Yankees Legend Willie Randolph Turns 62


Yankees legend Willie Randolph, who played 13 years in pinstripes from 1977-1988, celebrates his 62nd birthday on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

Willie Randolph ranks at the top of the Yankees list of consummate professionals and was as dependable as any player to wear the pinstripes. Wednesday is a major milestone for Randolph as he celebrates his 62nd birthday. He has seen his ups and downs in baseball but remains one of the most well-respected living ambassadors of the game.

In his playing days, Randolph was a smooth fielding second baseman who had a knack for coming up with the big hit. That earned him six All-Star selections and two world series championships. It also earned him the honor of serving as the Yankees Co-Captain from 1986 through 1988. His 1980 Silver Slugger Award only told part of the story of his value. That was revealed in his .340 batting average that year with men in scoring position.

More from Yankees News

Unfortunately, his post-playing days never gave him the opportunity to fulfill his potential. He served as a coach for the Yankees for 11 years. He then managed the Mets to their first winning season in four years.

In 2006 he brought the Mets to within one game of winning the National League pennant and taking them to the World Series. That made him the first Major League manager to improve his team’s record by 12 games during both of his first two years.

But in 2007 the Mets blew a seven-game division lead with 17 games to play. So when the team struggled at the beginning of the 2008 season, they let him go. He later served as a bench coach for the Brewers and the Orioles.

Through it all, the Yankees never forgot Randolph’s loyalty and contribution. In 2015 he was honored with a plaque in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park. Despite all of the ups and downs, he has handled everything with the class of a consummate professional.

“I still want to manage, but if that’s starting to wane away, I want to get my hands on what’s going on in the city,” the Brooklyn native said, according to Anthony McCarron of The Daily News. “There’s so much talent here, man. I’ve been in baseball all my life and I haven’t really been able to get back into that. Teach. Mentor. It’s always been a dream of mine to have a Willie Randolph Little League one day. I want to give back.”

Next: Yankees Midseason Report Card: Starting Rotation

Yankees fans should take a moment today to remember one of the all-time greats today as he celebrates his big day. Happy Birthday, Willie!