September 29, 2022

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New York Yankees former player Paul O’Neill fist bumps owner Hal Steinbrenner during a ceremony to retire his number before the game between the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium August 21, 2022, in New York.

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New York Yankees Chairman Hal Steinbrenner and General Manager Brian Cashman faced fan anger at Yankee Stadium as the organization retired Paul O’Neill’s number on Sunday.

The Yankees entered the final of a four-game series against Toronto Blue Jays They’re looking to win their 10th game in the last 30. With Steinbrenner and Cashman on the field for the party, both executives faced notable boos.

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Retired New York Yankees player Paul O’Neill speaks to fans during a retirement party prior to a baseball game between the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, Sunday, August 21, 2022, in New York.
(AP Photo/Corey Sibkin)

New York was August 4-14 before beating the Blue Jays to avoid the sweep, but the message from Yankees fans to the VIPs was sent loud and clear.

The 40-minute party saw some of his former teammates enter the field. Among those present were Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez and Andy Petit. New York Post. O’Neal has not been allowed to interact with any of the current Yankees players because he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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He hit .303 with 185 home runs and 858 RBI with the Yankees from 1993 to 2001. He was a four-time All-Star and won four World Series titles. His number 21 will now live in Monument Park.

“That’s why I celebrate this day,” he said, “because this is the biggest dream I’ve ever had.”

O’Neill has called games on Yes Network from his home in Ohio since the pandemic affected season in 2020. When asked by NJ.com about his vaccination status, he said he “would prefer not to discuss it.”

Retired New York Yankees player Paul O'Neill stands next to his number at Memorial Park during a retirement party before a baseball game between the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, Sunday, August 21, 2022, in New York.

Retired New York Yankees player Paul O’Neill stands next to his number at Memorial Park during a retirement party before a baseball game between the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, Sunday, August 21, 2022, in New York.
(AP Photo/Corey Sibkin)

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Only Latroy Hawkins has worn the number 21 for the Yankees since O’Neill’s retirement. Hawkins wore it on points in 2008 before changing it out shortly after the season started.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.