The “Core Four” is the nickname given to refer to the following four New York Yankee players: Andy Pettite, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera. They all played together in the Minor Leagues and made their New York Yankee debut in the year 1995. Each one of these players was a beloved Yankee, and were a valuable part of the Yankees 90’s dynasty, in which they won four World Series Championships in five years.
These four players played together as a team for 17 consecutive years in a row, which is the longest in any North American professional sport for one specific group of people.
Derek Jeter is the curtain captain of the Yankees, but the only member of the “Core Four” to still be on the team. Both Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera retired from the Yankees after this past 2013 season, and Jorge Posada retired after the 2011 season.
“The Core Four” went through the 1990’s as a Unit going from the Minor Leagues all the way to the Major Leagues together. Initially they started playing together with the Class AAA Columbus Clippers of the International League in 1994.
During their time on the Oneonta Yankees of the Class A- Short Season new York Penn league, Posada who started as an infielders began to catch for his soon to be long time battery-partner Andy Pettite. One interesting story from their time on the minor leagues as a battery was when Andy Pettite threw to Posada his famous “knuckleball.” It was a great pitch but every time he threw it Jorge Posada would have major struggles to catch it. One time when Pettite threw it to Posada, it hit him directly in the knee and Pettite was forced to stop throwing that pitch.
After this time on this team, they were moved up to the Greensboro Hornets of the Class A South Atlantic League of 1992 where both Pettite and Posada met Derek Jeter. They were initially apprehensive about Jeter, unsure that all the hype around his talent was legitimate, but once they were on the field and saw his abilities, they were sure that he was going to be a great player, and together they would be able to take the Major League Baseball scene by storm. While on this tram they also met Mariano Rivera. Rivera and Jeter instantly built a relationship, and while Rivera was restrained to pitch under a certain amount (pitch count), Jeter was the one who was responsible for keeping count all the way from the field.
The history that these 4 players have together is phenomenal and each one has played a prominent role in the history of the New York Yankees. With Jeter being the only one left for this upcoming season, things definitely will not be the same.