Andy Pettitte has spent 14 seasons of his 17-year pitching career with the New York Yankees. The left-handed Texan stands at 6 feet 5 inches and has a calm yet determined demeanor. With over 240 wins to his credit, he ranks third all-time in the Yankees' record book.
Taking a look back, here are arguably his top five crowning wins:
1. 2001 ALCS MVP
In 2001, the Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners in five games to move on to the World Series. In the American League Championship Series, Pettitte won two of those five games, earning him the ALCS MVP. In his 17-year career, this was Pettitte's only MVP crown. However, winning Game 5 of the ALCS proved as one of Pettitte's career highlight games.
2. Game 5 1996 World Series
After a downright nasty loss to the Atalanta Braves in Game 1 of the 1996 World Series, Pettitte came back for Game 5 to prove his worth. Picking up that victory to a tune of 1-0 score, the win boosted the Yankees to a Game 6 World Series clincher. Being Pettitte's first of eight World Series appearances, this ranks high for the nostalgia factor.
3. Closing Shop at Old Yankee's Stadium
There was nothing overly special about this game, except the fact it was the last game at Yankee Stadium, formerly known as "The House That Ruth Built." Not only did the Yankees win with Pettitte on the mound, but they also closed the house by beating the Boston Red Sox.
4. What have you done for me lately?
On September 19, 2012, at the age of 40, Andy Pettitte returned from a broken ankle to claim his 244th victory. After being sidelined since June of 2012, Pettitte pitched a solid game and beat the Blue Jays 4-2. Pitching five solid innings, Pettitte proved he was back on track to finish out the 2012 season.
5. There's a first time for everything
The 1995 season was Pettitte's rookie season with the Yankees. Breaking into the big leagues, there are a few things players look forward to most. For a batter, it is most likely getting his first base hit. As for pitchers, maybe their first strikeout. I believe a pitcher looks forward to his first win. Pettitte had to wait until his third start of the season to achieve his first win. On June 7, 1995 Pettitte pitched a seven-inning gem against the Oakland Athletics. Giving up only one run off four hits and punching out three batters, he claimed his very first MLB career win.
I'm a star!
Pettitte made the All-Star game three times in his career (1996, 2001, 2010). In 2001, he pitched one inning, giving up one hit and striking out one batter. However, in 2010, his statistics looked very similar to his first All-Star appearance, except doubling his strikeout totals. Even though he didn't win either game, making three All-Star games deserves a mention in Pettitte's list of feats.
More from this contributor:
Brad Miller has followed Andy Pettitte's career starting with his first nine seasons in New York, through his three-year stint in Houston and up to the current season in 2012.