The 1998 New York Yankees reunited at Yankee Stadium Saturday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their World Series championship.
Well, most of the 1998 Yankees reunited. There were a few notable absences, including former captain Derek Jeter and former catcher-turned-manager Joe Girardi.
How the Yankees handled those absences may have been the most notable takeaway from the event. A recorded message from Jeter was played to explain his absence, while Girardi was reportedly completely ignored throughout the ceremony.
Here’s a quick recap of the drama.
Derek Jeter has good excuse for missing 1998 Yankees reunion
Many people weren’t buying Jeter’s excuse for missing the Miami Marlins visit to Yankee Stadium earlier this season. This time around, he actually had a valid reason for not being in attendance.
In his minute-long message, Jeter revealed that it wasn’t Miami Marlins business that prevented him from attending. He simply couldn’t miss his daughter’s first birthday.
Bella Raine Jeter was born on Aug. 17 of last year.
We certainly understand and always encourage putting family first. We understand Yankees fans disappointment too though. Jeter was the only member of the Core Four not in attendance as Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte all made appearances.
Joe Girardi was completely ignored during the ceremony
Girardi was the other noticeably absent member of the 1998 team. Girardi, who was a catcher for the Yankees from 1996 through 1999 and a manager for the team from 2008 through 2017, was reportedly invited to the event but apparently declined. The Yankees clearly didn’t appreciate that, so they decided to completely ignore Girardi. He reportedly didn’t receive a single mention during the entire pregame ceremony.
The Yankees did not retain Girardi as manager after falling to the Houston Astros in seven games in the 2017 ALCS. Aaron Boone was named the new manager shortly after. Girardi has been working at MLB Network this season doing in-studio work.
Girardi wasn’t the only one ignored
Apparently the Yankees decided they weren’t going to acknowledged any former player who didn’t attend Saturday’s reunion. Orlando Hernandez, Mike Stanton and Ricky Ledee weren’t mentioned either.
That indicates they weren’t just singling out Girardi. Still, it feels like a petty decision made by the Steinbrenner family, particularly in Girardi’s case.
On the Yankees radio broadcast, Susyn Waldman reportedly said the Yankees invited everyone back for the ceremony. The lone exception being Ricky Ledee. But apparently that’s only because the Yankees couldn’t find him.
That adds another strange layer to a remarkably dramatic reunion in the Bronx.
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