TAMPA, Fla. — The Yankees are ready to add a touch of Hollywood to their roster, announcing their plans to sign actor and comedian Billy Crystal to a one-day contract during Spring Training.
Crystal will sign the contract on Wednesday and work out with the Yankees at Legends Field before playing in the club’s game on Thursday against the Pirates in Tampa. Commissioner Bud Selig approved the Yankees’ extension of a contract to Crystal.
“I’ve been waiting 50 years for this call,” Crystal said. “I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of the Yankees and Commissioner Selig. I know this’ll be tougher than the Broadway Softball League, but I’m looking forward to helping the younger players — by the way, which is all of them.”
Crystal, who will turn 60 on March 14, will wear uniform No. 60 in the game.
“The Yankees are excited to welcome the newest member of our team known for his humor and wit as well as his undying love for the Yankees,” said Yankees COO Lonn Trost. “The Yankees are very grateful to the Commissioner’s Office for allowing us to extend this special invitation to Mr. Crystal.”
A lifelong Yankees fan, the star of movies, television and Broadway has been a regular presence in the Bronx over the years. In 2001, Crystal directed and produced the film 61*, which chronicled the historic seasons of Yankees greats Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle as they sought to break Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record. The film garnered 12 Emmy nominations, including nods for “Best Director” and “Best Made for Television Movie” and also earned Crystal a prestigious Director’s Guild nomination.
Crystal has often said in interviews that he has carried one of Mantle’s baseball cards in his wallet for his entire life. Crystal has starred in movies such as Running Scared, Throw Momma from the Train, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, Mr. Saturday Night, Forget Paris, Hamlet, Deconstructing Harry, Analyze This, Monster’s Inc. and America’s Sweethearts.
Wow. I know its an exibition game and all…but do we really need this?
Off topic I find it really funny that Girardi and the Yankees are complaining about that collision at home plate. Why is it OK to block the plate in an exhibition game but not to knock over the catcher?