The Yankees’ latest Anthony Volpe move speaks volumes.
The rookie shortstop will wear No. 11, according to YES Network’s Jack Curry. Volpe is the first player to wear the number since Brett Gardner. So that door is finally closed for good; the beloved veteran outfielder’s career in pinstripes is over. But more importantly, this is an unmistakable sign the Bombers believe the New Jersey native is their next great homegrown star.
Volpe’s No. 11 is the lowest number still in circulation for the Yankees. And it is nine up from Derek Jeter, his idol growing up, and one away from Phil Rizzuto. The team knows exactly what it is doing. And signaling. And planning for 20-something years down the road in Monument Park.
Volpe wore No. 7 last year in the minor leagues and No. 77 during spring training as an homage to Mickey Mantle, his grandfather’s favorite player (insert Clint Frazier joke here). There was some thought he keep No. 77 in the big leagues for that sentimental reason. And because it would give him some synergy with Aaron Judge, No. 99, as they prepare for at least nine years together. But No. 11 always made the most sense in the grand scheme of the Yankees’ glorious history.
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Volpe and the Yankees will take on the Giants on Thursday on Opening Day.
“Incredible,” the Delbarton product told reporters in Tampa on Sunday shortly after learning he has made the roster. “I’m just so excited.”
Volpe learned about his promotion in a hectic way, though.
“This is a difficult conversation to have to have, because you came in and played your ass off … but at the end of the day, you’ve got 20-something games at Triple-A and there’s always room for development,” manager Aaron Boone started out saying in a video released by the team.
Things then quickly got better.
“But at the end, I think that development should happen in the big leagues. Welcome to New York,” Boone said as he, general manager Brian Cashman and other staffers off camera congratulated Volpe.
“My heart is beating,” Volpe said in the video.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.