the Yankees consider retiring his number 13?
With an induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Again, don’t laugh. It can actually happen.
Why? Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens would be why.
They have heavy ties to PED’s and yet, they’re getting closer to getting the needed votes for the Hall of Fame.
Once Bonds and Clemens both get in, it opens the door for A-Rod to get in as well. And if A-Rod gets into the Hall of Fame, he’s certainly going in with a Yankees cap on his plaque.
Most of the players who are in the Hall of Fame while being tied to the Yankees have their numbers retired. If Alex Rodriguez goes into the Hall of Fame later on, then the Yankees may have to put #13 in Monument Park as well. After all, the majority of his career was with the Yankees. Plus, his historic, milestone moments were all done with the Yankees.
And because the relationship between the Yankees and A-Rod has been repaired, this scenario seems plausible. Add in more time for A-Rod’s public image to improve and it makes it even more possible. Time heals all wounds, right?
For now, Jeter will be the last player after several former Yankees players and managers had their numbers retired. Bernie Williams, Joe Torre, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Jeter were the latest. We might not see another number go into Monument Park for at least another 10 years, maybe even longer.
Don’t be surprised though, if the next number that goes into Monument Park is the number 13 of Alex Rodriguez. It’ll take a Hall of Fame induction for that to even be considered. But if it happens, then number 13 may be going up in the future.