Andy Pettitte is calling it a career. The 41-year-old left-handed pitcher is set to announce his retirement after an 18-year career that will see him leave as the New York Yankees’ all-time leader in strikeouts.
Pettitte has had an up and down year this year but has been the Yankees’ best pitcher down the stretch as the team tries to sneak into the playoffs. This season, Pettitte has pitched to a 10-10 record, 3.93 ERA and 1.39 WHIP proving he was still capable of being a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm.
This is the second time that Pettitte has hung up his spikes. He retired the first time after the 2010 season and sat out 2011. He came back in 2012 and went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA before suffering a broken leg from a come-backer from Casey Kotchman of the Cleveland Indians. Pettitte was a gamer and tried to stay in the game, making one pitch before Joe Girardi ran out and got him. That was the kind of pitcher Andy has been over the course of his career. He has been a bulldog, a workhorse, a stabilizing influence throughout his career with the Yankees.
There will be plenty of enduring memories of Pettitte in Pinstripes. His performances in the playoffs are too numerous to count. He won 20 games twice in his career and was a part of seven American League pennant-winning teams and one National League pennant-winning team with the Houston Astros. He also holds the record for the most wins in postseason history with 19.
One thing is certain, Pettitte will one day have his number retired by the Yankees and will get his plaque in Monument Park. He may have deserved a similar send-off to the one the Yankees are giving Mariano Rivera but that wouldn’t be Pettitte’s style.
There has been a lot of speculation as to whether or not Pettitte would come back for one more season or hang them up at the end of the season. Now we know he intends to retire.
Pettitte will leave the Yankees ranked third in wins with 218 of his career 255 wins coming in Pinstripes. He will also leave as the Yankees’ all-time leader in strikeouts with 2009. Those totals might still go up as he closes out his career with at least one more start.
This has been a tough year for the Yankees and their fans. It began with one of the three remaining members of the Core Four, Mariano Rivera, announcing this would be his last season. A second member of the Core Four, Derek Jeter, spent all but 17 games on the disabled list with a broken ankle and associated setbacks. Now, Andy Pettitte will join Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera in retirement leaving only Derek Jeter as the sole remnant of the championship teams of the 1990s and early 2000s.
Good luck, Andy, and thanks for all the memories.