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.”
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 behind O’Neill’s head.
Former Yankees of every stripe were 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.
Then, with everyone standing on the lines, white pinstriped uniforms gleaming in the sun, out came Yogi Berra.
Berra, who is 88, 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.
Around the bases
The Texas Rangers placed outfielder Craig Gentry (left hand fracture) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled outfielder Engel Beltre from Triple-A Round Rock. … Toronto General Manager Alex Anthopoulos told MLB Network Radio that shortstop Jose Reyes (left ankle) will play one more rehab game at Triple-A Buffalo today, then will likely join Double-A New Hampshire. … The Kansas City Royals claimed right-handed pitcher Maikel Cleto off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals and assigned him to Triple-A Omaha. They designated outfielder Quintin Berry for assignment.