NEW YORK - JULY 17: Former New York Yankee Ron Guidry warms up before the teams 64th Old-Timer's Day before the MLB game against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 17, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
It has been 29 years since the Louisiana Lightning last struck. Ron Guidry officially announced his retirement on this day back in 1989.
After compiling a 170-91 record with a 3.29 ERA, a Cy Young Award and two World Series rings in his 14 year Yankee career, the team told Gator that they didn’t have a place for him in the rotation. Rumors were flying about the move days before, but the announcement wasn’t made until the 12th in a press conference at the stadium.
1978, his Cy Young year, is one of the finest pitching performances in history. He went 25-3 with a 1.74 ERA, had 9 shutouts, 248 strikeouts, and 6.15 hits allowed per 9 innings pitched. He held batters to a .193 batting average, .249 on-base percentage and .279 slugging percentage. He was named to his first of four All Star Games, and struck out a team record 18 batters on June 17.
“The best memory I have is the 1978 season. Not just my pitching but the way we came from behind and won. The manager fought the owner, the owner fought the players and the players fought the manager. But we had a lot of fun and we came out with world championship rings. It was hectic, but it was fun. There were a lot of great games in there, but the whole year itself was something not too many people get to go through.”
Gator returned to the Yanks in 2006 to serve as pitching coach under Joe Torre. However, Torre’s departure after the 2007 season ended his time with the team.
Number 49 was retired on Ron Guidry Day at the stadium on August 23, 2003. He received a plaque in Monument Park that day that describes the former captain as “a dominating pitcher, a respected leader and a true Yankee.”