Technically, Crystal still is under contract to the Yankees. He signed a standard minor league deal Wednesday that commissioner Bud Selig approved; as long as the Yankees officially release him before opening day, they don’t owe him any money.
No chance of comeback, Crystal said.
“Not the way my hamstring feels,” he said.
Crystal walked away with a lifetime of “mahvelous” memories.
Manager Joe Girardi gave him a signed lineup card, a clubhouse attendant presented a DVD of his at-bat and Crystal kept his pinstriped uniform. He also exited with his socks and shoelaces cut, the culprits being his teammates-for-a-day.
Crystal brought his own black maple bat and a glove that had his name stitched on the side. While the former high school infielder did not need his mitt in the game, his family and friends did: a foul popup by Rodriguez landed a few feet from Crystal’s wife and Williams.
Asked whether he’d like a turn as a ballplayer, Williams shook his head.
“No. It’ll be a telethon,” he said.
Crystal got this opportunity after a chance meeting with Jeter in Costa Rica over the holidays. Crystal said he wasn’t too happy about turning 60, and the Yankees captain wondered what would make him happy.
Just like that, Crystal was headed to the majors.
Crystal did his best to fit in. He kept his comedy routines to a minimum in the clubhouse, signed his share of autographs — including one for Maholm — and honored the ballplayers’ code by compensating infielder Cody Ransom for taking the minor leaguer’s No. 60.
“He upheld his end of the bargain,” Ransom said.
Neither said what was exchanged, but there was a fancy wrapped Sony bag in Ransom’s locker.
Crystal said he was more nervous than he could remember walking to the plate. Before the game, he tried to act calm. The way he chomped nonstop on his bubblegum gave him away.
“I’m really relaxed, I really am,” Crystal said an hour before it started. “That’s until I see the 6-foot-2, 230-pound guy who’s going to throw who’s never been to a Seder.”
HBT: Controversial umpire Angel Hernandez blew another call that nearly cost the White Sox a win on Friday, earning the ire of manager Robin Ventura.
Add another near miss in this 2013 baseball season - this time it was Detroit's Anibal Sanchez falling just short of a no-hitter.
Billy Crystal strikes out
March 14: The comedian, actor and Oscar presenter strikes out in his new career as a baseball player. NBC's Kristen Dahlgren reports.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Taking a look at some of the greatest catchers off all time.