As a diehard Yankee fan, even I can admit the franchise goes a little overboard with honoring players that once donned the pinstripes. Monument Park is letting anybody in these days, and Old-Timers' Day isn't exactly reserved for Hall-of-Famers. This is also a club that hired a manager based off one clutch homer he hit on a meatball pitch 14 years earlier (it seems to be working out so far though!).
So it should come as no surprise that Phil Hughes, who pitched for the Yankees from 2007 to 2013, received an Old-Timers' Day invite on Tuesday. Hughes was once a top pitching prospect in the Bronx, but was never able to deliver on the lofty expectations the franchise and the media heaped on him. In his seven seasons as a Yankee, he went 56-50, pitched to a 4.53 ERA and struck out 656 batters. Hardly invite-him-back-to-honor-him-type numbers.
But, Hughes was a part of the 2009 World Series team, though the majority of his work that year came out of the bullpen. He had 96 strikeouts in 86 innings, and the following year he became a starter again. Apparently all this was enough to get the invite, one Hughes was understandably insulted by given his young age. An "Old Timer," he is not:
In retirement, Hughes has become one of the best follows on Twitter. As you can see he still has a pretty good fastball. It's not like Old-Timers' Day has ever been a bunch of geezers running around, but maybe wait until a guy gets into his 40s to send this invite?