📌 Join the BPCrew Chapter in your city and meet up with more Yankees fans! 👉 CLICK HERE

March 13, 2008 – Yankees Sign Comedian Billy Crystal

On this day in 2008, in honor of his 60th birthday, the Yankees signed comedian and lifetime Yankee fan Billy Crystal to a 1-day contract to fulfill a dream of wearing the pinstripes. After the contract was approved by Commissioner Bud Selig, Yankees COO Lonn Trost made the announcement,

The Yankees are excited to welcome the newest member of our team, known for his humor and wit, as well as his undying love for the Yankees. The Yankees are very grateful to the Commissioner’s Office for allowing us to extend this special invitation to Mr. Crystal.

The newly hired skipper of the Bronx Bombers, Joe Girardi, also shared his approval of the signing. From an MLB.com article about the signing, “It’s kind of exciting,” Girardi said. “Billy Crystal has done a lot for this organization. He’s always been a big part of it. Its ownership’s and our way of rewarding him and saying, ‘Thanks for everything that you’ve done.'”

At Legends Field on a sunny and warm Wednesday afternoon, Crystal would get to rub shoulders with Reggie Jackson and Derek Jeter around the batting cage before the game where he noted that he felt like he was really a part of the team… even if it was just for day. Billy Crystal’s lone at-bat would come in the lead-off spot in the bottom of the first inning against Paul Maholm.

He’d take the first pitch for ball, before fouling off the second pitch down the first base line to bring the count to 1-1. The 3rd and 4th pitches were a bit out of the zone to make the count 3-1. After a swing and a miss, Crystal brought the count to full, 3-2. On the 6th pitch of the at-bat, Crystal would go down swinging for the first out of the inning. As he walked back to the bench, he gave a wave to the crowd before heading into the dugout.

Personally, I was fortunate to be at this game in 2008 during my 1st trip ever to Tampa. When I bought the tickets, I had no idea what I would see. It turned out to be quite an experience. Billy Crystal’s passion for the Yankees is what made this day so special. If you haven’t seen “61*” yet, I highly recommend you add that to your list of movies to watch this baseball season. You won’t be disappointed.

Billy Crystal discusses the at-bat with Michael Kay on CenterStage

Buy 61* on Blu-Ray/DVD