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On this date in Yankees history: Pettitte Part III

BRONX, N.Y. — When Andy Pettitte left for Houston after the 2003 season, I was heartbroken. After Pettitte retired following an All-Star campaign in 2010, I was shocked. So, when Pettitte returned for a third tour in 2012, I, like everyone else, was pleasantly surprised.

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It was on this date, March 16, 2012, when everyone was watching a mundane spring training game that the YES Network’s Jack Curry made the announcement. Pettitte was coming back to the New York Yankees starting rotation.

The deal was a one-year, minor-league pact worth $2.5 million and the southpaw was back in pinstripes.

I was happily able to watch Pettitte pitch that season against the Toronto Blue Jays. A season shortened by a broken ankle, in which Pettitte pitched to a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts.

The 40-year-old Pettitte would also make a pair of solid postseason starts, first against the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS and then the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS.

Pettitte would return for one more season in 2013, before retiring for a final time.