Lefty Gomez pitched for the New York Yankees from 1930 through 1942. (Gomez also pitched one game for the Washington Senators in 1943.) From 1931 through 1939, the case could be made that he was the second best pitcher in the American League (trailing only the great Lefty Grove).
In terms of relative pitching value, no starting pitcher in Yankees history (to date) has ever put together four seasons as good as Gomez did in 1931, 1934, 1937 and 1938 (combined). Justly, Lefty became a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. Gomez passed away in 1989 just about three months following his 80th birthday.
Whitey Ford is considered the greatest pitcher in Yankees history and few could argue with that selection. Gomez did not pitch as long as Ford – and, therefore, he would have to rank 2nd to Whitey on the all-time great Yankees pitchers leader board. Nonetheless, on a pound-for-pound basis, Gomez was just as good as Ford when he manned the mound for New York.
During the majority of his time with the Yankees, Lefty Gomez wore # 11. There seems to be no reason why the Yankees have not retired this number in honor of Gomez. Lefty is just as deserving as any of the other players whose numbers have been retired by the club.