Andy Pettitte’s retirement breaks a major link in the chain of recent Yankee greatness, especially with the Core Four — a group which won a total of five World Series and seven American League pennants starting in 1996. With Mariano Rivera also exiting this year, and Jorge Posada retiring following the 2011 season, only Derek Jeter remains — and the future of the soon-to-be 40-year-old shortstop is certainly uncertain.
Here are 10 things you should know about Andrew Eugene Pettitte.
1. Pettitte owns a 255-152 career record, good for a .627 career percentage.
2. He is one of just 26 pitchers in baseball history to post a career mark of 100+ games over .500, and the only one still active.
3. Of the previous 25 pitchers to accomplish the feat, 18 are in the Hall of Fame.
4. Pettitte is third all-time on the Yankee win list. His 218 victories trail only Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Red Ruffing. He’s also first in strikeouts (2009), second in starts and third in innings pitched.
5. He left the Yankees following the 2003 season to sign a free agent contract with Houston and helped lead the Astros to their only World Series in 2005.
6. With a 20-11 career mark against Boston, Yankee fans will always wonder whether having Pettitte on the mound might have stemmed the tide of Boston’s record comeback from three games down in the 2004 ALCS.
7. Pettitte compiled a 90-39 record against the Yankees AL East rivals (20-11 vs. Boston, 28-6 vs. Baltimore, 17-8 vs. Tampa Bay and 25-14 vs. Toronto). That’s a .698 winning percentage.
8. His 19 post-season wins are the most in baseball history. Atlanta’s John Smoltz is next on the list with 15. Whitey Ford has the most World Series wins with 10.
9. Perhaps Pettitte’s most memorable win was a 1-0 shutout over Smoltz in the fifth game of the 1996 World Series.
10. Pettitte retired once previously, after the 2007 season. He returned in 2009, and was the winning pitcher in Game Six as the Yankees beat Philadelphia to win their 27th World Championship.