The Yankees retiring yet another number is bound to stir up some indignation in fans of a certain age. 38 years ago Graig Nettles (along with Peter Golenbock) wrote a book about his time with the Yankees called Balls. It was the glory days of the memoir, and even for the ‘80s this stood out as particularly mean spirited and spiteful. Number 9 had recently been traded, and went out of his way to belittle The Boss at every turn, both personally and professionally.
This was before Steinbrenner reinvented himself as Grandpa Walton, when he was still seen as an evil outsider trying to ruin the game, so the papers ran with it, which exacerbated the problem. Nettles made his bed. Still, enough is enough. Nettles undoubtedly deserves a plaque in Monument Park, it is impossible to argue otherwise, relative to the other players who have had the honor bestowed upon them. Let this be an opportunity to heal, and right an egregious wrong!
Kevin J. O’Sullivan
Haddonfield, NJ 08033