NEW YORK -- The Yankees gave their fans a true Father's Day treat before Sunday's series finale against the Rays. They held their 72nd Old-Timers' Day, with dozens of former stars -- large and small -- from the Yankees' constellation taking part.Andy Pettitte, Nick Swisher, Jason Giambi and manager Aaron
NEW YORK -- The Yankees gave their fans a true Father's Day treat before Sunday's series finale against the Rays. They held their 72nd Old-Timers' Day, with dozens of former stars -- large and small -- from the Yankees' constellation taking part.
Andy Pettitte, Nick Swisher, Jason Giambi and manager Aaron Boone were among the first-time participants and each got a rousing ovation when introduced. The biggest ovations, though, went to Don Larsen and Whitey Ford. Larsen, now 88, threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Ford, a Hall of Famer and now 89, is the organization's most decorated pitcher.
All of the players who were in the Old-Timers' Game got to don the pinstripes again, though these were adorned with the symbolic blue ribbon that all the teams wore Sunday as part of Major League Baseball's effort to raise awareness about prostate cancer. Father's Day wraps up the annual Prostate Cancer Foundation Home Run Challenge, which gives fans across the league the opportunity to make a one-time donation for every home run hit by their favorite MLB team from June 1-17. Every dollar donated from the Home Run Challenge goes directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation to aid cancer research.
"I'm a huge fan of the game, and for me it's cool to see some of the guys I grew up watching, admiring," said Boone, who participated in the ceremony but did not play because of his managerial responsibilities. "Then getting to see generations of players too that I had the chance to play with or against. So for me, it's like being like a little kid out there."
"It's a great way to spend Father's Day," Pettitte said after the "Bombers" defeated the "Clippers," 15-3, in a three-inning game. "I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. ... We had this weekend off and we saw the whole family was available and we've got everyone up here. It's Father's Day and I've got all my kids. It's really amazing. I wouldn't have wanted to celebrate it any other way."
Giambi said his three children -- ages 6, 4 and 1 -- were all in attendance, adding, "It's the first time they've seen me play -- except on YouTube."
Swisher got the biggest cheers in the Old-Timers' Game when he took Jeff Nelson into the second deck in right field for a three-run homer. Swisher also had a two-run double. Other highlights included a pair of run-scoring singles by Johnny Damon and a two-run single by Willie Randolph.
"Old-Timers' Day was always one of my favorite days as a Yankee," said Giambi, who played for New York from 2002-08. "To come in early and talk to all the Yankee greats like Whitey -- it was my favorite thing to do when I played here."
Roger Rubin is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.