New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole finally found a way to take home his first Cy Young award, and the MLB voters were not the only ones to recognize the American League’s best pitcher for his outstanding play in the 2023 season.
Several of Cole’s teammates, as well as Yankees greats, sent out congratulatory videos acknowledging the hard work he put into being dominant on the field which made him deserving of such honors. MLB.com shared the montage earlier today.
Aaron Boone Thrilled to Have Coached Cole in Historic Season
Yankees head coach Aaron Boone showered Cole with applause for being their ace in an otherwise down season which saw them miss the playoffs. Boone said this regarding his appreciation for Cole’s dominance, work ethic, and leadership on and off the mound:
“I think it’s a punctuation on what’s been a remarkable career up to this point. I know you’re only about halfway through. And I how much pitching means to you. I know how much baseball means to you. I know how much your team and your teammates mean to you. And to see you pour into all of that each and every day has been a privilege of mine. It’s an honor and a privilege to be your manager.”
Boone coached Cole to the 2,000 career strikeouts milestone. Cole’s 2,152 K’s moved him to 72nd all-time and No. 7 among all active pitchers. His work ethic showed across the 2023 pitching leaderboards, as no pitcher could measure up to his production. Boone also mentioned his enthusiasm to see Cole do it all again in 2024.
Kyle Higashioka Reflects on Working in Tandem With Cole as His Primary Catcher
Kyle Higashioka caught for Cole in almost a quarter of the Cy Young winner’s starts and had a front-row seat to Cole’s 27 percent strikeout percentage (73rd percentile) and blistering 96.7 mph fastball (90th percentile). More impressive to Higashioka was Cole being the consummate teammate. He said this to Cole:
“Garrett, congrats on the Cy Young dude. It’s been a long time coming. It’s always an honor to catch you and go to the field every single day with you, and I think every single one of us appreciates all the work you put in and just leaving it all on the field every five days, and also the example you set to the younger players about being a good professional and a great teammate. You know, to us that’s worth more than anything.”
- Yankees’ Brian Cashman Drops Trade Hints: ‘Very few untouchables’
- Yankees’ Boone provides great Anthony Rizzo injury update
- Padres ‘insisting’ Yankees take on struggling outfielder as part of blockbuster package
Game Recognizes Game for Former Yankees Champ Andy Pettite
Pettite knows what it’s like to pitch at an elite level in the MLB. Though he never took home a Cy Young of his own, his championship-caliber eye for the game recognized Cole’s dominance. He had this to say to Cole:
“No doubt about it. We knew, at least I knew, the way you were throwing the ball, that you were gonna get that thing this year. So, super pumped for you man. It was so fun for me down the stretch there those last couple of months. I had the opportunity to be around and to be able to see you working in action and it was a thrill for me. You’re a true professional in every way.”
Pettite was brought on as a team advisor at the end of July and got to watch Cole throw in bullpen sessions, which blew him away, according to reports. Hearing words of praise from a Yankees legend of Pettite’s stature has to feel all the better for Cole after his win.