The long-time clubhouse attendant and equipment manager at Yankee Stadium was Pete Sheehy. He was an employee of the Yankees from 1927 until his death in 1985 (he passed while he was still employed by the club). There was a plaque in the dugout of the old Yankee Stadium dedicated to him. The home clubhouse at Yankee Stadium is also named after him.
Yeah, he was the “Keeper of the Pinstriped Uniforms”, but he was also the keeper of secrets and memories of Yankee players for almost 60 years. Imagine all the things he saw inside that Yankees locker room. Sheehy was the man who literally carried Babe Ruth’s jockstrap. “He’s the one guy,” says Howser, “who would be on this team if it was 1935 or 1955 or 1985.”
From what I hear, Sheehy hardly ever spoke, although every once in a while he was known to give you a toothless grin and tell you a story from the ’20s. He knew both Gehrig and Ruth well. Sheehy hailed Gehrig as a true hero and he was the one he admired most. Sheehy once said after a moment of thought, “Ruth never flushed the toilet.”
In his last year, he had given up many of his assignments due to his age and didn’t travel with the team.
Big Pete Sheehy was a thread through Yankee history. When Lou Gehrig realized his career was over, he flipped his glove to Sheehy, who said “I’m done, Pete.” Sheehy was the man who issued Mickey Mantle #7 after Mantle was recalled from Kansas City so he could get a new start rather than being pressed with number 6.
Sheehy was the equipment manager for the New York Yankees from age 17 until his death at age 75. He witnessed home runs by Babe Ruth and the MVP season of Don Mattingly. Between, he was part of the organization for 21 World Series titles and eight additional American League pennants.
Guys like Sheehy make me proud to be a Yankee fan. There are so many stories to tell about so many people, and the rich history of this organization is simply amazing.