Cleaning out my locker on my final day at Yankee Stadium was harder than I thought. Not for any emotional reason—although it was definitely a little sad—it’s just that I had never really done it before. Even when we moved from the old Yankee Stadium to the new one before the 2009 season, someone packed everything for us.
So about a week after the season was over I took one last trip to the clubhouse, and spent a long time staring at everything in and around my locker. I wasn’t sure where to start or what to do. I gave a bunch of stuff to the clubhouse guys and then just started throwing things out. Someone finally moved the garbage can closer to me so I didn’t have to keep walking over to it.
There were a few special items I knew I wanted to take home: The two bats I used for my last hits in Yankee Stadium and last hit at Fenway Park, the bases the Red Sox gave me from my final game. There were other items, too. But more than any one thing, I know what I’ll miss most of all is the people. So after spending way too long trying to figure out what to take, I just decided to box it all up and ship it to my house in Tampa. I wanted to spend my last afternoon hanging out with the clubhouse guys.
Girardi asked me if I was going to take up skiing. I joked maybe snowmobiling, which he tells me is way more dangerous.
I didn’t know where to start or even what to do with all of my equipment and the gifts I got this year. I haven’t had to pack up a locker since the minor leagues, which was obviously a long time ago.
The Red Sox gave me two bases from my last game up in Boston.
Nike sent me well over a hundred pairs of shoes for the year because they were all built specifically for my ankle. There were still a lot left that I didn’t wear.
I accumulated a lot of extras.
I gave away shoes and some other things to the clubhouse staffers who have taken good care of me over the years.
The guys helped me load up my car one last time.
I’m going to miss our trainer Steve Donohue. Stevie helped keep me on the field through out the years.
This was the point I finally just told Robbie (Yankees Equipment Manager Rob Cucuzza) to box it all up and ship it to my house in Tampa. Some day, I’ll go through it all there.