To those of my readers who are not avid sports fans, Hawkins started a huge controversy in the NY area when he decided to wear #21 to honor Roberto Clemente. #21 belonged to legendary Paul O’Neill, the beloved Yankees right-fielder who retired in 2001. Seven years later, #21 has not been retired but has also not been worn.
When Hawkins first ran out onto the field this season with #21 on his back, fans were horrified and appalled. They booed and chanted Paul O’Neill, as a subtle reminder to Hawkins that he’s playing in
After a lot of negative press and surely, a lot of pressure, Hawkins switched his number last night to #22. Donning Roger Clemen’s old number (who misses him anyway?), the switch served him well: he pitched two scoreless innings and earned the win against the Red Sox. And that’s exactly how Paulie would have wanted it.