When I saw this list, I did a double-take. It’s most games played for the Yankees for the period 1981 through 2005:
1 Bernie Williams 1945
2 Don Mattingly 1785
3 Derek Jeter 1525
4 Paul O’Neill 1254
5 Dave Winfield 1172
6 Jorge Posada 1145
7 Tino Martinez 1054
8 Willie Randolph 997
9 Mike Pagliarulo 703
10 Randy Velarde 673
Yes, prior to this season, in the last quarter-century, only 9 men played more games for the New York Yankees than Randy Velarde.
But, then I remembered something that I wrote 14 months ago -
Randy Velarde appeared in twenty more games as a member of the New York Yankees than Reggie Jackson did as a Yankee.
Velarde was in New York for a while, eh? Maybe they should write a song about Randy? How about…..
Velarde, oh, oh!
Cantare, oh, oh, oh, oh!
OK, so, it’s been done before. Still, how many Yankees fans think of Randy Velarde in terms of being a Yankees icon?
Before seeing this list today, when I thought of Velarde, I would think of one of five things:
1. He had Rickey-Henderson-like low body fat.
2. His wife (once) referred to him, over the air on a Yankees broadcast (one day) while she was in the booth, as “My sweetie.” (If I recall correctly, they showed him on the screen and she said “There’s my sweetie” in a Texas accent.)
3. He fielded the grounder that was the last out in Jim Abbott’s no-hitter.
4. After leaving the Yankees, he turned an unassisted triple-play against them.
5. He got busted in the BALCO scandal.
I guess now I should think “Modern day Yankees staple” when I think of Velarde. The numbers back it up.