Joe Torre and Bernie Williams, the manager and center fielder on four World Series championship teams for the New York Yankees before leaving the club under strained circumstances, will take part in their first Old-Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium this month.
More than 50 former Yankees are set to participate in the June 26 event, the Major League Baseball franchise said today in an e-mailed statement. The day will include a ceremony and a short old-timers’ game before the Yankees meet the Colorado Rockies.
Torre, 70, managed the Yankees from 1996 to 2007, winning World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. The American League Manager of the Year in 1996 and 1998, Torre made the playoffs in all 12 seasons on the Yankees’ bench.
A former player and manager with the New York Mets, Torre left the Yankees in 2007 after rejecting a one-year, $5 million offer, which he called insulting. A 2009 book about Torre’s tenure with the team made references to teammates calling third baseman Alex Rodriguez, “A-Fraud,” and detailed a tenuous relationship between Torre and the team’s front office, including General Manager Brian Cashman and President Randy Levine.
Torre managed the Los Angeles Dodgers for three seasons and is now MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations.
Williams, 42, batted .297 with 287 home runs in his 16-year career, spent entirely with the Yankees. A five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner, he led the AL with a .339 batting average in 1998.
Williams ended his playing career after rejecting the Yankees’ offer of a minor-league contract and an invitation to spring training to try to make the major-league club in 2007.
Others scheduled to take part in the day include Hall of Fame players Yogi Berra, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Reggie Jackson, and Whitey Ford, according to the statement. The team also will hold a special tribute to trainer Gene Monahan, who is retiring after 49 years with the organization.