Pettitte to retire at the end of the season18th season will be the last for one of game's greatest left-handers
Statement from Andy Pettitte:
"I'm announcing my retirement prior to the conclusion of our season because I want all of our fans to know now-while I'm still wearing this uniform-how grateful I am for their support throughout my career. I want to have the opportunity to tip my cap to them during these remaining days and thank them for making my time here with the Yankees so special.
"I've reached the point where I know that I've left everything I have out there on that field. The time is right. I've exhausted myself, mentally and physically, and that's exactly how I want to leave this game.
"One of the things I struggled with in making this announcement now was doing anything to take away from Mariano's day on Sunday. It is his day. He means so much to me, and has meant so much to my career that I would just hate to somehow take the attention away from him."
Pettitte, 41, owns a 255-152 (.627) career record with a 3.86 ERA (3,300.0IP, 1415ER) in 529 appearances (519 starts) over 18 Major League seasons with the Yankees (1995-2003, '07-10 and '12-13) and Houston Astros (2004-06). At 103 games over .500 in his career, is the only active pitcher-and one of just 26 pitchers in Baseball history-to post a record of 100-or-more games over .500. Of the 25 other pitchers to accomplish the feat, 18 have been enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Originally selected by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, Pettitte has played 15 seasons with the club, going 218-126 with a 3.95 ERA (2,780.1IP, 1,220ER) and 2,009 strikeouts in 445 games (436 starts). He is the franchise leader in strikeouts and is on pace to finish his career tied with Whitey Ford (438) for the most starts in Yankees history. He trails only Ford (236 wins, 3,171.0IP) and Red Ruffing (231 wins, 3,168.0IP) in wins and innings pitched as a Yankee and ranks fifth in franchise history in appearances. He appeared in eight career World Series (seven as a Yankee), winning championships with the Yankees in 1996, '98, '99, 2000 and '09.
Pettitte is the all-time winningest pitcher in postseason history, going 19-11 with a 3.81 ERA (276.2IP, 117ER) in 44 career starts. He also ranks first all time in postseason starts and innings pitched, and is second with 183 strikeouts. His personal career postseason win total is more than that of eight other franchises (Kansas City-18; Arizona-17, Seattle-15, Milwaukee-14, San Diego-12, Tampa Bay-11, Colorado-9 and Montreal/Washington-7). As a Yankee in the postseason, he has gone 18-10 with a 3.76 ERA (251.1IP, 105ER) in 40 career starts. While winning his final World Series with the Yankees in 2009, he became the first pitcher in Baseball history to start and win the clinching game of all three series in a single postseason (ALDS vs. Minnesota, ALCS vs. Los Angeles-AL and WS vs. Philadelphia).
This season, Pettitte has gone 10-10 with 3.93 ERA (169.1IP, 74ER) in 28 starts. On September 6 vs. Boston, he struck out David Ross swinging to become the first Yankee in franchise history to reach 2,000 strikeouts with the club. With his 10 wins in 2013, he has now earned at least 10 victories in 14 different seasons for the Yankees, surpassing Ford (13) to set a new franchise record (credit: Elias).
Pettitte will finish his career as one of 12 players to spend at least 15 seasons with the Yankees. He joins teammates Derek Jeter (19 seasons with the Yankees) and Mariano Rivera (also 19), Todd Helton (17 seasons with Colorado) and Paul Konerko (15 seasons with Chicago-AL) as the only active players to have spent at least 15 seasons with their current team. Pettitte has earned the win in a game in which Rivera also earned a save 72 times in his career, marking the highest win-save combination for any pair of pitchers since saves became an official statistic in 1969 (credit: Elias).
A Louisiana native and Texas resident, Pettitte also pitched three seasons with the Houston Astros from 2004-06, going 37-26 with a 3.38 ERA (519.2 IP, 195 ER) in 84 games (83 starts) and appearing in the 2005 World Series vs. Chicago-AL.
Pettitte, a three-time All-Star (1996, 2001, '10) and 2001 ALCS MVP, holds the distinction of being the only pitcher in Major League history to pitch at least 17 Major League seasons (1995-2010, '12) without ever finishing with a losing season. He also posted a winning record in each of the first 13 seasons of his career (1995-2007), marking the third-longest such streak to begin a career all time, trailing only Hall of Famers Grover Cleveland Alexander (17) and Cy Young (15).
Pettitte will be available to the media in the Yankee Stadium press conference room at 3:30 p.m. prior to tonight's game vs. the San Francisco Giants.