Yankees Wearing Black Armband to Honor Former Ace

Why are the New York Yankees wearing Black Armbands

Getty Troy Tulowitzki of the New York Yankees high-fives third base coach Phil Nevin, both can be seen wearing black armbands.

Heading into the 2019 season, the Yankees decided to wear a black armband on their uniform to honor former ace turned pitching coach, Mel Stottlemyre. Stottlemyre passed away in January of 2019 after a battle with Bone Marrow Cancer at 77 years old.


Why Are Yankees Wearing A Black Armband?

Mel Stottlemyre wasn’t just any former Yankee and put in long tenures as both a player and a coach. During his 11-year playing career, from 1964-1974, he spent all 11 with the Yankees. Stottlemyre posted an astounding career ERA of 2.97 but never was able to lead the Yankees to a World Series as his career coincided with a 15-year championship drought for the Bombers.

Stottlemyre would rejoin the Yankees in 1996 as the Pitching Coach and would go on to win four World Series rings in the Bronx as a coach. Stottlemyre stepped down in 2005 after the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs in the ALDS. Stottlemyre’s time coaching in New York would coincide with one of the most dominant championship runs that baseball has ever seen, with the Yankees winning in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000. Stottlemyre and the Yankees would also reach the World Series in 2001 and 2003 where they would fall short to the Diamondbacks and Marlins.


The Yankees surprise Mel Stottlemyre with a plaqueThe Yankees surprise Mel Stottlemyre with a plaque. Subscribe for daily sports videos! Subscribe for daily videos on YES Network: yesnet.me/10FUHE2 Follow YES Network on Twitter: yesnet.me/1dtTy7q Follow YES Network on Instagram: yesnet.me/PGQWNm Join YES Network on Tumblr: yesnet.tumblr.com/2015-06-21T01:39:45.000Z

In addition to honoring Stottlemyre with the armband, the Yankees also enshrined him in monument park in 2015. Heading into opening day, Yankees manager Aaron Boone told the New York Post when for his thoughts on the armband:

“I think it’s awesome. Just being in the clubhouse this morning at breakfast, we kind of had his accomplishments up on our board, so the guys were talking about it and looking at all his complete games and everyone’s like, ‘Woah.’”


Mel Stottlemyre Yankees Career

On top of simply having a stellar career ERA, Stottlemyre was a five-time All-Star in pinstripes and most known for being a workhorse during his prime. One of his most impressive feats is throwing 44 complete game shutouts over the course of his career, tying him all-time with Sandy Koufax. Stottlemyre would throw a total of 152 complete games in his career which spanned 303 starts, meaning he finished over half the games he started.

After throwing for over 250 innings in nine straight seasons, Stottlemyre suffered a torn rotator cuff and was cut from the club roster during spring training in 1975. Stottlemyre would go on to retire following being released and would get into coaching shortly after.


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