NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rich “Goose” Gossage was honored by the New York Yankees on Old Timers’ Day Sunday with a plaque to be placed in Monument Park.
Joined on the field by his family during the ceremony at Yankee Stadium, Gossage said it was the greatest day he’s ever had.
“I played for nine different teams, and putting on the pinstripes was like the closest thing to an out-of-body experience I’ve ever had,” Gossage said.
“Outside of the day my kids were born and going into Cooperstown, it doesn’t get any better than this. It’s awesome,” he added later. “Just an amazing day. I can’t even put into words what it means.”
PHOTOS: Yankees Old Timers’ Day
The Hall of Fame reliever with the bushy mustache and blazing fastball pitched for the Yankees from 1978-83, helping them to a World Series title during his first season in pinstripes. He returned for 11 games in 1989.
Back in his era, closers routinely pitched multiple innings — and Gossage was no different. He went 42-28 with a 2.14 ERA and 151 saves for the Yankees, putting him third on the club’s career list behind Mariano Rivera (652) and Dave Righetti (224).
The tribute to Gossage came one day after the Yankees presented Tino Martinez with a Monument Park plaque in a similar celebration.
The event marked the first Old Timers’ Day attended by Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui.
“I can’t tell you what it means to me and my family,” said Gossage, recalling that Old-Timers’ Day was always his favorite day of the year during his Yankees tenure. “I don’t even really know what to say. It’s totally overwhelming to me.”
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