NEW YORK — Nostalgia took control in the Bronx, as Old Timers' Day returned Saturday to Yankee Stadium for its first time since 2019.
It looked slightly different this time. TheThe annual playful reunion game was canceled due to the fact that many of the participants are still recovering from different operations. Instead, John Sterling and Michael Kay read lengthy biographies about each honoree while a short video was shown on the scoreboard.
Ron Guidry jokingly said, “Unless they get an influx of young players, I don’t know if older guys can anymore play.” “But, if they had (the game), I think the crowd would love them, so we'll see what happens over a couple of years.”
Many familiar faces were present at the 33-minute pregame ceremony, including Guidry, Bernie Williams, and David Cone. Also, Yankees spouses Joan Ford, Jill Martin, wife of Billy, Diana Munson (wife to Thurman), and Kay Murcer, (wife to Bobby), also participated in the ceremony. Arlene Howard, Elston Howard’s spouse, relayed a message via video.
Notable as the Yankee greats were, was the list that wasn't. Wade Boggs and Mariano Rivera, fan favorites, were all scheduled for autograph signings at the National Sports Collectors Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Williams was met with cheers and chants. The always-popular Mickey Rivers raced in from the center field to loud applause. In years past, players would walk to the infield from their home dugout. But this year they made the long trek from the Monument Park tunnel to the centerfield tunnel.
Luis Sojo, a New York bullpen player, was seen coming out to hug him during the pre-event press conference. Towards the end of the ceremony, a few players from the Royals and Yankees leaned on their dugouts.
Williams stated, “I can remember coming here as a player” and being able to see the Old-Timers’ Day players. “I met Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford. We had the chance to meet them behind closed doors at the clubhouse. Although things have changed, I believe the sentiment is the same.”
It was the first game without Dr. Bobby Brown. Brown was the one who saw the very first Old Timers' Day from the dugout in 1947. He died March 25, 2021.