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Give Wally Whitehurst His ’96 World Series Ring

By Mike Silva ~ September 19th, 2011. Filed under: New York Yankees.

Courtesy of our buddy Bob’s Blitz

Wally Whitehurst spent 7 seasons pitching in the big leagues with the Mets, Padres, and Yankees. This past season he was the pitching coach for the Altoona Curve, the Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Whitehurst made 2 starts for the Yankees in1996, finishing 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA. News 12 New Jersey caught up with the former righty in July when Altoona was in Trenton to play the Thunder. Ironically, Derek Jeter was rehabbing for the Trenton that weekend. During an interview, Whitehurst revealed that he never received a championship ring from that ’96 season. He was awarded a small World Series share by his teammates, but the only hardware Whitehurst received in 1996 was a ring for winning the International League title in Columbus.

Does he feel slighted? “Yes, absolutely.”  Whitehurst said. “I think it’s a shame. It’s disgusting that I did not get a ring. Anybody that was in the big leagues that season, no doubt, you play this game long enough; you’re in it long enough; that’s the one thing that you could hope to ever get as a player. Money means nothing; the ring means everything and I did not receive one.”

Personally, I agree with Whitehurst that everyone who spent time on the roster should receive a ring. The Mets had a similar scenario back in the 80s when members of the ’86 team did not receive a championship ring. Barry Lyons, Randy Myers, Dave Magadan, and Terry Leach did not make the cutoff according to the Mets and, therefore, didn’t receive rings. Myers, although receiving a World Series share, fought for the group receiving rings and finally got his wish nine years later in 1995. Of course, it took pressure on the organization to make things right. Ironically, Ed Lynch, who only pitched one inning that season, was awarded the ring for his service time with the Mets.

I find this story surprising since the Yankees tend to do the right thing when it comes to the players and championship rings. Last season, Brian Cashman made an unexpected visit to Citi Field to award Xavier Nady his 2009 championship ring. Nady had a mere 28 at-bats for the Yanks that season.

Hey, it took Myers and company nearly a decade to receive their ’86 ring. Why not get one for Whitehurst 15 years later?

I happened to be in Trenton that weekend. In case you are interested, I shared my experience covering The Captain, which you can read here.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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4 Responses to Give Wally Whitehurst His ’96 World Series Ring

  1. Chuck Johnson

    It’s certainly understandable why Whitehurst doesn’t have a ring and it took so long for some other guys to receive theirs.

    The Mets spent MILLIONS paying off the District Attorney’s office to keep half the roster out of jail.

  2. Chuck Johnson

    Holy snap, wrong team.

    My bad.

    Carry on.

  3. LongtimeFan

    Way to show your true colors, Johnson. The egg’s on your face, the intent to bash under false pretexts, is clear, and no retraction, changes that.

  4. LongtimeFan

    And Silva, you made a mistake in your last paragraph writing: “in case you are interesting,” rather than “in case you are interested.”

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