Now Commenting On:

{"content":["spring_training" ] }

Yanks end Crystal's pinstripes tenure

Crystal's new role: Yankee for a day

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Billy Crystal may be a former Yankee, but hey, there's always Old-Timers' Day.

The Yankees gave the "prospect" his official release on Friday, the day of his 60th birthday and one day after the actor and comedian struck out in his only at-bat against the Pirates.

Leading off and serving as New York's designated hitter, Crystal worked the count full against Bucs left-hander Paul Maholm, fouling off a 1-0 fastball before striking out on an 88 mph cutter.

"It was unbelievable and the greatest moment of my life," Crystal said. "I don't really know how to describe it. It was intensely good."

The announcement came at the bottom of the second page of Friday's game notes. Under transactions, it said, "March 14 Released INF Billy Crystal."

Crystal had been signed to a Minor League contract by the Yankees, who received Commissioner Bud Selig's approval to execute the transaction.

Crystal invited the entire Yankees roster to a postgame party held on Thursday evening in Tampa, Fla., a bash that was also attended by comic and friend Robin Williams. Crystal signed dozens of baseballs for players, bearing the inscription, "Your teammate, Billy Crystal -- 3/13/08."

Crystal also left his mark in the Yankees' clubhouse. Having had his shoelaces and socks sliced by a prankster, believed to be reliever LaTroy Hawkins, Crystal got his revenge in absentia.

When Hawkins reported to Legends Field on Friday morning, his sneakers had been screwed to the wood panel above his locker, and a mock 1952 Topps card bearing Crystal swinging in Yankees pinstripes was pinned to Hawkins' nameplate.

"I'm still going to hold it against [rookie Andrew] Brackman," Hawkins said.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español