Past Yankees gather for 67th Old-Timers' Day

Past Yankees gather for 67th Old-Timers' Day

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RICK FREEMAN, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Orlando Hernandez and his high socks made it back to Yankee Stadium.

There he was on the mound, across the street from where he helped the New York Yankees win three straight World Series titles from 1998-2000.

"I feel great. It's a big day for me after a lot of years," El Duque said. "I come back today after maybe three or four years. I'm happy. I'm happy. I'm excited, you know?"

He was introduced to a warm welcome at his first Old-Timers' Day on Sunday in the Bronx. For the Yankees, it was the 67th time they've welcomed back their former players.

"This is the one place that can still pull this off, because of the tradition and because of the fans," Paul O'Neill said. "The history of baseball seems to be here."

Many members of the most recent multi-championship run were there. O'Neill, now a TV broadcaster for the YES Network, tweeted a photo of his position from the outfield. That was after David Wells clowned for the crowd by throwing a pitch well behind O'Neill's head.

On a warm day in the Bronx, former Yankees of every stripe were all introduced. They came out to applause and took their spots on the first and third base lines.

From Brian Dorsett, who made 60 plate appearances for New York in 1989 and 1990, to former outfielder and manager Lou Piniella, they came out, waved and soaked up the love, like at a particularly athletic family reunion.

Then, with everyone standing on the lines, white pinstriped uniforms gleaming in the sun, out came Yogi.

Berra, who is 88 now, was wearing a uniform that looked the same as it did back in his playing days, down to the No. 8 on the back and a Yankees cap. As he was driven onto the field in a golf cart festooned with tiny American flags, the cheers for him grew louder and louder until the cart containing the former Yankees catcher stopped behind home plate.

Hernandez, who played for the Yankees from 1998-2004, was making his first appearance at Old-Timers' Day. He got into the spirit of things by playing shortstop in the fifth inning of the Old-Timers' game.

When he pitched in the second inning, he faced Jesse Barfield, Steve Balboni, Charlie Hayes and Brian Doyle.

Then he yielded to Jeff Nelson. Just like the old days.

"It's good to come back to great memories in the past," Hernandez said. "A lot of the teammates in the clubhouse today."

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