Yankees Running Out of Jerseys So Quickly They May Be Forced to Play Shirts vs. Skins

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A fan wearing a Derek Jeter jersey stands outside of Yankee Stadium prior to his last game there on September 25, 2014 the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

By the end of the summer, the New York Yankees will have retired 21 jersey numbers since 1939. Once Derek Jeter retires, they’ll lose another. The fact that a zero has never been worn by a member of the team makes the list of unattainable numbers even longer. A backup shortstop told the New York Times, “They’re going to have to go to triple digits pretty soon. I don’t think they want to have to go to negative numbers.” According to the equipment manager’s color-coded list, the only available numbers are 38, 50, 57, and 69. No other baseball franchise comes close; the St. Louis Cardinals have second place in this weird contest, with 13 decommissioned numbers. Given current conditions — and controlling for factors like the number of times a pun about the Yankees appears in the New York Post, the decibel level of insults hurled by the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on a random evening in September, and the average number of Yankee jerseys being worn at Times Square at 3:21 p.m. — it appears that the Yankees will be able to celebrate its bicentennial by retiring the numbers 1776, -42, and 58008.