For the second time, Andy Pettitte has decided to call it a career, at a Friday press conference announcing his retirement.
He will retire as the all-time leader in postseason wins (19), along with a firm place as one of the greatest starting pitchers in the long history of the New York Yankees. His announcement means Sunday’s start vs. the San Francisco Giants will be his final start at Yankee Stadium of his career.
Sunday will be the end of an era for the Bronx Bombers: The greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera, will have an MLB-wide celebration of his career on that day as well.
Pettitte, a 5-time World Series Champion with one of the best pick-off moves in the league’s history, will retire with more wins than eight franchises have in their entire existence. He was also the 2001 ALCS MVP, with a 2-0 record and 2.51 ERA vs. the Seattle Mariners.
Heading into his final home start of his 18-year career, Pettitte has 255 wins (41st all-time), 218 as a Yankee (3rd in Yankees history). He has 436 regular season starts as a Yankee, only two back of Whitey Ford. His 2,009 strikeouts is the single most in franchise history.
Pettitte’s retirement will leave Derek Jeter as the last of the “Core Four” (Rivera and Jorge Posada were the others), players who were around for the initial World Series run.
He has borderline Hall of Fame numbers, bolstered by his postseason success, but any talk of the HOF must be discussed along with his 2007 admission of using HGH to return from injury. Whether that will affect him will depend on the environment surrounding steroid users at the time he first appears on a ballot.
Andrew Eugene Pettitte’s last two starts will have a fitting end. First one will be at Yankee Stadium, and then his final appearance of his career at Minute Maid Park against his former team, the Houston Astros.